Don't let common runner's afflictions such as blisters derail your training. Here are some helpful tips on preventing these minor injuries.
If you find you're getting painful blisters, look at the type of socks you wear while running. Many runners find that non-cotton socks work best, and it's important the socks fit well (doubling them up may be beneficial too). Also, check how your shoes fit — an expert at a sports store can help you find the best-fitting shoe for you.
As an extra measure for preventing blisters, sprinkle talcum powder on your feet to help reduce friction while running. The idea is to keep your feet as dry as possible. In addition, several anti-friction balms that can help prevent blisters from forming are available on the market.
In addition to blisters on your feet, you may find that running causes chafing in areas where a lot of friction occurs. Think of how your T-shirt rubs against your body, how your fuel belt moves up and down and how your arms sweep back and forth as you take each step. All this friction can cause irritation and redness, blisters or even for skin to become so raw that it bleeds (nipple chafing when their T-shirt rubs against their chest is a common issue for men; women don't have this problem thanks to sports bras). Your best bet at preventing chafing is to apply a lubricant such as BODYGLIDE® to areas prone to friction.
Blood blisters may form underneath your toenails, causing them to turn black. In fact, in some cases, you may even lose your toenail. Black toenails can occur for several reasons, the most likely one being ill-fitting running shoes, especially if they crowd your foot in the front. If the blood swelling becomes painful, you can try to drain it with a sterilized pin, but your best option is to have it treated by a podiatrist. To help prevent black toenails, keep your toenails well trimmed (to reduce your toes from jamming and rubbing against the front of the shoe), and wear shoes that aren't too tight. For this reason, be sure to shop for running shoes in the afternoon or evening, when feet tend to be more swollen. If you buy a pair in the morning, you may find them too tight when you run in the afternoon.
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