Are your feet over worked and under-appreciated? Are they feeling the effects of hard training sessions, marathon prep or your ‘Get Fit for Summer’ regime?
Caring for your feet appropriately provides the best foundation for successful training and it is crucial that runners and athletes look after their feet appropriately.
Painful conditions including corns, calluses, blisters, heel pain, tendonitis, damaged/ingrown toe nails and hard skin can all be prevented with foot care and maintenance. Prevention is always better than cure!
Following these simple guidelines can help to ensure your training continues without interruption, and may save you from the pain and discomfort of further long term issues;
- Choose appropriate trainers – It is crucial that you’re wearing suitable footwear for the activities you do. Specialist running shoes will provide cushioning for heels and added arch support.
- Get trimming – ensuring your toe nails are cut to an appropriate length can prevent massive discomfort and more serious issues as your training progresses. Cutting nails straight across is the safest way and can help to prevent ingrown toenails. Don’t go too short!
- Keep your feet as dry as possible – warm, damp places are feeding grounds for bacteria which can cause Athlete’s Foot. Keeping feet dry can also prevent blisters as moist environments cause friction against the skin.
- Black toe nails – if a toe nail turns black, LEAVE IT ALONE. There is no need to remove it, it may fall off on its own. Visiting a chiropodist is the best option for treating this sort of issue.
- Tie your laces tight – don’t go too far and end up with no feeling in your toes, but remember if your feet are sliding around inside your shoe it will cause uncomfortable friction.
- Be aware of your route – it may seem silly but simple things like running downhill will cause more issue for your feet (most specifically your toe nails).
- Socks! – If you can get your hands on some specialist running socks you will reap the benefits. They are designed to optimise comfort and keep feet cool and dry – helping to prevent Athlete’s Foot and blisters.
- If the shoe fits – get it in a half size bigger! Running trainers should generally be half a size bigger than your everyday street shoes. Appropriate arch support is also important – different trainers offer varying levels of support depending on how flat footed you are.