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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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.