So I’ve been wanting a tattoo for over a year now and I’ve already drawn out what I want to get. My only question is, I’m a runner and run every day. On a tattoo aftercare page, it says no cardio for 3 weeks. 3 weeks is an awfully long time for me to go without running, especially because I’ll start training for another marathon by then. I can go maybe 4-5 days without running before I really need to start getting back into it.

I want to get the tattoo on my upper right shoulder, where I don’t really sweat much and I won’t be stretching or straining either. Would it be safe to go running 2-3 days after getting a tattoo?


The tattoo is an open wound, susceptible to cracking and all that, but most of all to infection. Although it’s far from ideal, as long as you keep it clean I guess you should be okay.


Hi and welcome to the forum. 3 WEEKS?! That sounds like a long time. I am also a runner. I run 5 miles daily and can barely stand if I have to miss even one day. When I got my tattoo, that was my first question. How would it affect my running. When could I resume running. My tattoo is on my right outer calf and at the time it was still winter and I would have to wear long running pants & I was very worried about my pants hitting against my tattoo. So, my artist told me to take a couple days off and then run as much as I want, but be sure and follow all his aftercare instructions. I ended up taking off 2 days. I wore very loose pants & followed the aftercare instructions very carefully. I kept my tattoo very clean too. Everything was fine. I would wait and see what your artist recommends and take it from there. Hope this info helps. Post pics when you get your tattoo! Good luck! 🙂


Thanks for the replies! I guess if 2-3 days isn’t quite ideal, I could stretch it out to 5 days at most.

msmercury, thanks for the info! Glad to hear 2 days was enough to not damage the tattoo. Like you, I can’t stand to miss a day I was supposed to run. Unfortunately, the 3 week no running policy is off of the website for the studio I want to go to. I’ll talk to them and ask if there’s anything I can do to shorten that time down to less than a week. From reading online, 3 weeks seems a bit excessive.

The tattoo I have in mind is also definitely running related, and I’ll be sure to share! I’m planning on doing it next week, as the San Francisco Marathon is on Sunday. If I do get it next week, I’ll have to wait for 3 weeks before being able to start swimming again, though, so I may postpone it for two months, though I don’t really want to.


no swimming for 3 weeks sounds about right. but no cardio? doesn’t make sense. i’m located in maine, and folks around here work hard for living. so no cardio for them would mean no work.
and remember, when keeping it covered with goo, etc. a little is good. a lot is bad.


Hello! I am knew to the boards as well but i have some hopefully helpful information for you. All of my tattoos have been done only when I had time. Eevry job I have had is outdoor and very physically laborous. I also live in Florida so times that by about ten. One thing I can recommend that may sound strange but has worked excellent for me is to cover the area with noxema skin cream and put saran wrap around the area tattooed area as you run. I have used this method for running, working, working out, and all sorts of different activities. Someone mentioned that the tattoo is an open wound and I could not agree more. The object is to apply something that will cover the wound while you run but still allow it to breathe a bit. Hope this helps.

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