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3-day Training: Blisters 101

May 7, 2009

3day_ambassador_badgeAs the weather gets warmer, training becomes more difficult and blisters become more prevalent. If you don’t ever get blisters, I’m sorry but this post is not for you. If you are like me and blister no matter what, I’m going to do my best to share my wisdom. I hope that you won’t have to learn the hard way. If you get blisters, please feel free to share your favorite tips as well!

First of all, I don’t mean little baby blisters that you can pop and move on. I’m talking huge blisters that get infected, turn red, and throb, making it painful to walk. I’d share pictures (like this one…) but they are really horrible…and frankly look much worse than my novice blisters from last year. I have blisters on blisters cover in a callous now. But blisters don’t need chemo, so I keep walking.

If you get a blister on the 3-day there will be medical professionals throughout the path to help. However, if you can carry a few things with you, it will save you the time waiting and will free up med tent space for those with more serious injuries. Also, at camp, there is a self-care medical tent where you can take care of yourself. They have some awesome gel squares for hot spots!

Here are things you need to know to prevent blisters, especially if you are prone like me.

  1. body_glideI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Body Glide. Some people swear by vaseline. I haven’t tried that, so it might work great as well for a fraction of the cost. But Body Glide is worth it’s weight in gold. Rub down your feet, concentrating on the places you are prone to blisters, with a stick of Body Glide. Then put on socks immediately.
  2. Great socks are crucially important. However, you do not need to spend a lot for great socks. I have Thorlos, Nikes, and socks from Target that were the cost of the Thorlos for a pack of 6. The ones from Target are my favorite. Try several different kind of socks, find what works best for you, and buy 10 pairs. Remember: On the 3-day you will need at least 6 pairs of socks. (one for your feet and one for your pack)
  3. Good shoes, fit to your feet. You know when you sign up to walk 60 miles that one thing you’ll need to spend money on is shoes. Don’t skimp on new-skin-liquid-bandage-739617shoes. I’m incredibly cheap, but I spent hundreds of dollars on walking shoes every year. I swear by New Balance shoes and love that we get 15% off as 3-day walkers. Whatever you do, get fitted for shoes and be sure to tell them that you are walking in the 3-day!
  4. I discovered New Skin very far into my training last year after a lifetime of blisters. When you experience the first sign of a blister (hot spots, fluid-filled blisters, raw skin), paint this magic medicine right over the spot. It is medicated for healing and provides protection. Blisters don’t stop me from training, New Skin helps keep me infection-free.
  5. Gauze and tape. If you’ve gotten a horrible blister and then it’s gotten infected, gauze and tape is the only thing I know that works. Drain the blister with a sterile needle, cover with New Skin, and tape gauze to completely cover the spot.
  6. If you get blisters on the inside of your heels, Dr. Scholl’s makes amazing heel cups. I was skeptical at first thinking that there was no way that a set of Dr. Scholl’s heel cups would help take away blisters. But they work!

And one thing that you should know just for good foot-care. Cut your toe nails! If you don’t keep your toe nails really short, you’re prone to lose them. I didn’t cut them before an early training walk and my whole toe nail turned black. It took months to grow out and I’m very lucky because I didn’t lose it.

Anyone else suffer from blisters? Share your experiences!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2009 5:00 pm

    I swear by moleskin. It has saved my feet many times. And it is plentiful in almost every store I frequent. But I’m also going to look into the little gel toe caps this year. I was so jealous when I saw another walker bust that out! (Only on this event are you jealous of another woman’s “toe condom”!!)

  2. Cheryl permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:53 am

    Have you ever tried duct tape? My feet were hamburger after last year’s walk and a marathon runner suggested taping your feet up as a preventative measure. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds uncomfortable.

  3. vickielynne permalink
    May 9, 2009 2:45 am

    Oh goodness! I’m so scared of blisters … even more now after reading your post! I tried to look at your pics from last year but quickly had to hit the back button! Maybe I should start praying against them NOW! I’ll pray for you too! 🙂

    About socks … SmartWools were recommended to me, but I haven’t bought any yet. They are expensivo! Heard anything about them?

  4. May 12, 2009 10:25 pm

    Where do you find the gel toe caps? Never heard of them. What is the brand name. Any help, please – this is my first walk and blisters scare me!

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