I am super excited to have the support of Body Glide (check out their Facebook page), who put out products that prevent the ultra runner’s sworn nemeses: blisters and chaffing. In hindsight, it took me surprisingly long to discover the magical powers of Body Glide. As I increased my racing distance from half marathons, to marathons, to 50 milers, I got by using Vaseline, which was messy and needed to be reapplied frequently. Inevitably, I would wind up with feet riddled in blisters and chaffing in unmentionable places. I could grin and bear it until I took on the 100 mile distance. The blisters on my feet after my first 100 miler were so gnarly that my dad nearly took me to the ER (he worries too much). During my second 100 miler, the volunteer medic said he never saw blisters so horrendous. These then got infected and I spent four months on the couch treating my feet (very painful process) with the help of a dermatologist. This is when I read Jon Vanhof’s “Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes” cover-to-cover and discovered Body Glide.
In my opinion, there are a few absolutely essential products in ultra running — aside from the obvious (shoes, food, water) — that people tend to discover the hard way for some reason. These are Body Glide, salt caps, gaiters, and MICROspikes. When I used each of these products for the first time, I wondered how I ever managed without them.
In every race and training run, I carry the mini 0.8 ounce stick of Body Glide in the breast pocket of my running pack and I stash a Body Glide stick in every drop bag. I now finish races free of blisters and chaffing, except when I’m too boneheaded to take the time to reapply some Body Glide every 20 miles or so.