Photo Credit: archivalproject on Flickr.com
Anyone thinking of running a spring marathon has probably already started training hard, but are you doing things right?
NYC podiatrist Dr. Johanna Youner is one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country. She leads the well-known practice, Park Avenue Podiatric Associates. Here are her tips to keep feet in tip-top shape and for feeling like a champion at the finish line:
- Stretching – Stretching primes the body for strenuous activity so be sure to stretch before and after running, paying special attention to the calves, hamstrings, quads and feet
- Shoes – Invest in a good pair of running shoes as they provide the specific impact support that running demands; if feet sweat heavily try putting talcum powder in your shoes to keep feet dry
- Orthodics – If you have arch or heel pain, you may be a perfect candidate for orthodics, which are now widely available in over-the-counter varieties; visit your doctor to learn what option is best for you
- Socks – Cotton socks absorb moisture and what you don’t want during the marathon are wet socks; opt instead for a synthetic sock (containing acrylic) to help keep moisture from your skin thus reducing the likelihood of a fungal growth. Another secret of the pros is to avoid situating the seams in a place where the shoe is tight – the pressure can force the seam to dig into the skin causing pain and blistering
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications – Do not preemptively pop Advil to prevent aches that may arise during the race; pain is a valuable indicator during high-impact events and taking anti-inflammatory medications will mask any red flags the foot sends up during the race
- Groom Toenails – Make sure your toenails are trimmed to no longer than the tip of toes before the race to avoid a painful ingrown toenail or even a fungal nail
- Blisters – Blisters result from excessive friction between shoes and feet so take preventative steps by making sure shoes fit properly and are laced up to fit snugly; if you are prone to blisters, apply Vaseline to problem areas prior to your run or try padded “blister proof” socks like those made by Thorlo. Dr. Youner also suggests applying moleskin to problem areas also prevents blisters from forming
- Finish Line – When the race is complete, Dr. Youner prescribes RICE: Rest your feet, Ice feet to keep inflammation and swelling down, Compress with ACE wraps to reduce swelling and Elevate feet to help them rest up for the next big run.
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