Top Footcare Tips for Runners
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a casual runner or in training for a marathon, it’s crucial that you look after the two things absorbing all that power and taking the strain – your feet. Getting the wrong pair of training shoes, or socks, and not looking after yourself post-run can all have an impact on the health of your feet. With unhealthy feet, comes pain and discomfort – having an impact on your ability to run. Here are some top tips to help keep your feet in top condition.
Your training shoes
The last thing you want in the middle of a run is sore feet, blisters or other forms of discomfort – taking you out of action. So, make sure when you’re hitting the road, footpath, or track, you’re wearing the right running shoes for you.
It’s not about going online or into a sports store and selecting the best-looking shoe, maybe your favourite brand. Of course, you need to be happy wearing them, but you also need to make sure that they’re basically a good fit for your feet. They shouldn’t be crunching your toes together, or flopping around, when you run. You will be setting yourself up for problems down the line, and it’s not just about a few blisters, you could cause yourself some more damaging injuries like a sprain.
If you’re in a sports store, take your time to try on a few different pairs of shoes, ask for help from the staff. Getting a pair of running shoes is by no means a ‘one size fits all’ business. Learn more about the different kinds of shoes you can pick from.
Yes, you need to take time picking the right running shoes for you. But you also need to think about the socks that you slip on with them. It’s no good having a great pair of running shoes, if your socks then let you down – they’re equally as important. As with the shoes, if you don’t pick the right pair, you will end up with blisters and all sorts of other ailments – which will slow you down in your running. Using socks that are too small, for example, can damage your feet as much as wearing shoes that are too small.
Talk to other runners, and they’ll tell you that the best socks for performance are lightweight and have moisture-wicking abilities – like the kind you get in some t-shirts or running vests. You want your socks to breathe and take away moisture, to keep your feet happy when you’re building up heat and sweat.
It’s best to give a few different types and makes of socks a test run, to see which ones work best for you – and the shoes that you’re running in. They don’t cost too much, so go experiment. You will be grateful that you did when you find the right pair that power you on your run.
Stop the swelling!
When you’ve been out on a run, your feet are likely to swell. To take this down, you could consider giving your feet the cold treatment. That is, putting them in some water with ice. Bear in mind any health conditions you have though and take advice if you’re not sure whether it’s right for you.
Fungus is not fun!
You don’t have to be a runner to have heard of athlete’s foot. It’s that horrible condition which causes all sorts of problems with your feet, including between your toes. Itchiness, pain, sore skin and blisters. A recipe for running disaster.
Fungus loves sweaty, dirty feet. Don’t let it take hold. It’s impossible to keep your feet dry and clean all day long, every day, but you should be taking steps to keep them fresh as much as possible – to try and keep the athlete’s foot at bay. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be re-using dirty socks. You should be changing them regularly.
Another tip to keep the fungus away is look after your toenails. Keep them trimmed and clean. This will help see off other feet problems too. Don’t worry if you get athlete’s foot, go and see your local pharmacist as soon as possible and get some topical cream to treat it. You may not be able to keep all strikes of it away, but you can certainly take some solid steps to reduces your chances of getting fungus in your feet.
Think soft skin
Your feet take a lot of pressure and strain when you’re running – and that can be bad news for your skin. Most of us have dry, hard skin on our feet. So, imagine when you’re moving your feet around constantly at speed, what impact this can have. Basically, it can crack, weep and bleed. Very unpleasant! Of course, if you don’t deal with – like most skin problems – it can lead to something even worse, an infection.
So, what can you do? Well, think moisturiser. You need to soften the skin of your feet as much as possible, especially if you are prone to skin problems, like blisters for example. Get yourself some and start massaging it into your feet, to get the skin nice and soft. There are all sorts of products and brands out there for you to buy, so try some out and see which work best for you. Skin problems can flare up in the summer particularly, when you’re feeling the heat and producing even more sweat.
Your feet are your fuel when it comes to running. And you don’t want that fuel to deplete too early. How strong your feet and toes are, will determine how strong and capable a runner you are. In this context, you need to think about giving your feet a workout – making them strong, just like other muscles in your body. You need to boost their stamina, strength and stability. So, have a look around online for some exercises – or ask an expert at your local gym. It could help make the difference between you getting across that marathon finish line.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post and the author’s views here do not necessarily reflect those of the blog owner. Threadnz.com occasionally receives monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for mentioning and/or linking to any products and services from this blog.
15th November 2017
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