In this video, I’ll be discussing the impact of blisters in ultramarathon events and how to prepare. We’ll cover things like the gear you’ll need, and what preventive or treatment measures you can take to keep you on your feet in relative comfort til you cross the finish line.
Warning 2: Be prepared to see some gory blister photos. While it can come as a shock, it’s important to see examples of certain blisters so you can compare them to your blister history and to figure out what you’re dealing with.
First, let’s be under no illusion. Foot blisters are a big deal in ultramarathon. Here are some stats to back that up. Five pieces of research specific to ultramarathon, looking specifically at blister incidence and their impact.
1. 2009 Western States Endurance Run and the Vermont 100 Endurance Races USA [both 161km]
Blisters severe enough to affect race performance:
40.1% of finishers
17.3% of non-finishers
Blisters stated at the main reason given for dropping out 5.8%
Hoffman MD, Fogard K. Factors related to successful completion of a 161-km ultramarathon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6(1):25-37. doi:10.1123/ijspp.6.1.25
Krabak BJ, Waite B, Schiff MA. Study of injury and illness rates in multiday ultramarathon runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(12):2314-2320. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318221bfe3
Hoffman MD, Pasternak A, Rogers IR, et al. Medical services at ultra-endurance foot races in remote environments: Medical issues and consensus guidelines. Sport Med. 2014;44(8):1055-1069. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0189-3
Lipman GS, Ellis MA, Lewis EJ, et al. A Prospective Randomized Blister Prevention Trial Assessing Paper Tape in Endurance Distances (Pre-TAPED). Wilderness Environ Med. 2014;25(4):457-461. doi:10.1016/j.wem.2014.06.013
Lipman GS, Sharp LJ, Christensen M, et al. Paper Tape Prevents Foot Blisters: A Randomized Prevention Trial Assessing Paper Tape in Endurance Distances II (Pre-TAPED II). Clin J Sport Med. 2016;26(5):362-368. doi:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000319
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Ultra Blister Kit
Blister Prevention's Ultra Blister Kit is the perfect kit for ultramarathon events. Contains 60+ blister care components & instructions.