When preparing for a big race, many runners and athletes will spend most if not all of the training season working on elements like speed, strength, and endurance. While finishing strong and meeting personal goals are certainly important parts of the process, taking the most obvious element - the feet - for granted will not only compromise performance, it can also lead to unnecessary pain and injury.
The Aurora Foot & Ankle Clinic in Langley, B.C. has established a set of basic foot care guidelines that can help professional and recreational athletes alike to prepare for a big race, and avoid pain and injury.
Sports Medicine in Langley, B.C.
The most basic principles of health and wellbeing for any part of the body typically begin with prevention. The feet are no exception. Taking care of your feet while training for a race, as well as in the offseason, is the best investment in meeting your personal goals. Following a few simple foot care guidelines is the first step:
- Pay attention to persistent foot pain. A little soreness is normal during physical activity, but pain that does not resolve on its own after a few days is usually a sign of a problem that may require medical attention.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash, dry, repeat often.
- Pay attention to changes in the toenails and skin on the feet. Trim toenails to a comfortable length to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Gear up With a Good Fit - Make sure that shoes are the right size and offer the proper support for your needs. Always wear shoes designed for your particular activity - running, hiking, cycling, etc.
- Mind the Gait with Orthotics - Some people need more arch support than others. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to learn whether orthotics are right for you.
- If you are diabetic, always consult with a podiatrist for appropriate footwear and maintenance, and get regular check-ups (at least once a year, depending on the patient).
Getting Your Feet Race Ready
Keep Moisture at Bay - In addition to wearing proper footwear, seemingly small details like socks can make all the difference. Skip the cotton and opt for moisture wicking athletic fabrics that will keep the feet dry and prevent blisters, which are not only painful but can also lead to infection.
Warm up and stretch - With 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the feet and ankles need as much strengthening and training as the rest of the body for optimal performance.
If you are suffering from heel or foot pain, contact a Langley podiatrist at Aurora Foot and Ankle Clinic at (604) 248-8985 to schedule a consultation today!