Happy Running Feet
I’ve recently become quite interested in running and my feet. I purchased a book a few weeks back called “Fix Your Feet”. Although it is a Christmas present and I had to wrap it and put it under the tree, I pulled a cheeky and took a quick glance at the 1st page. “Treat your feet as you would have yourself be treated”. And so my interest into the world of runners and their feet has been sparked.
Our feet have the absolute power to make running comfortable…or miserable. Our feet ache, blister, sweat, crack, peel, itch and smell. However, our feet are essential. So why do runners not look after their feet properly? We stretch, eat carbs and protein, strength out muscles, but yet little care is given to our feet.
Now is the time to start acknowledging the importance of our feet.
Shoes- Proper shoes are vital to happy feet. Not just a brand, but also the fit. Heading to a store like Shoe Science, where the lovely people will get you in the right fit! The last thing you need are shoes that are too small, causing toenails to turn black and fall off. Tight shoes which cause blisters. Too narrow…corns or calluses. Your feet will be incredibly happy in a shoe that fits them properly!
Replace shoes regularly- Depending on the type of terrain you are running on will determine the average life of the shoe. You will get more kms on treadmill running than you would on trail running. A average road shoe will last you around 600-800km. Once again, if you are questions the life of your shoes, it is best to take them in and talk to a shoes specialist.
Socks- Ill-fitting socks are one of the primary causes of blisters. Wet socks and cotton socks can also cause blistering. Proper running socks will be your 2nd most important running purchase. For almost 8 years now I’ve been running in Injinji toes socks, they have been brilliant. Since I’ve been hitting the trails, that include river crossings, I’ve been running in SmartWool merino socks. They have been an amazing, not a single blister!
Look after your feet- Trim your nails, keeping them nice and short. A sock getting caught on longer toenail is the biggest cause of black nails. Head to the local spa and get a pedicure. Get the pedicurist to trim your toenails (especially important before a big race), treat debilitating calluses, moisturize the skin and massage your feet. I know some podiatrists that offer pedicures, but you will pay less at a spa. However, find a well-trained pedicurist.
Practice Damage Control- It’s the old story… If you attend to a foot problem right away, be it a blister, callus or tender area, chances are good it won’t develop into something debilitating. A blister left untreated can become seriously infected and painful. Ingrown toenails and sore calluses shouldn’t be ignored, either. I will be giving your more advice on how to treat blisters and ingrown nails once I’ve finished my book.
The best tip of all…Kick off your shoes and go barefoot whenever you can!