Monday, March 1, 2010

The Joys of Vaseline....

A Spring-like day, and by some reckonings today is the first day of Spring.

Expect to see hordes of eager and earnest walkers on our roads from now on, and a big leap in the number of entries.

So now may be the time to impart my promised knowledge of the pitfalls the first time walker needs to avoid.


1 The more you do, the better you will perform. You are less likely to be injured and you will get further. Lack of enough training has been my downfall, even when I finish.

And here is what I have learned from my post-walk visits to Hospital:-

2 Doctors and Nurses laugh at you, and stick your feet in agonising bowls of salty water and secretly video your agony for the amusement of their friends

3 The muscle alongside each shin is packed in tight and the fitter you can get those muscles, the better the blood supply to the muscles will be. If those muscles are not fit, over 85 miles, not enough blood gets to the muscle and there can be an infarction of the muscle – that is a death of muscle. That happened to me (and many others) and causes agony for weeks after – and a nasty side effect is that you get micro-fractures of the shin bone.

Or that is what a masochistic Doctor at Noble’s told me, at the same time banning me from playing football for three months. Doctors always tell the truth of course.

4 The cure for that is in your method of training – if you are non-athletic – go for shortish (4-5 mile) walks as fast as you can. Really give it stick and you will feel the tightness of those muscles. Unless you feel that, you are not doing enough. Proper athletes like the top walkers already have that fitness.

5 Next – cut your toenails. The jarring of your toes on the edge of your trainers, particularly going downhill from the Round Table will cause you problems. Get your nails as short as possible. You may well still lose nails, but you will find them again, months later when you are making your bed....

6 Don’t buy or use 1000 Mile “Blister-Free” socks. I wore 1000 mile socks for the year of that infamous picture of my feet. And the 1000 Mile socks had done their damage by the time I got to Peel. I knew things were not good, took my trainers off at Peel to have a look and only my experience of viewing many post mortems enabled me to carry on. I wrote to the manufactures and tried to claim 915/1000's of my £10 back. They didn’t reply.

7 Get your socks from a site called “Running Bear” as recommended by Steve Partington – I have had fewer problems since using those.

8 VASELINE, VASELINE, VASELINE. I was slow to accept The Joys of Vaseline but now I cannot get enough. Stuff your shoes and socks with the stuff. And don’t forget to grease your erogenous zones.

You know where they are.

9 I never used to stop at all, but the last couple of finishes I have stopped just after Jurby and changed my undershirt, cleaned the blood off my feet, re-Vaselined and changed socks. That break really refreshes me, only takes about 3 or 4 minutes, and gives you a renewed burst of energy.

10 There is a limit to the number of pints of Okells you should drink as you walk past the Mitre at Kirk Michael. Just because they are free doesn’t mean they are good for you….

11 Whisper it, but Solpadeine can be Your Friend…..

More Vaseline based tales soon.....


  1. Dudley, really enjoy reading all the blogs- can't seem to get enough so keep up the good work. I am drawing an awful lot of comparisons from all your highs and lows in training and racing- nice to see we all share a lot of these things but it makes me wonder why we keep putting ourselves through it time and time again?! I must mention something that may help here with your list esp. point 3. SPORTS MASSAGE. At this time of year as the mileage does increase it is vitally important to not only do the training etc etc but to also look after tired and over worked limbs, feet, backs legs etc. A good sports massage and stretch routine is very important and will pay huge dividends in the long and short term. The benefits have been spoken about in great detail so I wont go into that now. I wish you well with the blog, training, getting rid of TGS! and the race itself. PS I didn't know pints were free at the Mitre- that will just make it harder to walk past now!!!

  2. I used to use vaseline on my feet but I found that would cause my foot to move within my sock and it started to cause problems.