If you’re a beginning runner, there’s something you should know: foot discomfort, stress, and injuries are common among runners of all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience. Foot problems can stop a new runner in their tracks soon after they begin, foiling their plans to lose weight or get in better shape through running.
Here are five ways to avoid falling into the my-feet-are-killing-me trap that catches so many beginning runners:
- The best thing you can do to protect your feet from injury is to get the right shoes. Running shoes need to be comfortable, absorb shock, and fit the way you move. And since no two feet are alike, you’ll need some help deciding what shoes to buy and if you need extra cushioning, shoes built for stability, or some other feature. For expert help, you have two choices: visit a store dedicated to runners or make an appointment with our expert podiatrists. Either way, get a personalized analysis of your foot shape, wear patterns, gait, pronation, or other biomechanical issues.
- Socks should fit snugly but not tightly – loose socks will bunch up, slide around, and cause blisters. Socks can also trap moisture, encouraging the growth of fungi that cause toenail infections and athlete’s foot, so choose a pair made of moisture-wicking material.
- Start slowly and increase your distance gradually. Since your feet absorb most of the impact with each stride, taking it out hard and fast asks for overuse injuries such as stress fractures, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles injuries.
- Run with proper technique. Our podiatrists, a personal trainer, running coach, or even that expert shoe salesperson can help you with your posture, cadence (the number of steps you take per minute), and foot strike. Mastering these three elements will make running easier on your joints and help prevent injuries.
- Take rest days. Resting your body is just as vital as exercising it, especially when you first start. Try yoga and stretching exercises on your rest days.
Our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, and Dr. Jim Swienconek, can help beginning runners avoid injuries with shoe advice, orthotics, heel pads, and a custom gait analysis. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.