When you're just running for fun, the occasional blister is not particularly worrisome. You just take a few days off to let it heal, and get back to running again when it no longer bothers you. When you're seriously training for a race, however, you don't really want to take time off for some silly blisters. Missing a few key workouts could mean the difference between a disappointing time and setting a new personal best. To power through your training and care for your blisters at the same time, follow these steps:

Step #1: Pierce the blister.

Experts recommend against popping blisters unless doing so is necessary. In this case, popping your blister is definitely necessary. Letting it pop on its own while you're wearing your sweaty socks and running shoes will expose it to bacteria that could cause infection. By deliberately popping your blister, you can make sure it's at least done in a sanitary way.

Before you pop your blister, wash your feet and hands thoroughly with soapy water. Then, sterilize a sharp needle by dipping it in rubbing alcohol. Puncture the blister with a needle, and then use your clean fingers to ease the fluid out. Dab on a little antibiotic cream, and cover the blister with an adhesive bandage.

Step #2: Let the blister breathe.

After leaving your blister covered for a few hours so the antibiotic cream has a chance to work, it's time to uncover it. This will help dry the area out to speed healing. When you're not running, wear shoes that expose the blister, such as sandals or flip flops, so that it gets plenty of air.

Step #3: Protect the blister while running.

Put an adhesive bandage over the blister before heading out for your run, and remove it again as soon as you're done running. This helps prevent your shoes from rubbing on the blister and making it worse. Avoid running in wet or humid weather, since this may cause additional blisters to form. Head inside to the treadmill to train when the weather is not cool and dry. The treadmill is not fun, but it's what you have to do if you want your foot to heal in time for the race.

Make sure you're wearing moisture wicking socks whenever you run, as these will keep your blister from getting worse while also preventing future blisters from forming. It's a common myth that wearing two pairs of socks helps with blisters – this will just make matters worse by increasing the friction inside your shoe. Also, don't run in new shoes when you're healing a blister, as they might make it worse.

If you follow the tips above, your blister should heal substantially within a few days, and you should not have to make major modifications to your training. It's important to keep a close eye on your blister throughout the healing process. If it becomes increasingly inflamed and red, or if it begins exuding pus, it's probably infected and you should seek treatment from a doctor or podiatrist like Pinker & Associates before continuing to run.