We can’t count the number of times patients have signed up for a race, hit the gym for training—and immediately hurt themselves. While running a 5k, 10k, or even a marathon can help motivate you to exercise more, that motivation can be lost in an instant if you suffer a sports injury before race day. Treating your body and your feet properly as you train is the best way to stay healthy all the way to the finish line.
Tips to Protect Your Feet While Training for a Running Race
The first thing you will need to do is find the right shoe. A proper running shoe should be equipped to handle the repeated impact of your foot hitting the ground, cushioning the blow as much as possible. You’ll be spending a lot of time in these shoes, so ensuring you have the right size and fit can help you avoid blisters, corns, and toenail problems.
If you want to run your best race, it is important that you:
- Stretch often. It’s surprising how many people forget to stretch their muscles, especially when a few simple movements can prevent serious injuries. Runners should perform heel raises, ankle circles, and dynamic poses that stretch the legs, neck, and back as often as possible (not just before every run).
- Build up gradually. If you’ve never run long distances before, you shouldn’t expect to run several miles on your first day of training. No matter how long the race is, you will have to build up your pace gradually. Find a training calendar with specific daily mileage and cross-training goals—and start it at least two months before the race.
- Don’t skip recovery. Rigorous exercise breaks down muscle and bone tissue, but resting afterward lets your body heal and become stronger. If you do too much on days dedicated to recovery, your body will not have a chance to rebuild, increasing the risk of an injury.
If you are struggling with a foot injury, the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are here to help. We offer free initial consultations and create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.