Running Inconveniences Part 1

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/19/2010 4:45 PM   :  60 comments   :  16,940 Views

See More: gear up, running, injury,
In recent years running has seen a huge resurgence for those of looking to reclaim their health and meet new goals. But what happens when you are forced to forgo your running due to an inconvenience caused in your training. It can leave many runners sidelined and frustrated; however by taking a few precautions early on hopefully you can prevent these so-called minor inconveniences from turning into bigger ones down the road.

Blisters

Blisters are one of the most common running inconveniences especially as a runner increases his/her mileage. They are primarily seen on the soles of the feet and the toes, but they can actually occur anywhere on the foot. And while they may be a minor inconvenience for some, for others they can literally be so painful they can keep you from running.

In order to prevent blisters, you need to know what causes them. Friction, moisture and heat are the primary sources for causing blisters. But what cause the buildup of heat, friction and moisture?


Causes
  • Moisture from sweating feet
  • Wet feet from running in the rain or through water
  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Shoes that are too small
  • Friction from socks
  • Friction from wearing orthotics
So what can be done to prevent these annoying inconveniences?

Preventive Measures
  • Make sure your shoes are at least a half size or larger than your street shoes—the reason, as you run your foot begins to swell which can cause friction within the shoe leading to blisters.
  • Wear wicking socks especially if your feet sweat.
  • Avoid cotton socks. Cotton retains moisture, therefore it increases friction.
  • Apply moleskin to blister prone areas on your feet before running.
  • Apply anti-friction cream such as Mission’s High Performance Anti-Friction Cream
  • If you have calluses on your feet, do not remove or soften them, especially when you receive a pedicure. Calluses are a protective measure for your feet to help keep blisters from recurring.


Chafing

Chafing can occur anywhere there is friction on the body. The primary areas include: under the arms, in between the thighs, along the bra line for women and the nipple area for men. For many runners, chafing is just a minor inconvenience causing a slight burning sensation of the skin that quickly heals. While for others, it can be a quite painful and irritated, even to the point of bleeding.>


Causes

Just like blisters, chafing is caused from friction from clothing rubbing against the skin, heat, and moisture from sweating.

Preventive Measures
  • Invest in wicking shirts and shorts-Because chafing is caused from excessive moisture and repeated rubbing of clothing against the skin, wicking fabrics will help pull that moisture away from the skin which has been shown to reduce the risk of chafing.
  • Avoid wearing cotton-Just like cotton socks are not recommended for runners, same is true for their running attire. When cotton gets wet it takes time to dry which is difficult if one is a heavy sweater. The rough, wet fabric then becomes a major contributor to chafing.
  • Wear snug fitting shirts and shorts, preferably made of Spandex or Lycra-Loose fitting clothing can allow excess fabric to rub against the skin leading to a greater incident of friction. Bike shorts worn under running shorts can help reduce the friction, especially between the thighs.
  • Apply an anti-friction cream before your runs-Apply Mission’s High Performance Anti-Friction Cream or Body Glide to those areas prone to chafing before you head out for your run. These products provide a protective barrier between the fabric and your skin.
  • Wear a seamless wicking running bra-Wearing a seamless wicking running bra will help pull moisture away from the skin and because there are no seams to create the friction, your risk for chafing is greatly reduced. Stay well hydrated- Hydration allows a continuous flow of sweat so that salt crystals do not have the opportunity to build up on the skin which can lead to chafing.
By taking a few preventative measures, you may be able to avoid the small inconveniences that may not keep you from running, but they most definitely can keep you from fully enjoying the running experience.

Next blog in this series will cover gastrointestinal disturbances, side stitches and shin splints.

Have you ever experienced issues with blisters or chafing, if so, what measures have you taken to prevent recurrence? What inconveniences have you experienced that you would like to see covered?


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   Jillian Michaels Reveals Workout Secrets

Great Stories from around the Web

Comments

  • 60
    I used to blister on my big toe..until I stopped wearing cotton socks and bought synthetic material running socks. I always did that for backpacking and then it dawned on me..... - 4/1/2011   11:19:41 AM
  • 59
    For blisters, another suggestion is to try double socks. I learned this from some of the women who did the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day with me a few years back. If you have areas that are prone to blistering, paper tape (from the drug store) adds a protective layer, and it stays where you put it, much better than Bandaids.

    For chafing, Chamois Butter, sold at bike stores, also works well. If you already have pain from chafing, wash the area well and apply triple antibiotic ointment, because some of the pain is from bacteria that have worked their way into raw skin. - 6/13/2010   8:59:04 PM
  • 58
    great article - 6/13/2010   9:14:44 AM
  • 57
    I'll second (third?) the recommendation to try good old Vaseline as an anti-friction unguent. Works great, and softens my skin at the same time!

    Cheers,
    Maya - 5/24/2010   4:00:29 PM
  • 56
    Blisters can be prevented with chapstick. Burt's Bees and Chapstick work great. This is especially helpful for dusty hikes/runs where you can't keep your feet clean. Also for chafing, I really like Monkey Butt powder. - 5/22/2010   6:24:33 PM
  • WALKINGAL760
    55
    good stuff - sometimes all of those measures don't keep the blisters away, but it helps greatly! ready for more info ... - 5/21/2010   4:16:23 PM
  • RESCUEME123
    54
    Remember: Cotton is Rotten! - 5/21/2010   3:54:33 PM
  • SCHALA
    53
    Thanks for this information! Blisters were a big problem for me when I started training for my first 8-mile run in years. I used bandages and lots of first-aid tape to try to protect areas in my feet, but those were usually a hit-or-miss solution. Now, unfortunately, I have other problems that prevent me from running in a race again, but I will definitely keep these tips in mind if blisters come up again. - 5/21/2010   12:13:11 PM
  • RABBITAQUI
    52
    I love running. And racing!!! - 5/20/2010   11:48:44 PM
  • 51
    All good information to know, most of this applies to those hikers too. - 5/20/2010   11:06:30 PM
  • 50
    I have just started trying to run and have chaffed on my inner thighs, I will also be investing in spandex. I would like to see an article on running with shin splints, I have them and jogged/walked for a mile and they hurt really bad when I was done. - 5/20/2010   7:03:17 PM
  • 49
    I have problems walking not just jogging with chafting. My shorts ride up between my thighs. You can bet I am going to find some spandex! - 5/20/2010   5:52:30 PM
  • GINAMCGRATH
    48
    Ditto Suzimobile. I run off and on due to arthritic knee so i am always playing a balancing act. this is annoying becaue i think running provides the best exercise for the time invested for me. i am going to try to concentrate on more knee strengthening (squats - etc) in between runns to keep the knee strong. - 5/20/2010   5:14:59 PM
  • 47
    I love the moleskin. I use it in the area on top of my toes, under my big toe nails. It just takes a small piece and makes so much difference in how I feel when I'm out walkng or running. I also use glide on my inner upper arms..my sports bra seems to chafe my arms there when I wear certain tops...I liked the suggestion for seamless sleeves, I guess a runners store would be the best place to look for one. - 5/20/2010   2:36:50 PM
  • 46
    I haven't had any blisters since I started, but chafing has been a problem in between my thighs. I'm going to have to invest in some tighter shorts to wear beneath my current ones. - 5/20/2010   2:19:53 PM
  • 45
    I didn't usually have a problem in training but by the time I got to about mile 9 or 10 on race day I've had chafing on my arms from the seams on my top. So I switched to a seamless style for future races. - 5/20/2010   2:02:01 PM
  • 44
    Great article! I'm just beginning to start jogging and I found an article that says if you tend to get bllisters on your feet, cover the area with duct tape while you run. Duct tape can also be used over the mesh areas of your shoes if running in the rain...if the rain stops, just pull the duct tape off and keep going! Looking forward to the rest of this series.....thanks Nancy!!! - 5/20/2010   12:57:36 PM
  • 43
    All I can say is that these are some great tips. - 5/20/2010   11:19:09 AM
  • MOMMALYNP8
    42
    I pulled a tendon around my achilles heel this winter, four months ago, and I still wake up with a limp. This has definitely been a "bump" in my running habit. Where I used to run 3 times a week, it is now about once a week. Any suggestions? Anyone heard of comfrey poultices? I am trying different things. - 5/20/2010   11:13:01 AM
  • 41
    Great article....I'm disabled and can't run, but my daughter, her hubby and their 3 girls do. I read this article with the intentions of sharing the information with them. I was surprised to find that it contained a lot of information that is helpful to me. Thank you! - 5/20/2010   10:13:27 AM
  • 40
    Looking forward to the article on gastrointestinal issue. - 5/20/2010   10:12:50 AM
  • 39
    Liquid Bandage!! Great suggestion and I never would have thought of it....and I thought I had tried everything. Nothing worse than getting halfway or so through a run and having the nipple pain - it feels like they are on fire. I've had mine bleed so badly on a 10 miler I looked like I had been stabbed twice in the chest. - 5/20/2010   9:56:02 AM
  • 38
    Guys - If you ever have a problem with nipples chafing or bleeding, New-Skin liquid bandage is the best. Apply a dab to each nip and you will never have a problem. - 5/20/2010   9:50:49 AM
  • 37
    I've had bad bra-line chafing but not from running yet, rather from other workouts like kick boxing. Thanks for the tips! Also-I would like to wear the snug-fitting tops & shorts as mentioned, but any suggestions for plus-sized women's styles? I would like to be more comfortable working out but not look like a 10 lb. sausage stuffed in a 5 lb. casing! - 5/20/2010   9:16:29 AM
  • 36
    Body Glide totally does the trick for me - my bra line area used to end up bleeding, the chafing was so bad. Never happens if I remember the Body Glide.
    Hydration is a problem for me because I HATE carrying water in any form (water bottles or Camelbak). I have actually gone to the trouble of stashing water bottles along my route when I'm running more than 10 miles.
    Looking forward to the GI discussion. I am terribly gassy - unable to control the, um, exit of the gas with the impact of running, and I'm worried about being embarrassed during the race I have coming up. Hope there's a solution to that! - 5/20/2010   8:50:16 AM
  • 35
    Tech fabrics, body glide, not overdressing. (should feel coolish at the start) Also clothes that fit correctly. Removing soggy clothes and showering ASAP.
    That's what works for me and I'm a heavy sweater.
    In the heat of summer on long runs, I usually still experience some chafing, but this helps to minimize it. - 5/20/2010   8:48:07 AM
  • JUHOEG
    34
    Great article - 5/20/2010   8:11:19 AM
  • CRANKYCRONE1
    33
    When I first started on the treadmill I was running through bandaids like nobody's business. But then I invested in a package of silicone toe caps which seem to have solved the problem for me. - 5/20/2010   8:06:43 AM
  • 32
    This also applies to walkers.
    charlie horses while walking/running is what I experience way to much - 5/20/2010   7:50:04 AM
  • 31
    I'd like to see more about how to stay hydrated on a run. Carrying a water bottle with me while running is inconvenient (and it makes the water warm) because they just don't sit comfortably in my hands, but I'm used to drinking up to 24oz. of water during a longer cardio session. What's a runner to do?

    I'm also very curious about the GI issues to come.... I can't be the only person who feels gassy whenever she works out...... - 5/20/2010   7:06:49 AM
  • 30
    The moment i start to jog or jump may be because og my heavy weight my shin bone starts paining...what to do.. some one please tell me the solution for this. - 5/20/2010   6:53:31 AM
  • WHOLY_FIT_48
    29
    One of the best things I did when I got serious about running was to go to the local running specialty store here in town where they fitted me for the proper shoes and they did that for free. I needed a full size larger than my street shoe size and a pair that was wider in the toe area because my front part of the foot really flattens out when I come down. The only thing I have experienced was a blister on my foot in the inner arch area, most likely due to cotton socks instead of wicking ones and that is calloused over now so no more problems. Plus I did buy some good wicking socks. In these cases, the extra $ spent on good running equipment is, in my opinion, worth it. So far I haven't experienced any chafing but that may come as I begin to run in warmer summer weather here in N. IL. - 5/20/2010   5:53:52 AM
  • 28
    Forget the Bodyglide and moleskin... simple Vaseline and bandaids work great! A lot of guys put bandaids over their nipples then they run long distances (like marathons), and I used to put Vaseline on my inner thighs to prevent chafing. Sounds kind of gross but it definitely works. I'd also put bandaids on my feet in spots where I thought I might develop blisters as a preventative measure. - 5/20/2010   2:37:02 AM
  • 27
    If the shoes are too tight, for me, can get cramps easier, feel as if blood can't move in my feet. But I usually avoid running, don't have good gears - running shoes, very supportive sport bra - 5/20/2010   1:13:32 AM
  • 26
    I used to have trouble with chafing while walking in the summer as I got heavier. Since starting running, I have not. My biggest problem is having to go to the bathroom! anywhere from .1 to 2 miles into a run. So I end up running on an indoor track more of the time. Since the last race I tried to run May 8, 2010 Mother's Day weekend.Pain in the out side of my legs starting about .3 to .7 into my run. a fellow runner/Dr said try step stretches I did that the second time and they help me finish the 4 miles I did that day. - 5/20/2010   12:53:31 AM
  • 25
    I run barefoot on in minimalist shoes and that has helped a lot with my foot/knee problems. Because I have lost so much weight my biggest issue is the apron of extra skin that hangs down. Anti-chafing lotion & compression garments are a must when I run. If I skip them I end up with quite a rash from chafing beneath my extra skin areas. - 5/19/2010   11:38:23 PM
  • 24
    Great suggestions. These don't mean that you need to buy expensive clothing. Remember, even during the cold months you sweat. Clothes that wick are pretty essential. - 5/19/2010   11:31:23 PM
  • 23
    Im a newbie when it comes to running...@ 230lbs and 40 years this information was vital. Ive not had any of the issues mention so far. I do have a hip that seems to ache more after a run. I normally take aleve and run every other day. This seems to help. For the first time in my life I can honestly say I enjoy running and I dont wont to stop now! - 5/19/2010   11:15:44 PM
  • 22
    Body Glide is the most FABULOUS invention EVER. I am a woman. I have thighs. And like many others, they rub together...they just DO. They won't ever NOT do it either. But that Body Glide stuff is wonderful...I like to run in running skirts, and it helps SOOOO much with the chafing (which is incredibly uncomfortable...) there! - 5/19/2010   11:14:46 PM
  • 21
    I used the clear desitin to help with chaffing. it worked really well. - 5/19/2010   11:01:54 PM
  • JBARBER1953
    20
    Great article. My issue is more about sciatic nerve pain. - 5/19/2010   10:31:49 PM
  • 19
    I was sidelined for about a week and a half because my bigtoe toenail fell off!!! It was really tender and i reached down and it was practically only holding on by a thread. The good news is that its no longer painful, the bad news I have no idea how its going to do when I run my ten-miler in june. I ran 4 miles tonight and it felt fine so im hopeful :) - 5/19/2010   10:30:48 PM
  • 18
    I've had the problem with chafing under my stomach and breasts and I had to get medication from my family doctor it was so bad. He said to make sure that I use a good powder when it's warm out and I'm going to be out walking or exercising. - 5/19/2010   10:28:30 PM
  • GAVALEK
    17
    This is very valuable information. I love running but because of my weight, i frequently get chafing of the thights and this gives me an excellent reference to solve that problem.
    Thanks - 5/19/2010   9:47:43 PM
  • 16
    great info!! Good running shoes are so key! To prolong the life of my sneakers I buy Dr. Scholl's athletic inserts. They are about $13. I tend to get shin splints (which tells me its time to buy new sneaks) but with the inserts it buys me a few more months. - 5/19/2010   8:21:41 PM
  • 15
    great info!! Good running shoes are so key! To prolong the life of my sneakers I buy Dr. Scholl's athletic inserts. They are about $13. I tend to get shin splints (which tells me its time to buy new sneaks) but with the inserts it buys me a few more months. - 5/19/2010   8:21:40 PM
  • 14
    Good to know! Running a 5K in June, husband and son are running the 1/2 marathon the next day. My husband has had all of the probs mentioned and it was good to see what I could do as I enter this hobby to prevent some of these.
    ~Keep Running! - 5/19/2010   8:08:04 PM
  • 13
    To avoid blisters, try the double-layered anti-blister socks. Any running store sells them. I used to get them all the time and I haven't had even a hint of a one since. (Ran a half-marathon on the weekend and no blister issues!) - 5/19/2010   7:30:38 PM
  • 12
    Such a practical article! Thank you!

    I get nervous when I see my SparkFriends get hurt running (it seems to happen so often :-O ). My spouse has recently started running, so I will keep this article handy! - 5/19/2010   7:26:16 PM
  • 11
    I get blisters on the tops of my toes and the inner sides of my feet (halfway between the balls of my feet and the top of the arch) -- they're annoying. I know the problem is probably my shoes, which seem to rub a little there, but I won't have money for new shoes till September. I'm hoping to grow some calluses. :)

    I'm looking forward to your discussion of side stitches -- they are the limiting factor for running speed when I run! My legs feel fine, my cardiovascular system is fine, but I get those cramps EVERY TIME I try to go a little faster, especially down hills -- SO frustrating! - 5/19/2010   7:13:54 PM

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›


Join SparkPeople.com

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 9! Get a FREE Personalized Plan