Sunday, 12 June 2011
12th June 2011
Right, most of you will have some sort of rudimentary first aid kit, some of you will be first aided up to the eyeballs. I've got this which I've added to over the years, and it travels with me everywhere when I race. There is nothing more annoying than needing something in the middle of the night and finding you've forgotten to pack it, or maybe didn't consider it at all. I'll list all I have here and anyone wishing to make the full 85 miles can checklist off what they might need. Also, if there is something obvious I've forgotten, let me know. Please!
1. A good box. Got to carry it all in something, a clear tupperware box lets you see in in case of urgency.
2. Baby wipes. A good, anti bacterial wipe in case of rash, sweat, over use of various creams (wipe them off and start again) and great for getting rid of sticky hands and face.
3. Kitchen roll. Dry wipes and good for applying tcp or savlon. Clean and dry for application, better than that shammy you have in the car for cleaning squashed flies that clog up the windscreen.
4. Pain Relief. I use Ibuprofen and Co-codamol. Ibuprofen eases pain by reducing swelling. Co-codamol is a mix of codeine and paracetamol, so altogether attacking pain from three angles while not overdosing on any. The problem with pain killers is that the body has to clear them out of the system so use sparingly. Also, if in any doubt, ask your doctor or chemist which is best for you.
5. Plasters and tape. Blister plasters, I think we all know Compeed are the best for blisters. A roll of sticky plaster for emergencies, and ordinary plasters for any other cuts. I don't know, you could brush against a rose thorn, or maybe trip up and fall over. It's for emergencies. Better to have it and not want it than want it and not have it.
6. Savlon cream. This is good for when you start chaffing. Apply liberally for immediate relief.
7. TCP. Liquid antiseptic. Does exactly what it says on the bottle. For cuts and grazes and a good mouthwash, although don't swallow!
8. Foot cooling gel. You can get this from boots, and I shouldn't have to tell you what it does...
9. Foot cooling spray. This stuff is good for hot feet, a quick stop and spray on the soles is refreshing.
10. Chafe ease, body glide and vaseline. All used pre race to prevent chaffing, apply liberally before starting. It's better to feel greasy and icky than painful. If it's going to be wet all day, a good coating of vaseline on the feet keeps them relatively dry and help prevent wet shoe blisters.
11. Ibugel forte 10%, Deep heat. Ibuprofen gel is anti swelling for muscle pain, Deep heat is similar but warms muscles up so opening blood vessels for quicker healing. Both for sore muscles.
12. Ice Gel. Analgesic ice gel for muscular or foot pain, Cool muscles instead of heating them up, analgesic for pain relief.
13. Morgan Blue ice. Foot cooling application for pre race to keep feet cool.
14. Compression bandage. A couple of quid from Tesco, support for sore muscles. Just slip on for compression.
15. Pressure pads and callus relief pads for feet. You don't know what will happen to your feet so nice to have. Slip them into your trainers for support and cushioning.
16. Vapour rub. Some on your chest for help breathing. Footballers use it all the time, although they overdo it a bit and end up looking like they've sneezed on their chest.
17. Lip Balm, medicated if possible because your lips will dry. Vanilla flavour is nice. I believe Katy Perry likes cherry flavour...
18. Orajel. Or anything for inner mouth pain. Your mouth will dry and become susceptible to infection.
19. Gaviscon. Setlers. To settle the stomach.
20. Trapped wind or gas remedies. Sodium bicarbonate tablets or similar. If you take these, warn the person walking behind you...
21 Sun cream. Banana boat do a great sport sun cream, factor 50, 3 way protection and will not come of when you start sweating. It's surprisingly easy to burn while walking, even under thin cloud, which raises body temperature and tires you out quicker. A good sun cream keeps you a little cooler. Sports sun creams are specially made for athletes and last longer in extreme circumstances.
22. Scissors. For cutting off sticky plaster roll, lengths of compression bandage, annoying gangrenous toes, etc.
23. Tweezers, always good in a first aid kit.
24. Insect repellant. A good fly swatter? Can be incorporated in the sun cream.
25. Lucky four leaf clover. My daughter Nicola found this a week before the 2007 race and it's stayed in my first aid kit in its many incarnations ever since (biscuit tin, canvas bag etc.)
Stowage is important. Things that you hopefully won't need (balms, muscle rubs, insect repellant etc) on the bottom, definite items (savlon, blister plasters and anti chafe etc.) on the top. Makes sense, but easy to just forget and chuck it all in. Wet wipes and kitchen roll live on the dashboard and can be thrown to you while the car is in motion. If possible the first aid kit should stay handy rather than getting slowly buried in the boot under used clothes and food wrappers.
If I've forgotten anything, I'll add them on.
Hopefully the first aid kit will stay in the car un-needed, but it's good to know it's there.