ULTRA TRAIL RUNNING AND BLISTERS, THE TIPS TO AVOID THEM
Are Ultra Trail Running and blisters an inevitable combination? Maybe not, find out the tips to avoid them and finish the race!
Are you preparing an endurance trail like the Tor Des Geants 330km or the Tor Des Glaciers 450km or even “just” a Tor Dret or other 170km races? Are you worried about your feet?
Have you ever competed in very long and difficult races and, unfortunately, had to deal with blisters? Have you ever experienced that unpleasant sensation, if not even the continuous strong pain, which has tormented you for hours and even days .. sometimes forcing you to withdraw?
Your concern and negative experiences are shared by many ultra trail runners. In fact, it is very common that in the summer, during Ultra Trails or Endurance Ultra Trail races, large or small blisters suddenly appear and ruin our goal race.
The goal we worked for a whole year!
How do blisters form in ultra trail races?
The problem appears above all in very complex Ultra Trails or Endurance Ultra Trail races or in shorter races but with high temperatures … like this year.
Blisters appear on the skin due to the continuous rubbing of the skin with the sock and shoe.
The reason for the friction is often associated with swelling of the foot which increases its volume for two reasons:
- excessive heat
- many hours of racing
Often the causes interact together.
Under the skin a serum is formed which, in most cases, increases even more the thickness and consequently the rubbing.
The vicious circle continues, progressively over time, because the skin becomes weak and loses its elasticity until it breaks. In severe cases, the skin peels off and the rubbing continues even on living flesh, causing major lacerations, blood loss and shrinkage. We sincerely wish you not to reach the most critical point, which as TRM Coaches we had to manage, despite all the prevention, from the 500th kilometer to the Transpyrenea 898Km in 2016 …. which fortunately we concluded in an excellent position!
Tips to prevent blisters in ultra trail races
There are several ways to prevent blisters, you can learn more about in the article “How to prevent and treat blisters in Ultra Trails“
But the simplest way, especially if you have no experience in long workouts is to:
- sprinkle the foot with petroleum jelly
- use specific socks against blisters
This article presents a pair of socks that have been used for 8 months of testing and today constitute the inevitable kit of TRM Coaches and Athletes when they participate in long distance trail races.
The best trail running socks against blisters for ultra trail races
Despite the brand in question has numerous models of sports socks, we have chosen and adopted the CimaAlp X2 Mid model in red and black because it matches most of the rest of sportswear.
This sock is designed with a type of particularly resistant fabric in the points of greatest contact and friction of the foot with the sock and the shoe. The CimAlp X2 are produced with a double layer of fabric on the heel, this specific structure means that the rubbing and friction is discharged between the “two” socks and not on the skin of the foot; thus avoiding the formation of annoying blisters or other abrasions.
In the lower part, under the arch, there is an anti-chafing fabric design that reduces friction with the shoe and a reinforcement on the front near the fingers. In addition, the CimAlp X2 are produced with seamless finishes, seams practically non-existent to the touch. Finally, the sock is woven with NANOGLIDE® fabric fibers. These technological fibers guarantee excellent breathability, reducing the temperature of the foot and, consequently, the possible production of sweat that could weaken the skin, as occurs when the foot is wet and dirty.
To conclude the description of the sock, from the point of view of comfort we have a classic right / left anatomical shape with relative indication. While the hem above the ankle is designed in such a way as to avoid annoying compression on the calf and offer good protection at the level of the Achilles tendon. The CimAlp X2 Mid are available in different colors besides the one indicated in red / black. The white and gray color mix is mixed with pink, blue and orange.
The socks are unisex size with measures suitable for all sizes of man or woman foot:
- S: 36-38
- M: 39-41
- L: 42-44
- XL: 45-47
Enjoy your races and training!
Read also our article on: BLISTER PREVENTION AND TREATMENT IN ULTRA TRAILS
*photo credits: Carreras por montaña
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