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UW Medicine Articles & Running Tips


  1. The goal to blister prevention and happy feet is reducing friction between your foot and the sock/shoe.

  2. Main strategies to reduce friction include:

    • Reduce moisture

    • Reduce loads you carry while running (backpacks, etc.)

    • Properly fit shoewear

    • Use moisture wicking socks

    • Make sure your shoes are “broken in” prior to race day.

    • Also make sure your feet are “broken in” (the more challenges your feet have had over time, the more adapted and resilient they will become to the frictional stresses induced by marathon running)

  3. What’s been shown to work well?

    • Polyester or acrylic socks (socks made of material that wicks moisture away) (not cotton or wool socks that absorb moisture)

    • Powders: Be careful with powders, as they tend to clump when moist and thus can be a source of irritation and friction

    • Dry salts (aluminum chloride) used in the days prior to an event—however, these salts can be irritating to the skin and thus some runners can’t tolerate using them.

  4. What interventions are promising but without specific clinical evidence?

    • Second-skin

    • Blist-o-ban

    • Body glide

    • Duct tape

    • Petroleum jelly



  1. Train wisely—increase mileage in gradual increments (no greater than 10% per week)

  2. Wear appropriately supportive shoes, and change them when worn down (typically when you reached 300-400 miles of use)

  3. Stretch the front thigh muscles (quadriceps)

  4. Strengthen the outside hip muscles (hip abductors) in order to have better control of the thigh bone (femur) as well as the knee cap (patella) tracking over the femur.

  5. Use a neoprene knee sleeve or taping techniques to support your knee cap for early symptomatic treatment.

For more information, see Runner’s Knee article.



  1. Use a foam role for self massage (it hurts, but can be exceedingly helpful to keep you running)

  2. Ice the outside of the knee if painful after runs

  3. Stretch, stretch, stretch...

    • the IT Band and its muscle of origin at the hip (tensor fascia lata)

  4. Strengthen, strengthen, strengthen...

    • the hip abductors (outside hip muscles, gluteus medius)

    • preferentially over the tensor fascia lata (which tends to be overactive and overused in runners with IT Band syndrome and other lower limb overuse injuries)

For more information, see IT Band Syndrome article.



  1. Determine the predicted weather conditions for your race

  2. Choose a day before your race that will have similar weather conditions to race day (in temperature and humidity) for a one hour simulation run

  3. Weigh yourself unclothed before your run

  4. Put your running clothes on

  5. Run for one hour without drinking or eating anything, at marathon pace

  6. Undress, dry yourself off and weigh yourself again unclothed

  7. The weight difference is the amount of fluid you’ve lost

    • 1 pound = 16 ounces

    • Thus, if you lost 1 pound during this one hour run, you need to drink 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes to replace your losses and stay appropriately hydrated.

For more information, see Hydration Strategies article.

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