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Give blisters the rub with prevention, first aid

Feel like you swam through your last outdoor PT session?

Blame the humidity — or is it the dew point? Maybe just blame the season.

Besides making you a sweaty mess, the heat, humidity and general grossness of summertime can lead to another uncomfortable problem: blisters.

Nothing puts the brakes on a good workout faster than a pesky blister, so we dug into the PT365 archives for this handy primer on tips to fight friction, and what to do when things get hot.

From OFFduty contributor Allison Pattillo:

No doubt about it, blisters suck. And with rucking, training and ramped-up physical fitness requirements, they can be all too common.

Repeated rubbing from new shoes, longer-than-normal activity or bunched socks causes layers of skin to separate, and the accompanying fluid accumulation (plasma or blood) forms the actual blister.

Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Sean Martin, sports medicine fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, says studies show a 48 percent to 77 percent incidence of blisters in studies of troops during long road marches (and one ROTC summer camp), compared with 39 percent in the general population of runners. Avoidance is the best course of action, but when you have to keep moving, effective treatment can keep you pushing toward your goal.

Read the rest of the story over on OFFduty.

Tape it up

As an ultrarunner, I’ve had my share of horrible blisters. My prevention trick is to tape my feet before really wet, muddy races or when it’s so hot I don’t expect my feet to stay dry.

I use pre-cut strips of KT Tape and focus on the balls of my feet and my toes, places I always have trouble. The tape can get a little expensive so I try to use it sparingly, sometimes only taping the most problematic places, like my big toes.

The orange color is from the tincture of benzoin, which helps the tape stay stuck. Before I put my socks on I cover the tape in an anti-chafing product — such as Body Glide or Sport Shield — which keeps your socks from pulling on the tape. I top the whole thing with Injinji toe socks.

It takes some time, and looks really nerdy, but it’s kept me mostly blister free during the muddiest 50-milers.

What are your blister tricks? Let us know in the comments.

Need sock suggestions? Check out our favorites:

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .

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