I venture with some trepidation into the subject of female runners and their undergarments – a topic that appears with some regularity on running blogs. I assume it’s because it’s a vexing issue for many women runners, and because men like to look at boobies. Win-win!
Researchers from St Mary’s University College in London surveyed 1,285 female participants in the 2012 London Marathon and asked them about their experiences with mastalgia, or breast pain. Their findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine .
They discovered that one in three women suffered from mastalgia, and of those only about four in 10 did anything to relieve their symptoms. Ninety percent of them wore sports bras while exercising, but for the most part it was ineffective in reducing the pain.
None of this is too surprising, nor is the news that women with larger breasts experienced more pain than those who were smaller. The researchers found that “half of those with a cup size of F or larger complained of pain compared with one in four of those with an A size cup.”
I can only say that if you are running marathons with F cups, congratulations. That’s a significant, er, additional encumbrance to carry with you for 26.2 miles. The good news is that capitalism ensures that an entire industry can flourish in an attempt to meet your needs. I found this highly educational video on the web site of Lynx Sportswear .
Other facts from the study lead us further into the mysterious land of women, and how they deal with mastalgia. I was fascinated to learn that some of them hold their breasts while running. I’ve never seen this during a race, and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed. Also, some women use hot and cold compresses, or evening primrose oil , something I’ve never even heard of.