Whether you are a novice to running, or a seasoned professional, acquiring blisters is unfortunately an inevitable annoyance we all have to endure. They can come about due to many a reason: your shoes being too old, or too new, or breaking in new spikes, hot weather, new terrain or a pair of unsuitable socks. The fact is, if you’re running a lot, you’re going to run into a lot of blisters. No big deal, right? Wrong, blisters can cause more harm than you would of originally thought, more particularly if they are in areas that cause discomfort or pain when you are running.
What do you do when running normally is painful? Do you continue to run the exact same? No, you do not. You alter your running stride to make it more comfortable and to ease the pain. You may think that is doesn’t cause much harm, that you are running slightly differently than the norm but at least you can still complete your workout. However, these changes in stride and form, however minute they may be, they can be fairly detrimental. If you alter your stride, you start to use muscles that you do not usually use. This means you are exerting forces through parts of your body that are not used to it, therefore they are not strong enough to cope with the stress that comes along with it.
Exert a higher load onto a muscle not strong enough and you have a very clear recipe for an injury. Usually, when you have blisters on your feet and alter your stride, the tendon that suffers is the Achilles Tendon, with a lot of tears and strains in that area coming from an alteration in your stride. These kind of injuries can bug you for a long time, yet can be caused by a blister. I hope now you can see why blisters should be taken more seriously.
Now, yes it is inevitable that you will acquire a few blisters in your running career, yet there are ways to help reduce the frequency of their occurrence. For example, make sure you replace your shoes before they get too old, not when its too late; break in your new running shoes before jumping straight into a workout; where running specific socks, with sufficient padding and breathable material. Ultimately, when you do get a blister, evaluate it’s severity and know that it is okay to miss a workout because of it.