Here’s a question I received a while back—but is relevant anytime. I’ll have some extra comments after the Q&A.
I am hoping you can give me some advice. I am running AC 100 in three weeks, and the last couple of long training runs I have done on the course, I have had hotspots on the bottom of my foot, near the front of my foot, just before my toes. The hot spot lingers several days after my runs as well, but I don’t have any blisters. I am getting a little nervous because it is very uncomfortable after only 20 – 25 miles. I can’t imagine going 100 miles with that pain. I was wondering if you had any advice for both now (in preparation for the race) and during the race?
Just one foot? Same shoes and socks as before? Any healing skin or blisters on the foot? How much walking are you doing, versus running? Old or fairly new shoes? Are you applying any lubricant to the balls of your feet, and if so, what kind?
There are several things you can do immediately. Order a pack of Engo Blister Prevention Patches from ENGO or through Amazon. Get several of the large rectangle patches. They are about 3” x 4” and they go on your insoles right under the ball of your foot. These are very thin, slick, and excellent at reducing friction. Put them on the insoles when they are dry. Rub them on well. You may have problems with your metatarsal heads, which are in the ball of the foot. Make sure your shoes are wide enough. Any numbness or tingling in your toes? You could pre-tape the ball(s) of your foot to help protect the skin.
During the race, keep your feet as dry as possible. If it’s hot and you want to pour water over your head, lean forward so the water doesn’t go down into your shoes. If you don’t, wear gaiters to keep junk out of your shoes. Because many of today’s shoes have mesh uppers, be alert for dust, dirt, and grit in your socks and shoes. These can cause irritation and hot spots. Have extra socks in your drop bags and change them when you can.
Feedback to My Suggestions
So, I did change my shoes in the last month. I changed to the Hoka Speedgoat3. I love them because of the cushioning and the traction on the bottom for technical trails especially. They do not appear to be too narrow, although I do need a wider toe box (typically wore Saucony’s). And the hotspot is only on the ball of my left foot. No problem with my right foot. I also use RunGoo on my feet before I put my socks on.
I will order the Engo blister patches, but really only have this week to try them out. Should I use the lubricant on my feet in addition to the patches in my shoes? I really appreciate your help! I am desperate and will try anything to prevent a painful race!
There are several things to point out. First, I start out by asking for more information. This can affect my response, especially if the athlete does not provide all the information I need.
Second, I can tell from the question that there is a deadline—in this case, three weeks until the AC 100 race. The deadline means my answer has to provide immediate help. There could be more contact later to determine if there is a biomechanical or footwear issue that needs to be addressed.
Third, I gave one main suggestion about the ENGO Patches. Then I gave a few other suggestions that could also help during race day.