Our feet play such a big role not just as a runner but generally through life, we spend so many hours on them yet they become so neglected.
After all, they are the foundation of every step you take…..
So I just wanted to share some of my thoughts to help give you guys some ideas on what to look at and try if you are having foot & ankle issues. Even if you’re not it’s always a good idea to put in such preventions.
Firstly, I want to highlight some general foot care steps that we should all be doing anyway but seem to forget about.
1 Nails: So many times I see people with nails that need cut and they wonder why they keep getting holes in the socks and the front of their running shoes.
Not only that, but untrimmed nails also lead to the sort of strain that can create blood pooling under the nail, and a long untrimmed toe can cut the neighboring toes, leading to pain.
2. Soft Skin: Keeping the skin soft and supple can help to prevent blisters. Hard, tough skin von the feet and with the repetitive action of running can lead to cracking which in turn can lead to infection.
3. Infected Feet: try and keep your feet clean and dry as much as you can this will help prevent the likes of athlete’s foot which is a painful infection. If you think you have this already then you can buy an over the counter fungicide and keep fresh socks on you.
That’s some of the simple stuff we can be doing now to take a look at footwear and sock choice.
This can be one of the biggest issues around, with so many different types of shoes on the market it can be mined blowing where to start but if you visit your local running store (in the Keswick you have Kong Running, where I work and specializes in trail and fell running).
Finding the right shape and size is key, I fit people on a daily basis the first thing they say is ‘I’ve not been measure since a kid’ that’s why you're wearing the wrong size! Measuring length and wide and then finding a suitable shoe for you and your needs.
Socks: believe it or not but socks play a big part in fitting the shoes, depending on the weight and style of sock it can all feel and fit differently. Technical running socks are the best due to them being lightweight and moisture-wicking and breathable which helps prevent any friction and blisters. Finding the right brand of sock can be an experiment as well as finding the right shoes, personally I love Stance socks, I don’t suffer from any blisters, find them comfortable and I just love the style of them.
Foot Care Exercises:
Here is a couple of foot care exercise that you can try out at any time of the day, all you will need is a towel and a hockey ball, golf ball or recovery ball (if not then try a form roller). If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis these exercises will help hugely.
Toe Extension -
Place your toe on the ball focusing it to go into extension, this allows you to stretch out the fascia under the foot.
Take 5 to 6 deep breaths in and move your foot over the ball a little more and hold deep breath
Plantar Fascia Massage -
Continuing on from the Toe Extension stretch and roll your foot over the ball.
Any areas of tension that you may feel then focus on that area, if you are suffering from PF then the heel area may need some focus on (warning could be painful).
Towel Curls -
Standing on a towel pull the towel in with all of your toes, even the little ones. You can also push it away as well.
Try doing this 3-4 times.
I hope you find this useful and put some of it into practice.