Saturday, 13 August 2011

Running and preventing blisters

I reckon most runners will get a blister or two at some point and naturally this applies to me too.  Here's a few thoughts how to maybe avoid them:

Getting shoes and socks right.
Comfortable shoes are really a given, otherwise you're asking for problems.  What about socks?  Easily overlooked but I have found they really do make a difference.  I use X-Socks which I tried on recommendation with my first running shoes a few years back.  I have since added an extra pair, same brand, different version.  The way these socks are designed and constructed is superb in my view.  I think I've been lucky as otherwise it can be a bit of trial and error.  At about £9 or £10 a pair I would be disappointed if they were unsuitable.  So, get the combination right.

Allowing your feet to acclimatise
We all need to allow our bodies time to adapt to new activities, particularly with running and building up the miles.  For all kinds of reasons, do it gradually.  New activities include wearing new shoes.  Likewise, wear these around the house to start with for a day or so.  Try a short run in them outside; perhaps a mile.  Only then I would I go for a substantially longer run

Lacing your shoes right
There are a number of different ways of lacing shoes.  It makes quite a different to the way a shoe moves on your foot, or not as the case may be.  In the above photo take a look at the lacing pattern on the foot on the right: you can see I've used the extra hole in forming what is a lace-lock.  This is to prevent heel slip.
Running when tired
This is one that has caught me out with blisters on the ball of my feet.  When you're tired, you take smaller steps; that can cause blisters.  Believe me, it can.

Hopefully this might have helped.  The solution to getting a blister is, of course, to let it heal.  To avoid them can be tricky; there's always Blister Plasters which seem to be fairly well tried and tested these days.  Whatever you do, deal with blisters and don't let the thought of a blister put you off running - there is always a solution

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