Marathon training doesn’t have to mean battered feet, believe it or not. These simple ways to avoid common foot problems are sure to put a spring in your step…
Blisters are caused by heat, built up by friction or pressure or both, and result in layers of skin separating and filling with fluid. Avoid blisters by wearing clean, comfortable socks that fit your feet snugly and wick away moisture as your feet start to sweat. Steer clear of 100 per cent cotton socks, as they don’t wick sweat as effectively as synthetic socks.
If you are prone to blisters, protect the most affected areas with surgical tape or apply some petroleum jelly to prevent rubbing before putting your socks on. Small stones, grit and gravel can also cause blisters, so it’s worth stopping to remove debris if any gets into your shoe.
This fungal infection loves warm, moist conditions and often results in a red, itchy rash. Avoid it by washing and drying your feet carefully after a run, especially between the toes, and donning clean socks. If you do develop the symptoms, an over-the-counter antifungal cream should clear up any rash in a week or two.
It is possible to run a marathon and not develop black toenails – honest! Keeping your toenails short will help, but you also need to make sure your shoes fit – if they are too small you’ll squeeze your toes every time you take a step, and if they are too big your feet may slip around within the shoe, with the result that your toes hit the end of the toe box. When you do cut your toenails, be sure to cut them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
Corns tend to develop between, or on top of toes, when they’re squeezed together too tightly. If you feel a hot spot forming, protect it with a corn cushion to redistribute the pressure and consider buying a shoe with more room in the toe box.