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Save the nips: Red11 Sport anti-chafe salve review

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Feb. 2017, Red11 is no longer available for purchase. A good replacement is Body Glide.

I, like so many, have since my first tentative steps as a runner dreaded this happening to me. During an out-and-back segment of my first ultra, 24-ish miles into a grueling 50K, a runner in the opposite direction had upon his face not fatigue but wide-eyed fear mingled with agony. I understood why. Upon his white shirt: twin red streams trailing toward his waistband. And he had six more miles to go.

Bloody nipples. Nipple chafe (clinically: nipple fissures). Hell, chafe in general, as M. Suzette writes, in any of the body’s geography. Every runner harbors this terror in the heart and the skin above it, and holds forth numerous methods of mitigation: adhesive bandages; sport tape; petroleum jelly. But I give you today Red11 Sport, an anti-chafe agent unlike others I have known, a salve to save your nipples and nethers from being churned to hamburger when you run.
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The Run Commuter team has been using Red11 Sport for several months now, putting it on our delicate tissues, then putting this through the wringer. My first impression was a chuckle for its clever, snarky name. (Think about my description above of the afflicted gent.) Red11 Sport is a New York City-based newcomer, cheeky in its marketing and seems so in its company culture, judging by our correspondence with them. That is a good beginning to recommend it to runners: they’re like us.

But they can get away with it because the product works, and works extremely well. Red11 Sport is composed of shea butter (main ingredient), vitamin E, coconut, mineral wax and peppermint. In fact, the peppermint scent was among the first things we noticed, as soon as we popped the tin open. It’s present but not strong, just enough to notice. You won’t feel it on your skin, and don’t worry that your areolas will smell like candy canes: they won’t.

Red11 Sport feels to the touch like a lip balm: a bit waxy, smooth, but spreadable. In fact, one of our contributors, Nic, has used it just so when he forgot his lip balm at home. Rub some on the end of a finger; rub the finger on your nipple(s); go running: simple. Both sizes come in tins small enough to fit in a pocket.

Here’s the meat of this review: it works. This tiny tin of chafe-halting nectar works so much better than anything I have found. I’ll explain by way of comparison, then tout Red11 Sport’s merits.

IMAG1466The primary anti-chafe methods, anecdotally and from experience, are bandages/sport tape, petroleum jelly and BodyGlide. The latter will likely be Red11 Sport’s main competitor. Bandages/sport tape will protect nipples from being rubbed raw, but sweating will dislodge them. That’s been my experience with bandages, anyway, though sport tape usually stays put. Unfortunately, you can’t put them in your armpits, butt crack, upper thighs, and balls, all areas prone to chafe.

Petroleum jelly always works but it stains shirts, leaving competitors and onlookers to wonder why you’re lactating. I slathered it on my thighs mid-race in the 2011 Detroit Marathon, experiencing some chafe then, and it again worked but my shorts clung to it, riding waaaaay up into the nethers. And my shorts are short enough already; there’s little room to travel.

I’ve never been a fan of BodyGlide. It wears off too quickly. I’ve tried it, tried it again to be certain, but it seems to slough off maybe 5-10 miles into a long run or race. I’ve seen teammates and competitors in longer ultras reapply it periodically, which I never had to do with petroleum jelly. It always leaves me disappointed and raw.
IMAG1468Red11 Sport came to us just before the crush of southern summer. Most of my use has been on run commutes, but I’ve used this precious goo on shorter and moderate runs, about 5-10 miles, and several times on long efforts, up to and past 20 miles. No issues. No need to reapply. And nary a hint of chafe! Nor has there been any stain or mark on my shirts, any time that I have applied Red11 Sport. That is hugely important. Stains in no way alter the function of tech shirts but it is embarrassing and ruins some very cool race shirts.

It also has proved effective with irritation from heart rate monitors. Hall has used applied it in that way and had none of his usual chafing. We passed it along to a female friend who was experiencing significant chafe from her monitor whenever she ran. She says, “I ran twice last week with the heart rate monitor strap and used your special cream. I was free of all irritation!”

Here’s what one of our contributors, Nic, had to say:

“I have used the Red11 for about 150 km since I received it, and it is great. Seriously, it is the best anti-chaffing stuff I ever used (I got absolutely no chafing at all last week, and I ran a total of 114 km). My only comment would be to replace “nipple protection” on the container by something more gender neutral, but beside that, I liked the product and the format of the container. And I even used it as lip balm this morning since I could not find my usual one!IMG_8431

“I wore my chafing shorts for a 15 km interval training/run commute. (These shorts are very old, and I always have problems with them, even with Vaseline and Nok). So I decided to wear them, over a generous coating of Red11. And I am glad to report … nothing! Nothing at all! Baby skin throughout. I am very, VERY impressed.”

Heed Nic’s suggestion to alter the “nipple protection” labeling on the tins. That’s how Red11 Sport is primarily marketing the product — indeed, that is the top-tier trouble zone — but I’ve used it everywhere, as Nic has. Thoroughly saturated by sweat in 95-degree heat and maximum humidity after 18 miles: I felt nothing in any of the typical problem spots. If you see Red11 Sport at your running store, snap some up. Your nipples/genitals/miscellaneous, and anyone who has to see them, will thank you.

DISCLOSURE: Red11 Sport provided gratis samples for our review.

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: Gear|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

The Run Commuter’s bundle of joy

Welcome Wyatt J Woiderski to this wide, wonderful world, and congratulations to Rebecca and Josh on what we’re all certain will be another rad kid!

Closer to home, this means Josh will for a short while take a back seat at The Run Commuter, as he tends to his ever-expanding stable of sons, and consoles Rebecca for having to dwell in Fort Sausage Fest. It also means Hall and I will be stepping up to take on Josh’s usual duties at the site, so you can expect a good deal more salty language.

Will this papoose fit in a run commuting pack??

Wyatt

 

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: General, News|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Review: Purinize water-purifying tincture

I was as a young man waaaay into Dungeons & Dragons, as well as video game RPGs like the Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior series. There was always some bottled liquid to cure your ailments and even restore life, should your mighty berserker be somehow felled by an elf. Those indoors-for-hours days rushed to my memory when we received our latest product to review: Purinize, a potion promising to render water potable by vanquishing microscopic assailants and coagulating sediments.

How does Purinize manage these extraordinary feats? Why, by the sensible and scientific application of VOLCANO SALTS. (more…)

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Gear|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Review: Skulltec gel-filled beanie

We sometimes are offered opportunity to review products, usually running-related ones. Some are unrelated, or so at first it would seem, but, hey, we’re running to work here, gang; we’re doing something outside the norm. We can look at some seemingly-unrelated-to-running products and review them in that light.

And so I offer for your consideration Skulltec.

SOYBEAN POWERED PROTECTION

Hall dons the Skulltec and becomes a French Popeye with a claimed 25-percent reduction in likely brain injury.

(more…)

By | May 30th, 2014|Categories: Gear, General|Tags: , , |4 Comments

KA-BLOOM!

The northern United States continues to recoil from the torrid, brutal union of Old Man Winter and Mother Nature, their frisky freaking casing the upper states in ice and heaps of snow, even as we in Georgia see the daily-greening buds on trees and blooms beneath them, notice the birds are singing and the bees are trying to have sex with them (as is my understanding of the subject).
KA-BLOOM! - 01Every calendar box crossed brings more color and verdant riot streetside, a thrill for our morning run commutes: to see it change incrementally; to anticipate the full-blown riot of color and chaos of which we are on the cusp and another handful of warm days will produce! It is, for us, nigh; for the north: nein.
KA-BLOOM! - 02So I present for your enjoyment a sampling of our calmer climate, now springing forward, not to tease but to remind you it is for you soon soon soon, and when it is: splendidly so! If part of run commuting is experiencing the change and world about you, let this serve as reminder that before long you, too, will doff tights and long johns, shed those parkas and softshells, and run through green fields, your bold and bare feet impervious to grass’ blades.
KA-BLOOM! - 03If you do feel this is a tease, recall that Atlanta has scant weeks in which to revel in this weather, before hardwoods blow their wad upon the city and their pollen blankets all surfaces in a bilious yellow inch, smothering us in their effluvia. The rains will come and bring relief to asthmatics and runners’ labored breathing, but will mix the urban forest’s particulate ejaculate into a monochromatically foul paste.
KA-BLOOM! - 04Too, our spring is composed of equal parts tank tops and tornadoes, leisurely bike rides and torrential rains. Then Helios will turn his horrid gaze upon us, our temples and necks and armpits sweat-darkened for the next half-year; the dew point absurdly high, and nowhere for that sweat to go but down down down.
KA-BLOOM! - 05Hello, Vancouver! What’s up, New York! Hei, Finland! We are all ready for such growth and renewal, to bust out split-shorts and grill hot dogs, asparagus, and kebabs, to chase fireflies and wake to our window screens’ inability to filter baby birds’ chirps from the morning.

So whether your weather is already fair or, for not much longer, frosty, if this hit you as a tease or its intent as fueling anticipation, if you are in spring or the tail end of winter, we can all find common ground in knowing, unlike this autumnal stalwart, it is far too early for, or time to give up the ghost on, fall.
KA-BLOOM! - 06

By | March 13th, 2014|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

HLN feature on The Run Commuter

HLN ran a feature on Josh and his run commute! Josh talks about how he, and we, got started, what it’s all about, why, and how. He sounded professional and informed, and looked handsome and rugged, and made us all-around proud.

If your colleagues and dear ones ask you to summarize run commuting, direct them there — then nudge them toward trying it for themselves.

BONUS: we are still on the HLN Top 10, but this morning ranked second, sandwiched between murder.

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Murder, Run Commuter, Murder is the new Duck, Duck, Goose.

By | February 19th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

How I spent my snow-mer vacation

Mornings were a frenzy of sifting, mixing, baking and boxing goods; I filled the afternoons by running them to friends at the city’s four corners, where they’d cozied up or hunkered down at their homes; I thrived in the iciest, nastiest parts of the storm, without oops or incident, yet when it seemed spring sprung forth, the waxing sun clearing lawns and slopes and grass, and the temperatures rose, freeing sidewalks from the freeze, loosing ice from limbs, and flushing silt-clogged roads with melt, I nearly lost my life: this is a tale of how I spent my two-day snow-mer vacation. (more…)

By | February 14th, 2014|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

How to RAIN Commute

“What do you do when it rains?”
This is among the inner circle of Common Comments I receive, reigning with How Far Do You Run; Do You Shower; That’s So Impressive; and I Could Never Do That. If I might answer them in reverse order: you can do far more than you think; when you realize what you can do, that will be impressive; no shower, but I’m a clean-up ace; five miles; and, to answer the first, at the risk of sounding flip:

I get wet.

To be fair, run commuters will ask of themselves something similar: what do I do when it rains? How do I keep my gear dry, and keep from becoming an absolutely sodden mess? Let’s talk rain wear, dry bags, planning for your rainy run and soggy jogging, and how puddles and downpours can quench your thirst for adventure and joy.
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By | February 11th, 2014|Categories: How To|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

For the Ladies: Sabby’s words on back-up bras and Shark Week

We’ve been trolling through The Run Commuter archives in our Wayback Machine, seeking every tidbit possible of women-specific comments, questions, and advice. This is a comment shared by run commuter Sabby, December 2011. She readily gave the OK for us to share it, allowing, too, for us to “pretty it up” or edit as needed, as she presented it as an unstructured ramble. We are all for stream of consciousness, so we are going to let it run wild and free.

She touches on shoes and hair, but we will present up front Sabby’s most valuable takeaway, something other women run commuters have echoed: double-check that you’ve packed your bra, or keep a spare at the office. And it wasn’t until perhaps my third read-through that I understood what she meant by, “… if you still have to worry about Shark Week it’s easy enough to keep a supply of bandages at work.” This is one of the finest menstrual euphemisms I have encountered.

For readers’ ease and quick-scrolling reference, I have put into bold text those items in Sabby’s narrative that would be of most interest or specificity to a lady’s run commute. We will pull much of this together for an entry in our Become a Run Commuter page.

Now, TAKE IT AWAY, SABBY. (more…)

By | July 29th, 2013|Categories: How To|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

For the Ladies: Katie’s bare feet, glass shards and pram

I once tried in vain to convince a friend she could easily, speedily ride her bike to work, only to be constantly rebuffed that it was too dangerous, that she was easy prey for the ne’er-do-wells en route to her office. But I had her speak with some female friends, also bicyclists, who ride everywhere they can, for all reasons. It was effective and much more convincing.

Run commuting, I fear, might be something of a sausage party. This is based on exchanges with female friends. They express great reservation, mostly about their hair, make-up, hygiene: nothing about the challenge of running, to which they admit they are more than equal. They claim they could never run commute. But we have had a number of female readers comment and graciously share their wisdom, so we are going to pool these and put them out for you! We won’t strive to convince anyone they can do it; we will endeavor to show them, albeit by proxy. (more…)

By | July 25th, 2013|Categories: How To|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments
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