Without fail, if I am running longer than 15 miles I end up with a blister, blood blister, or toenail problems. This would make you wonder, how on earth will I survive 26.2 miles on marathon day. No big deal. The first thing in my favor is the powerful endorphins the body makes while I run providing a level of pain relief and “runners high” throughout the run. This helps A LOT.
Ok so thats pretty natural. Its gonna happen if you run, but here are some other tips I learned along the way:
1. hydrocolloid bandages are a must have in your running bag. This is about the most important thing I have in mine. They are made from a cushy gel material that absorbs impact. As you run, as soon as you feel a hot spot forming. STOP. Carry a couple alcohol swabs with you. Clean the area and apply the bandage. Its like an immediate pain-be-gone fit-it. They even come in this size. Big Bandages are even better for particular problem areas. The larger area helps them to stay in place and prevents blisters from forming into blister clusters.
2. I mentioned this in tip number one but there’s more to it. You need to get a box of Alcohol Swabs and carry a couple with you in your pocket or running bag. (I train with a weighted hydration pack. I carry all this stuff.) They are cheap and you never know what you will need them for. I have run past thorns, cut myself and more. I even peed on myself once. Yeah, I know, it’s not too pretty but like I say, you never know why you will need the alcohol… but I recommend it. The reason you especially need it for cleaning your blisters is because the bandages or tape will not stick to your sweaty foot. You have to clean it off with alcohol. Its quick drying, cleans well and easy to carry. Yes, it will burn on blisters a little bit but it goes with the territory.
3. Sports Tape is sometimes all you need to PREVENT blisters. Tape up your areas that are prone to blisters before you run. If you already have a blister, use the hydrocolloid bandage.
4. Choose Dry Wick Socks over cotton athletic socks. Your feet will thank you. When moisture doesn’t sit there and rub around, you’ll get less blisters. If you are prone to blisters in between the toes get dry wick toe socks. They are hard to find but I found some on ebay but I can’t find them now. Best thing I could find are these
toe separators and if you use them let me know how they are!
5. One thing many people don’t realize is that your feet swell and change sizes as you run. When I run longer than 10 miles, I double up and wear 2 pairs of socks and I have one of my pairs of running shoes is a little more roomy and a half size bigger. Usually around mile 5 or 7 I start to feel that its time to take off the outer socks. This will keep your feet much happier. I like to wear a thinner pair of socks underneath and a medium thick pair over them. When I take off the socks it feels so good. It cools down my feet and I feel relief from the swelling. Taking some ibuprofin if necessary also helps. I try to avoid it unless I am running at least 18 miles. That works for me. Find what works for you.
6. Lastly, it seems like common sense but you have to wear proper footwear that is the correct size. It makes a world of difference if you have your run analyzed by a pro who knows how to tell if you pronate or supinate when you run. Any runners shoe store will know about this. If it seems like that is some foreign language then I have a recommended website for you to look into right now:
What is Pronation and Supination?