Running is a great way to keep in shape, and it’s fun, too. But it’s a lot less fun – and can be quite painful – if you don’t look after your feet properly. Here are some easy ways to make sure your feet are in tip-top condition before race day comes around.
- Make sure you have the right footwear
Nothing is more important for a runner than selecting the correct shoes and socks for the race. Spending a little time on this can save a whole lot of heartache – and foot ache! – down the line, so don’t skimp on it. Ask your podiatrist for advice if you’re unsure.
- Good running shoes are a worthwhile investment, so don’t cut corners. You can put a little talc in them to avoid excessive sweating.
- Socks that wick moisture away from your skin, such as those containing acrylic, are best. Make sure the seams don’t rub uncomfortably.
- Get your feet in good condition before you start
When you’re running, especially if you’re a long-distance athlete, your feet will take a lot of punishment. To give them the best chance of surviving constant impact with the pavement unharmed, make sure they’re in perfect shape before you reach the start line.
- Trim your toenails straight across, making sure they don’t extend past the tips of your toes. You can’t run properly with an ingrown toenail!
- If you have any calluses or corns, it’s a good idea to go to the podiatrist about a week before your race to get them treated.
- Don’t go into a race cold
Podiatrists recommend that you do some preparatory exercises before your race, so as to reduce the stresses and strains that can affect a runner’s feet. Allow time for warming up – and don’t forget a cooling-down routine when your race is done.
- A few minutes spent on some simple stretching exercises will make your muscles, joints and tendons more supple and relaxed.
- If you feel pain before the race, stop. Pulling out of a run may hurt your pride, but not doing so could hurt your feet even more.