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How To Effectively Avoid Getting Blisters During Long Runs Without Costing A Dime

Apr 13, 2016 05:02 AM EDT
10 Soldiers 10 Marathons In 5 days
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 05: Amelia Offord (paramedic) examines the blistered feet of a Royal Engineer from 39 Engineer Regiment, Cambridge shortly after they arrive at the finishing line at St Dunstan's Rehab And Training Centre In Ovingdean at the end of their tenth and final marathon that they have endured in just five days to raise awareness and money for St Dunstans on November 5, 2010 in Brighton, England.
(Photo : Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

One of the worst nightmares that can happen to long distance runners or endurance athletes is developing blisters on their feet, causing them to literally mess up their game.

Athletes are not the only ones who dread blisters so much. Men in boots and women in heels are also affected by this painful plague.

Due to the pain and nuisance being caused by blisters, many researchers have devised a couple of ways to battle it out. These ways include the use of powders, antiperspirants, lubricants, tapes and adhesive pads.

Though many use some of the above-mentioned products to prevent blisters, there is still no concrete evidence that they do work. Now, here comes the game-changer -- paper tape!

Yes, you read it right. This easy-to-tear, over-the-counter tapes used in surgeries and wound treatment have been proven to effectively prevent blisters.

To prove its effectiveness, Dr. Grant Lipman, an emergency medicine physician at Stanford Health Care in California, and his colleagues recruited 128 runners participating in the RacingThePlanet ultramarathon event, a 155-mile, six-stage race that crosses the Gobi Desert and arid landscapes across Jordan and Madagascar, Science Daily reported.

Before the race, trained medical technicians applied the tape in blister-prone areas on one of the runners' foot while the other foot was not taped, which will serve as the control for the experiment.

During the course of the seven-day race, medical technologist followed the runners to re-apply the paper tape. Researchers then discovered that 98 out of the 128 runners did not develop blisters on their taped foot while 81 of the 128 got blisters on the foot with no tape.

"It's kind of a ridiculously cheap, easy method of blister prevention," Lipman said in a statement. "You can get it anywhere. A little roll coasts about 69 cents, and that should last a year or two."

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