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Running and Blisters

by Alfredo Miranda

Every time someone sends me an alarming email… “I got a blister in one of the toes: what should I do!!!!???” “I don’t want to stop my training !!!” “What is the fastest way to cure it !!?” It reminds me of a very simple joke from my place. It was like this: It is the conversation between two friends they have not met in 20 years:

John: “Peter !!! Long time !!!! How are you? You look the same, so young… how do you manage?”

Peter: “It is very easy, I just avoid any kind of argument”

John: “Come on!!!! IT CAN’T BE BECAUSE OF THAT !!!!”

Peter: “Ok, it is not because of that…”

Every time I say: “The best thing you can do with the blisters is do…. NOTHING”, I get the same reply: “Come on!!! It can’t be that way…” And honestly, I don’t feel like fighting back; because it is hard to accept, requires a bit of trust and it is almost impossible to explain.

So, this time, when few weeks back I got the first blisters of the summer, I thought of doing a small photographic documentary to prove my point. If after this, you still feel like going to the doctor, get the blisters opened and dressed and be ready to get forced to rest for 1 week: it is ok, your choice !!!

What you have below are the instances of not just 1 but 3 blisters on the same toe, the small one, of my left foot. On 26th May I had two of them, the 1st is older and already drying, the 2nd is fresh and with liquid. On 4th June, a 3rd blister joined the party, the 3 of them are even touching each other: there is little space there. But the 1st is dry and cracking, the 2nd is getting dryer. On 11th on June the 1st and 2nd are completely dry and the skin cracked and gone, the 3rd is getting dry.

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Which treatment I have followed during all these days? NONE !!! As you can see, there are no signs of dressing, betadine, or any other product or action around the area. Well, the only thing I do few days at night before going to sleep is to pierce them with a nail needle just a bit, enough to press and extract the liquid but without disturbing the skin.

In the following photo, you see me in action on 28th of May working on the 2nd blister.

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Now, the million dollar question is… what running I did these days, in terms of my mileage and pace? Well, here below you have the info from Garmin. I was following my plan as normal. It was the end of the lockdown, starting running outside with mask. Didn’t want to force much. 2 weeks with 3 days running out and 4 days the 3rd week.

On 26th I did 12 km in 1 hour, on 4th 16 km, on 11th 13 km. On Sundays I was going for some 30 km runs… yes, yes, with the blisters as you see them in the photos !!! Perhaps one of the days, I did put a band aid.

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This is my “secret” dealing with blisters. I hope, now that the monsoon is coming and the humidity will be at its peak: this can be of some help.

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Warmly known as Alfie by runners in the NCR Region, Alfredo is a mentor and a guide, par excellence, to many fledgling and mature runners. A super marathoner himself, he helps runners with their running plans for various events and most importantly always keeps their morale high up!

Alfie lives by the philosophy – The Killing is yet to come, you will see how well you push yourself…

He is reachable at [email protected]

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