Sore Back

Mungo Mungo

I`m currently training for the Ridgeway 85 miles Ultra in August. Part of my training involves doing back to back long runs of up to (so far) 40 miles.

So I decided with the hot weather approaching (fingers crossed) to get my hydration sorted. I`ve bought a Camelbak HAWG and have fitted two bladders inside - 3L for water and 2L for energy drink.

I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself it looks cool and is very comfortable.

However, after a quick 30-miler over to a friends house this weekend I was in for a bit of a shock. My back is pretty much purple up either side. It`s rather confusing as I was wearing a Nike Fit Dry top which is figure hugging, really very soft and not abrasive. Over that I was wearing a Berghaus jacket and then my rucksack. I really didn`t feel any rubbing at all as all the hip belt and chest strap were done up.

Can anyone give me some advise on how to avoid this rucksack rash.


respectthestupidity respectthestupidity


Hi Mungo,

Welcome to The Bug. That sounds like a mighty fine running challenge you`re training for. Do you have any details of that event, it sounds like one that might interest a few Bug forumites?

As regards the back rash, whenever I run long with a backpack on I lather my back in vaseline. This has always worked for me, even on multi-day ultra`s.

Cheers, and good luck,

Mungo Mungo



cheers for the welcome and the reply, I`ll give it a try next weekend.

The Ridgeway is organised by the Trail Running Association :

85 miles along a 5000 year old trackway through the Chiltern Hills and
North Wessex Downs; Grim?s Ditch and Barbury Castle and Liddington
Castle (hill forts) en route; waymarked throughout; 9,000 feet of ascent;
most check points managed by local running clubs. Support teams
permitted. Entrants must be at least 21 years old.

Starts on the top of Ivinghoe Beacon. Registration in nearby Ashridge
car park from 0830 on 23rd August. 1000 start time for those expecting
to take more than 24 hours; 1200 start time for those expecting to take
less than 24 hours. Transport to start from Tring Station (and possibly
local hotels) subject to prior booking. Finish at National Trust Study
Centre, Avebury, near Marlborough. Meals at Goring-on-Thames (half
way) and at finish. Baggage transport for unsupported entrants to Goring
and then on to finish. No transport back to start. Cut off at Goring
midnight Saturday and at finish 1500 on Sunday 24th August.

Hope to see you all there

Gromit Gromit


can I extend a welcome also! I`m very interested in theRidgeway run and it will fit in well with my planned taper, so you`ll see me there!

Are you saying that your back was Bruised Purple, during a 30 miler, with ony 5kg in weight a (all of which was fluid in bladders) and the pack was fitted tight, so no bouncing?

Are you experiencing any muscle pain as a result? It could just be a pressure rash, if the pack was too tight?
Mungo Mungo


Hi Gromit

good effort on the Spartathlon, I`m hoping to get ready for it in 2009 so I look forward to reading your posts.

Unfortunately, I started the first 15 miles with the rucksack loose and then as my shoulders started to ache I tightened up the hip belt for the last 15. so I`m not sure which is the culprit: loose rubbing or pressure rash. There is no bruising, it was just a deep purple and very sore. A day later it felt like alligator skin. Now the purple scabs are peeling. nice!

I`ll play around with it this weekend and see what happens.


Gromit Gromit


Hi Mungo,
definately sounds more like a friction rash, also the fact that you had two layers on could have added to the issue.

It`s no critisism, of your stategy, but I favour a two 600ml bottle system either on a Raidlite front pack, or on the shoulder straps and a reserve 2ltrs in the bladder.

Ive seen runners during the MdeS leaking vital fluid from their backpacks, unaware that their bladder has been leaking, either because it had been pinched, or the refill seal had worked loose.
Also in endurance ultras, you can`t see how much you have used, or what reserve you have left! One runner in the Namibian Desert Ultra ran out of water 5 miles from the second checkpoint and his race was over!

It is also easier to refill your bottles at a checpoint and go... no need to stop and remove the backpack to refill the bladder.

I fill 1 bottle with energy or electrolyte, and use the other for water only.
Mungo Mungo


cheers for that Gromit.

A little off topic (me), but could you advise me as to what you use for an energy drink?

specifically during your long runs for (and during) the Spartathlon.

See my post original post here