It’s less than two weeks until The London Marathon. With training and getting ready for this long-distance event, we have seen a lot more patients coming to our Podiatric clinics with foot problems. It’s important to prepare your feet for running a marathon or long distance as much as to prepare the rest of your body.
Running and walking differ from person to person. This is due to weight, height, stride length, speed and many other things. An average human typically takes 2000 steps to cover 1 mile. This means to cover 26 miles, a person takes around 55,000 to 63,000 steps at one go for about 4 to 8 hours depending on their individual fitness level.
Our Podiatrist Gloria has put together ‘A Podiatrist’s guide to getting ready for a long distance such as The London Marathon’.
Six Tips to Prepare Feet for Running a Marathon
- Correct footwear – running is different for everyone and there are many running shoe varieties with different functions and uses. It is best to make sure you are wearing the correct shoes for the running terrain and your running style. Just because Tim has anti-pronating shoes does not mean you also need them. Rather go get the correct shoes for your foot type and running style.
- Biomechanical assessment – getting your gait and running style checked helps reduce your risk of injury and helps lessen any discomfort. Knowing what happens when you run and what causes muscle pain in one area and not the other helps you to avoid injury. With this knowledge, you can try to counteract any unwanted motion and movement.
- Proper foot care – running for long periods causes tension and strain on your body and feet. So, it’s best to massage your feet after running to relieve the tension. Also, place them in cold water to cool them down. Make sure your nails are cut properly and remove the hard skin on your feet. Don’t end up with an ingrown toenail or a black toe just because you didn’t see your Podiatrist before the marathon date.
- Stretch your muscles – muscles that are heavily relied upon when running are your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calf muscles and Achilles tendons. Making sure these muscles function at their best helps avoid bad posture and knee pain, helps absorb shock, provides balance and maintains the mobility of your ankle. You can do this by warming up before running, cooling down after running and stretching.
- Consult with a Dietician – running requires energy and the best thing to do is eat food that will provide you with energy and help with cell regeneration.
- Know your limits – the drive to train and finish a marathon should not overweigh your health. Pain and aches in your body are indicators that it is fatigued and needs rest. Following a proper training regime allows rest and recovery time. This helps reduce your risks of pain and increase your chances of finishing the marathon injury free.
Randell’s Footcare Support for Long-distance Runners
Randell’s Footcare offers professional guidance to help to prepare your feet for a marathon. We can also help if you experience a foot injury during marathon training. It’s advisable to come and see one of our HCPC-qualified podiatrists for an assessment.
As well as a full podiatric foot consultation, we provide you with strategies, treat calluses and corns, supply orthoses, and conduct a biomechanical assessment with a 3D video gait analysis. Our support can help get your feet marathon ready to safely get your best time on the race day.