As you’re training for a marathon you’re stretching your hamstrings, quads and keeping track of your time but its also important to prepare your feet for that big day. Here are some tips to consider:
Proper footwear for your foot type is one of the most important things when running a marathon.
Improper footwear can cause blisters, calluses, numbness and even muscle/tendon injuries. It is important to be measured properly for footwear to make sure the length, width and shoe type is right for your foot. Always buy your footwear from a reliable store that is familiar with shoe brands and the type of footwear which is ideal for your foot.
Footwear should also be replaced every 400-500 miles as the support in the shoe wears out and can cause injuries.
At Feet First, all of our staff are extremely knowledgeable in fitting the shoes and the types of running shoes which are an ideal fit for your foot type. If you are unsure about your foot type, come in for a foot assessment by our Chiropodists who will do a full biomechanical assessment and gait analysis to find the perfect shoe type for your feet.
Sometimes proper fitting footwear is not enough to prevent your feet from injury. Orthotics can help with proper alignment and stability in your ankles, knees and hips. Orthotics can also help with shock absorption to help save your joints from damage. Visit one of our Chiropodists to get a foot assessment and see if you would benefit from orthotics.
Improper fitting socks are the main cause of blisters and abrasions during a marathon. If your socks are too loose, they can cause a lot of rubbing or blisters; if they’re too tight, then your toenails can be bruised. Also, be sure to check the material – 100% cotton socks can hold in too much moisture. It is better to buy Bamboo material or even synthetics that have quick dry or Moisture wicking technology.
Moisturizing should be a part of daily foot care. It helps with preventing dry skin and cracks. While training for a marathon, it is necessary to moisturize before and after training. Be sure to never moisturize in between the toes as this can promote fungal growth. The following products are highly recommended:
- Gehwol Hydrolipid lotion
- Gehwol Foot Cream
- Gehwol Deodorant Cream
If your feet get swollen while you are running or right afterward, consider wearing sports compression stockings. Graduated compression socks have been shown to improve an athlete’s performance and aid in a faster recovery. When blood is properly circulated, it restores the oxygen and nutrients to tired muscles that are exhausted during exercise.
Get a Medical Pedicure
Before a marathon, it is a great idea to see one of our Chiropodists to get your feet checked out and get treatment. A medical pedicure consists of having your nails trimmed (especially before the race to prevent losing a toenail), calluses debrided and to make sure there are no open sores or blisters which can affect your training and performance.
Daily Foot Exercises
As you are preparing for a marathon, you’re strengthening and conditioning your large muscles but you also need to consider conditioning your muscles in your feet. Many injuries are directly related to weak feet and improper gait. The following exercises can be done 2-3 times a day:
- Towel pick-ups: try to pick up a towel on the floor with your toes for 30 seconds
- Heel raises: raise your heels by standing on your toes 30 times
- Ankle rolling: roll your ankles clockwise 10 times and counterclockwise 10 times
- Alphabet – spell the alphabet with your toes pointed
- Heel drops – at the edge of stairs, drop your heels below the step and hold for 20 seconds