Feet Care When Training for a Road Run or Marathon

Preparing for a road race or marathon is like preparing for an exam. You need to train and equip your body for the upcoming “test” ahead of you. Proper nutrition and training are just some of the usual things runners go through days or weeks before the event. Also, keeping your feet healthy for the big day is just as vital.

During training, it is important to give yourself and your feet time to get accustomed to the total distance covered by your race. Say you’re preparing yourself for a six-mile run. Gradually increase your running distance by a quarter-mile every week until you feel comfortable running the whole six miles. You can start by running a mile or two for the first two weeks. By the third and fourth weeks, increase that by another mile.

Most injuries associated with running involve the shin splints (pain behind the shin due to extreme pressure on the legs, which is usually common in runners and gymnasts) and pain in the iliotibial band—the connective muscles in the thighs. To avoid injuries, it is important to run properly. Former All-American track athlete Brendon Mahoney gives this advice: “Technique is the most important thing. Land on your mid-foot, not your heel. Keep your chest up and your core engaged, otherwise you’ll lose efficiency and run slower.”

It is also important to stretch and warm up before running. Mahoney recommends leg swings to prepare your feet for the task. Between runs, leg exercises like squats help build strength and power.

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