It’s the golden rule of race day: don’t start changing things around. Your blister prevention intentions may be well-meaning, but don’t:
- Save your new shoes for race day
- Pull a new pair of socks from their packet
- Start using a new kind of tape, or taping technique
- Try a lubrincant instead of the usual powder you use
- Wear a shirt you don’t usually run in
- Stretch your hammy a different way
- You get my drift
Don’t change a thing for race day
Break the golden rule of race day and you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Introducing that new variable puts everything into doubt. Sure, it may be well-intentioned. But it’s untested. It’s unpredictable. Here are the two most common one’s I hear about.
Don’t save your new shoes for race day. Even if they’re the same brand and model of shoe you’ve been wearing in training – don’t pull a new pair out of the box on race day. Or even the day before race day. And maybe not even a week before race day (you don’t get the chance to really test them on your taper). They’ll be a bit stiffer than the ones you’ve been training in. The insole will be brand new and you don’t notice any irritation until it’s too late. Or maybe you won’t have the right tension in your laces and by the time you figure it out, you’ve got a heel blister to deal with. Or they might be slightly different in some other way you can’t even see.
Don’t grab that new pair of socks you bought last week. Even if you know they should be better because they’re more moisture-wicking than the brand you normally wear. Leave them at home. There might be something about them that doesn’t suit your skin. Or they might take up a bit more room in your shoe and squash your toes together ever-so-slightly too much.
Are you really happy to chance it – after all the training you’ve done and money you’ve spent to get here?