It’s hard to believe how quick the days are falling away and with only 8 days left, its time to think of those miraculous feet. They tolerate the continuous pounding, heat and cold, wet and dry conditions. All we do is take them for granted. It’s high time we started to take a little more care of time, especially during the marathon.
Having run 8 marathons so far, an ultramarathon (84K) and due to run the Dublin Marathon, I am guilty of forgetting to take care of my feet during both training and races. I’ve finished races with blisters and on a couple of occasions, I’m pretty sure those blisters had blisters of their own.
So why do we get these evil blisters?
There’s a number of reasons why blisters can form. It can be shoes that don’t fit correctly, the extra friction leads to irritation and blisters form after a long run. When your feet sweat, the added moisture between your sock and shoe and the extra rubbing against your skin will cause all sorts of blisters.
The key thing is they are not to be ignored when they pop up as if they get infected, you’re in for loads more pain and misery. Be sure to treat them properly but prevention is definitely better than the cure
What do we need to do?
There are literally hundreds of websites offering a wide range of solutions for blister prevention. I have 3 things I have tried over the distance.
- Get Shoes that fit: As remedial as it sounds, ill fitting shoes are a major contributing factor to blisters. While some of us try to save a few bob by buying online, I think going to your local running shop will pay dividends in the long run. Make sure you get your gait analysis done as well as ensuring the shoe you buy has sufficient support which you feel comfortable with. Shoes don’t last forever and the general rule of thumb is they will last for 500K. If you keep a training log, which you should, you’ll know roughly how many miles they have done. And before you ask, yes, it depends on other factors like your weight and running mechanics to say just how long they will last, but be sure you try keep it below 500K
- Blister Free Socks: I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe in this voodoo nonsense that buying a pair of socks for €20 would do anything to stop me getting blisters. Regardless, I ran my races and sure enough, I managed to get blisters every time. Just before my Ultra, my girlfriend Lisa bought me blister free socks. Skeptical, I tried them. After running 84K in 10 hours, I didn’t have as much as one blister. They actually work!! You can buy them in most running shops as well as Elvery’s or Lifestyle sports. They are a must have for beginners and experienced runners alike. A simpler less proven alternative is to wear two pairs of socks
- Lube your feet: I’m not a big fan of this one, but some friends rub vaseline to their feet before a marathon. They swear that this works by reducing friction. Try it on a short run to see how comfortable you feel. I am not a big believer in it, but it works for some