This week running has been brought to a stand still by the biggest, most serious, life ending injury of all time. A blister.  A small and annoying blister!

This blister appeared for the first time after racing Coventry half marathon for no apparent reason other than the half marathon.

But after a week of it getting more and more annoying it was time to troubleshoot, investigate and figure out how to manage it.

After a bit of research, reflection and advice from local podiatrist and triathlete Sarah Berrisford I came up with the following tips that helped me.

  1. Check your trainers. Are they worn out and changing the way you run or is there anything inside the shoe that’s rubbing. For me my insoles were slightly frayed and worn with a rough edge in exactly the place of my blister.
  2. Check your socks. Are you running in good quality running socks that wick away the sweat? Also if you regularly suffer with blisters try an anti blister sock that are double lined to reduce friction. On Sarah’s recommendation I’m trying out these 1000mile anti blister socks.
  3. Lace Locking: Use a method of tying your shoe laces called lace locking. This helps to reduce friction caused by your feet sliding about in your shoes.
  4. Elastic Laces: For triathletes re-visit your elastic laces – which might be causing your feet to slide about more than usual inside your shoes! One of my main culprits is the elastic laces I still had in my shoes left over from a sprint distance duathlon.
  5. Hydrocolloid plasters (Compeed): I used Compeed plasters to cover my blister.  With me getting in and out of the pool a lot I had problems with the edges of the plaster peeling up and sticking to my sock which didn’t help my blister situation! After applying my blister plaster I’ve been taping the edges down with microporous tape from my first aid kit.
  6. Modify your training: After 2 weeks of struggling through I managed to give myself a second blister in a different place because I’d started to modify my running gait – lucky I didn’t give myself a real injury somewhere else. And at this point I decided I’d have to lay of the running for a week to let it heal.  
  7. Running Technique: If you regularly suffer with blisters it can sometimes be due to your running mechanics particularly long ground contact time and I have had client who stopped getting blisters after we worked through their running technique. While I’ve been running with my blister it made me tune into my running mechanics again making me really notice how my two feet land differently and that I needed to focus more on my left leg cycle (blister foot). 
  8. Vaseline and taping: I also know of several runners that have to use Vaseline on their feet before every run and regularly tape their feet. Thankfully my blisters are not bad enough to require either of these but if you suffer then it’s definitely worth exploring.

Of course this list isn’t exhaustive and my blister is only minor so do get in touch if you’ve got any other tips and experiences to share (but please no pictures)