Good foot care is essential for any runner, especially those covering long distances. Failure to look after your feet can result in painful conditions that inhibit your running. Below is a guide to foot care prepared for me by a very experienced marathon runner and client of mine, Max O’Kane.
I’ve been treating Max for 2 seasons now, giving him regular sports massages to facilitate his training. Max runs for The Serpentine Running Club and will be running this years London Marathon in the Mens 60 age category after a 19 year break! He has a marathon PB of 2 hours 32 minutes! Pretty quick! Max takes excellent care of his feet and has prepared this guide to foot care for other runners to benefit from………..
A GUIDE TO FOOT CARE FOR RUNNERS
Runners know the pleasure their sport can deliver. Unfortunately there can be a downside: Calloused, blistered feet often result from miles of foot pounding. Below are some handy hints on foot care that will make your running more comfortable, and daily wearing of shoes more relaxing.
Firstly, some advice on how to tidy up the damage to feet……
Gem Blades are a single edged blade. Take care they are sharp. Using a Gem Blade carefully, you can make thin, shallow slices in a stroking style to remove calluses and dried up old blisters back to skin level. Particularly useful for along the side of big toes (neck of toe) and inner big toe mound (big joint), and toe tips.
Once this is done you should use a Foot Polisher rubbing across the trouble areas to smooth away any remaining hard or dead skin, leaving feet feeling noticeably smoother. It is recommended you do this in the shower the day following your weekend long run, as the feet will be a bit tender immediately after a run. Once you have done the Gem Blade procedure this can become your regular maintenance to keep feet in great shape, preventing build up. Even just twice a week with the second the day after your mid-week long run will really help.
The most organic Foot Polisher is a Pumice stone found on the sea shore. But, of course, there are commercial versions. The Salveped Foot Polisher comes in two coloured sides, blue and white, with one a coarser grain and one finer. Commercial foot polishers come in all shapes and sizes.
With your feet back to a nice comfortable feel there are ways to prevent further damage.
2nd Skin Adhesive Knit is fantastic way to prevent calluses, blisters and black toe (blood under nail). Cut the sheets into appropriate size strips and apply. To keep on during a run it’s a good idea to apply to the big toe once around the toe from the outside, then apply a second strip from the inside, back overlapping the first. For toe tips place over the toe tip back along toe length, top and bottom, and a second strip around the toe. Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) is OK across Adhesive Knit and makes a good lubricant on all feet areas.
Spenco 2nd Skin is very good for treating blisters. It is a ‘gel’ like pad that comes between two sheets of plastic liner. Just cut to size to cover blister and apply Adhesive Knit over it. Both Adhesive Knit and 2nd Skin can be bought together in one pack.
Products mentioned above can be bought at pharmacies, particularly the big chains, and certainly all can be bought online
These are general hints for self tidy up of your running feet. It is important that if you have, or develop, real foot issues or problems that you consult a podiatrist. You may feel comfortable seeing a podiatrist, or chiropodist, to do the initial cleaning up of calluses