A blog by runners. For runners.

Common male running problems: part one

I am going to preface this post by admitting the obvious: I am a female.

That said, I am a licensed physical therapist, wife, mom to a son, and a sister to a brother. I get men issues — especially the medical ones that impact running.

In the first part of our series on male running problems, I’ll talk about the two most common issues male long distance runners face: chafing (hello, bloody nipples!) and hematuria (blood in urine).


What it is: Irritation to a part of the body due to excessive rubbing during long distance running.

Main causes:

  • Sweat
  • Skin rubbing against skin
  • Skin rubbing against clothing.

How to prevent it:

  • Wear clothing that is not too tight or too loose. Also, wear moisture-wicking clothing and don’t overdress.
  • Use medicated powders (or baby powder) and apply to areas that tend to irritate.
  • Use a moisture barrier such as petroleum jelly or a glide cream to area of irritation.
  • Bandaids. Put them on your nipples. It helps! 


What it is: Red blood cells leaking into the urine causing a pink tinge after extreme bouts of exercise.

Main causes:

  • Trauma to the bladder
  • Dehydration
  • Red blood cell break down during strenuous activity

How to prevent it:

  • Visit your physician for a full medical evaluation to determine the cause.
  • Hydrate according to your body weight and activity level.
  • Prevent Urinary Tract Infections with good hygiene.
  • Train and race at an appropriate pace for your body.

What are some other running problems you’d like to learn more about? Leave a comment below or email us.

Written by Danielle Bressoud.

Related Common male running problems Part2