Don’t Let Blisters Ruin Your Bellin Run

May 10, 2010

Blisters are a pain. You Bellin Run veterans know what we’re talking about. And you newbies to the Bellin Run just might find out – the hard way – if you don’t take the following advice from Nate Vandervest, a strength and conditioning specialist at Bellin Health Sports Medicine.

“Just do what you can to avoid them,” Vandervest says. “Getting one or several during race day, especially when you’re already pushing your body to the limit, can be detrimental to your Bellin Run experience.”

What’s a Blister?
A blister is a painful, small pocket of fluid formed on the outer layer of the skin. Most blisters are filled with a clear fluid, although in some cases fluid color can range from clear to red or even blue.

“Blisters can be painful enough to stop you from running or walking. That’s not something you want happening after weeks of training diligently for your big day,” Vandervest said.

We’ve provided some information to help you avoid blisters. If you still have questions, feel free to contact Nate Vandervest or any of our running experts at Bellin Health Sports Medicine at (920) 430-4756.

What Causes Blisters?
•  Ill-fitting shoes: If your shoes don’t fit properly, you’re a likely candidate for blisters. Your foot will move around. Friction comes to play. Voila! You’ve got a blister.
•  The Wrong Socks: Poorly-fitting socks or ones that are made of an irritating material (like cotton that soaks up moisture) can lead to blisters. Wearing no socks at all is even worse.
•  Heat: Leads to sweat, leads to moisture, leads to … you guessed it, blisters.
•  Moisture: Softens your skin, creating ripe conditions for blisters.
•  Sand or gravel: Irritates your skin and creates friction which can lead to blisters.

•  Reduce friction by spreading conservative amounts of Vaseline on areas most susceptible to blisters.
•  Use socks made of nylon. Synthetic material absorbs sweat and dries up fast.
•  Pad blister “hot spots” on your foot with moleskin or athletic tape.
•  Relieve pressure points with shoe modifications or orthotics.

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