It’s a theory that has been ingrained in our brains since we were kids, all of our bones are connected. This theory is even more important when talking about feet care and running, because so many injuries and issues for runners can be traced back to the care of that foot bone that is connected to the shin bone that’s connected to the knee bone and so on. Today, we will kick around some of the key things you need to do to take care of your feet as a runner.
First and foremost, you need to make sure you are in the right type of shoe. Walk into a running store lately? The walls are lined with a many different brands, styles and types of shoes. With everything from a barefoot shoe, which is basically exactly what it sounds like, to a shoe that provides a high amount of stability and support. Finding the right one by pulling off random shoes and trying them on isn’t going to be a successful approach to the right shoe. Lucky for you, most running stores offer a free gait analysis. For those who aren’t aware of what this is, your gait is how your feet walk or run. From a few second of watching you run on a treadmill, they can offer you some helpful advice to narrow down which type of shoe is going to be the best for you.
Once you’ve found the right shoe for you, the next step in foot care is to make sure you replace your shoe on a regular basis. For those who wait until your shoe is coming apart at the seams, you should have replaced a long time ago. Just like they say when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Same goes for shoes, if you feel aches and pains from old shoes, you’ve already outworn them. But how are you to know when you should change them? A general rule to follow is to replace your running shoes is to do it every 300 to 500 miles. If you are just a casual runner that doesn’t live or die by counting miles, a six month rule is also a good time frame in shoe replacement. Even if you aren’t wearing them every single day, after six months the material that was providing you with the support and/or cushion is now breaking down.
Along with shoes, finding an insole is another crucial part of foot care for a runner. You can consult with the person who helped recommend your shoes or even podiatrist about what would be the best for you. Making a trip to the foot doctor is a very smart step in this process too. Preventative care is important in all aspects of our health, so why should your feet be any different.
It shouldn’t be a shock, but stretching is an important part of any sort of physical activity. When you’ve just spent minutes and even hours pounding the pavement, you need to take some time to stretch out all of those parts of your body that were working hard. Do not forget to stretch out your feet.
Now you are all set to head out running on the open road. The only other thing you need to remember about your feet is to give them a rest every once and a while. There is no amount of care and stretching that can cure over use. Just like you need a weekend from work, your feet need time off of running to rest and recoup. I promise it will make you a better in the long run.