Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Feet Healthy Through Marathon Training
Here are a few essential tips and tricks for everything from finding the best shoes, to recovering from long runs and doing your best on the big day.
Runner’s Feet: Safety Tips for Marathon Training
Like any sport, especially one as physically demanding as training to run (or walk) a marathon, one of the first things every runner should do is invest in the right pair of shoes (and socks). Most people have a personal preference for specific brands and styles, but there is more to picking the right pair of running shoes than personal taste.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you pick the right pair and have enough support to get your feet and ankles safely through months of training:
Get a gait analysis – determines the level of support your feet will need, and you can also get specific sneaker recommendations for your foot type.
Talk to your podiatrist about custom orthotics
– if you have flat feet or pronation issues, additional support like store bought or custom made orthotics can help keep your feet and ankles in proper alignment while you train, as well as prevent excessive pressure and force on your joints, which can increase the risk of injuries.
Track your miles and replace your shoes as needed – like your body during training, your shoes are subjected to a lot of wear and tear and need to be replaced when they become worn down and no longer offer the optimal level of support. Every runner is different, but the general rule of thumb is to replace running shoes every 200 – 300 miles. Pay attention to how your shoes feel and how many miles you’re logging every week. Pro tip: don’t use your running shoes for other activities like walking, which will add to the mileage and wear them down faster. Keep a pair just for training.
Wear moisture proof socks – cotton socks may seem like the most comfortable and obvious choice for running, but they actually increase the risk of blisters and friction between your feet and sneakers as they become damp from your sweat. Avoid cotton socks and invest in running socks made from synthetic materials designed to wick away moisture. It may sound counterintuitive, but your feet will thank you later.
Don’t wear new sneakers on race day
– even if they are a new pair of the same model you’ve been training with, always give yourself time to break in a new pair of sneakers before the big day
Cross train – as experienced marathon runners can attest, cross-training is an essential part of training. Strength training and stretching are important for lowering your risk of injuries, as well as improving speed and overall performance.
Don’t skip your rest days – overtraining can be just as harmful to your running goals as not training enough. Rest days are important to help your muscles and joints recover and build strength throughout the training, and help to reduce the risk of overuse and stress injuries.
Listen to your body – following a training schedule is important, but remember that your body is not a machine and has its own cycles for healing and recovery. If the schedule says run five miles but your body is telling you that it needs a foot soak, massage, or nap instead, give yourself a break when needed and live to train another day!
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