The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. If you’ve signed up for it, you know it’s less than a dozen weeks away, and hopefully you’re well into your training. Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland want you to stop moving for just a moment to ask yourself this question: How do my feet feel?
Your whole body takes a pounding when you train to run 26.2 miles, but your feet really take the brunt of force. Your feet are active when you push off and when you land, and any sort of mechanical issue can demote you to rank of the injured, possibly for weeks. That’s the last thing you want when training for a big race.
Some of the foot injuries that can derail your training plan include
- Plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. This is a really common injury among those who don’t train properly or who overtrain.
- Achilles tendinitis – inflammation or tearing of the tendon that connects your heel to your calf (or the sheath of tissue that surrounds it).
- Stress fractures – small bone cracks that can develop into full breaks if not treated properly.
- Blisters – fluid-filled bubbles on toes or heels caused by friction against your shoes.
- Black toenails – formed by shoes that constantly rub against the nails.
- Neuromas – non-cancerous growths of nerve tissue in the toe area, caused by improper footwear or trauma to a nerve.
Take steps to avoid these kinds of foot injuries while training by:
- Following a daily regimen of foot and toe-stretching exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
- Training on the same surface as the race. If you’re running the Cleveland Marathon, which is held along city streets, then you should plan to train on similar pavement.
- Not skimping on footwear. Train in excellent shoes that have been recommended for your particular feet by a shoe expert.
- Treating your feet to soaks and massages after those long runs.
If you do encounter a problem with your feet, nip it in the bud by seeing the expert podiatrists at our office in Solon right away. We’ll get you back in training as quickly and as safely as possible. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.