Lindsey and Suzanne have worked in the medical tents at the London Marathon, helping those runners with foot problems, enabling them to return home, pain- free.
26 miles can be a long way when you start with blisters before you even get to the halfway point. We have seen the pain some runners go through to get to the finish line and most of it could have been avoided.
Here are some tips that will help prevent those agonising blisters that could stop you from completing the event.
Now that the London Marathon has settled back into its April slot, you would think the weather would be more predictable, sadly, if you are from the UK, you will know that April can bring 4 seasons in one day!
Therein lies the problem, the weather doesn’t cause blisters directly, but it can indirectly!
Moisture is one of the main contributors to blister formation on the skin, so keeping the feet as dry as possible is very important, moisture-wicking socks are brilliant at preventing moisture from sitting on the skin. However, weather can cause more moisture to be next to the skin.
Hot weather on race day can cause the body to heat and then the bodies sweating mechanism kicks in, increasing the moisture sitting on the skin, which then, can cause blisters on the skin.
Feet can often swell in hot weather, causing shoes to be tighter, and creating blisters on those pressure-affected areas. Armaskin liner socks will help reduce foot swelling, the liner sock material has a heat-dissipating effect, reducing the temperature of the skin.
At water stations when the weather is hot, runners are more likely to tip water over their heads to cool down. The water will travel down the body into the socks and wet socks next to the skin and are likely to cause blisters. Although very tempting, this should be avoided in preventing blisters on the feet.
Rainy days are a struggle to keep the feet dry, especially in a torrential downpour, waterproof trainers are available which will keep the feet dry. Armaskin liner socks would also be a great choice to wear on days like this as the sock material has a water-hating surface next to the skin, preventing blisters.
Being nervous on the day can trigger the body’s autonomic system to increase sweating, causing the skin to retain moisture, making it more blister prone You may not have experienced this problem during training and wondering why race day is always a foot blister day.
If you know that your nerves get the better of you on race days, then moisture-wicking socks with a liner sock will help move the moisture away from the skin, preventing those race-day blisters.
Running with an injury is more likely to cause foot blisters as the body moves to compensate for an injury and, in turn, running gait will be altered. Those areas of the feet that are now exposed to different peak pressure loads are more likely to cause blisters.
Reducing your stride length will decrease the stress and load on blister-prone areas of the feet and poron insoles will help to reduce the pressure peaks on the soles of the feet, preventing blisters.
The medical tents at the finish line are manned by Doctors, St John ambulance, Physiotherapist and Podiatrists like us. If you do come unstuck at the finish line, drop into one of the tents or ask any of the volunteers with a white or red jacket or the familiar green uniform of the St Johns Ambulance as all of these professionals are there to help you.
The links below are for the other main factors that cause foot blisters during a marathon and require a blog to represent each section.
The links below are for the major factors that can cause blisters during a marathon: