It has taken 40 years of research but scientists have finally found an easy way of preventing blisters … and it has been available in the local chemist since the 19th century.
Runners should throw away their expensive blister plasters and lubricants if they want to prevent painful rubbing and switch to cheap surgical tape.
Stanford University has discovered that binding the feet with sticky tape is the most effective way to stop blisters from forming.
When tested on endurance runners just 24pc developed blisters in the taped areas compared with 63pc in areas which had been left untaped.
Dr Grant Lipman, of Stanford University, has worked as an emergency doctor for many ultramarathons and said despite the harsh conditions and extreme exercise, people complained most about blisters.
"What I kept hearing was, 'Doctor, I'd be doing so well, if only for my feet,'" said Dr Lipman, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine. "Their feet were getting decimated."
Surgical tape was originally invented in 1845 by surgeon Horace Day. Today's tape is mostly made of sticky microporous paper. Although it is meant to be used for wound treatment it has the benefit of only being mildly adhesive so even if blisters do occur it does not tear them.
In 2014, Dr Lipman and recruited 128 runners participating in the 155-mile, six-stage ultramarathon event that crosses deserts around the globe.
Paper surgical tape was applied to just one of each of the runners' feet. The untaped areas of the same foot served as a control zone. The tape was applied to either the participants' blister-prone areas or, if they had no blister history, to randomly selected locations on the foot.
For 98 of the 128 runners, no blisters formed where the tape had been applied, whereas 81 of the 128 got blisters in untaped areas.
I have begun a love affair with the FitBit, mainly because it appears to be suggesting that I'm not quite as lazy as I suspected. If you were to have asked me before I snapped the all-knowing pink band around my wrist, I would have guessed that I walk maybe half a km around the park with the dogs early in the morning. It turns out that our normal jaunt actually covers 2km and almost 3,000 steps for me - the dogs must easily do about 20,000 as they zip around the place off-lead.
Living With Cancer
One-in-three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime — that’s a shocking figure but will come as no surprise to most of us who have experienced the ravages of this horrific disease first hand.
After losing 7lbs last week on the Atkins diet, I decided to keep it going for another week, while I was on a roll, like. Mind you, if you saw a knickerbocker glory sliding down the throat of someone who looked suspiciously like me in Roly's Bistro on Thursday evening, well that was just a delicious coincidence.
This week, I decided it was high time I pulled on my fancy new trainers, and got up off my bum to get some walking done. In another moment of madness, which I seem to be having too many of lately, I agreed to do a 5k walk in Carlow last Sunday that had been organised to raise funds for The Rise Foundation.
Health & Wellbeing
Fitness walking is often used by athletes as a component of an effective cross training programme. It complements cycling, swimming, running and walking and, combined with weight training, is the choice for losing excess fat and weight. Walking burns fat for energy where other activities will run on carbohydrates, which burn short-term energy.