It’s officially five weeks into the preparation for Fort4Fitness and we hope you’re going strong! We caught up with Courtney, who’s working her way toward a half marathon, to see how things are going.
“I’m up to 8 miles and it’s starting to show. It takes me almost the full week to recover from my long runs, though I find yoga helps my sore muscles. But it’s what you can see on the outside that really hurts. I have irritating blisters on the pads of my feet, right behind my toes. I’ve also developed a really painful patch next to my armpit from chafing. I’ve played around with different clothing combinations to see if it helps, but I can’t seem to get it to heal and I don’t know what to put on it.”
We reached out to Siera Updik, LAT, ATC, Parkview Sports Medicine, for some advice on these common signs of friction.
Blisters are a result of shearing/rubbing forces, which produce a raised area that has a collection of fluid below or within the thin layer of skin, called the epidermis. If someone has a blister they normally feel a sharp, burning sensation as the blister forms. The blister may be superficial, in which case it would have clear liquid in it. But the blister could also be a blood blister, meaning the friction has disrupted deeper tissues causing blood vessels to rupture.
To prevent blisters, you can use a small amount of baby powder or Vaseline on the area to help with the friction. Wearing two pairs of socks also helps to cut down on friction within the shoe. In the event that a blister has already formed, you can cover the area with an adhesive bandage or some tape to reduce added friction. Icing has been proven effective as well in pain management when dealing with blisters.
Chafing is the result of excessive friction combined with moisture from perspiration. Chafing can result in oozing wounds, which develop crusting and cracking lesions on the skin. To manage chafing, the area should be cleaned once or twice daily with soap and water. You can put a wet compress on the area, or apply medicated ointments 2-3 times daily as needed to manage pain.
To prevent chafing, you should keep the skin dry, clean, and as friction-free as possible. Baby powder or Gold Bond powder is helpful when dealing with thigh chafing. Longer shorts are recommended for individuals who have larger thighs in order to protect them from chafing.
Share your training setbacks and successes in the comments section or by tweeting at @parkviewhealth with #runthefort.