Running can be one of the best ways to get into shape, lose weight and feel better about oneself. However, running injuries are common. In many cases, those injuries can be avoided by paying better attention to one's body. |
Run To Your Ability
The first and most important way to prevent feet pain from running and other types of injuries is to avoid overtraining. Beginners in particular often run too fast and too far. It's essential that a new runner start slow and build up to longer and faster runs. To err on the side of caution, new runners should run shorter distances at a slower pace than they may feel capable of doing. This distance may vary according to age and general conditioning, but new runners should keep in mind that their feet and other joints are often in poorer condition than the lungs and heart. Therefore, what does not seem like much of an aerobic strain in terms of breathing and heart rate can be hard on the feet at first.
Overtraining and pain in the feet can also happen with experienced runners. Most often, it happens when a runner is training too hard for a race or personal best or when the runner does not allow sufficient time to recover from strains or injuries. Both new and experienced runners should listen to their bodies and note when it is sending them messages that a training regimen is too much.
Wear The Right Running Shoes
Another important tool for avoiding foot pain while running is the right running shoes. A good running store can fit runners of all experience levels with the right shoes. Most stores will do some kind of gait analysis. This means that the running store employees will have the customer step on a treadmill and run in order to analyze any irregularities in the runner's step. For example, some people are overpronators meaning that they wear down the inside of their shoes first. Running shoes are designed for different types of gaits in order to avoid injuries. Some runners also swear by a type of shoes designed to mimic barefoot running. Finding the right running shoe will usually require a combination of expert help and experimentation, but it is important in prevention of foot pain. The right shoes should also prevent most blisters and corns on the feet that can be another source of pain.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common types of foot pain that runners experience. It is generally localized in the arch of the foot and often is particularly painful to runners when they first get up in the morning. Again, it is often caused by overtraining, and runners who suffer from it should cut back on their miles, get better arch support and ice the foot after a run. Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories can help as well.
Make Sure The Shoe Fits
Running down hills and wearing shoes that are too tight can contribute to foot pain in similar ways. For example, some runners' toenails turn black, but this is not an inevitable side effect of running. It generally means that the runner needs to trim the nail, cut back on downhill runs or get shoes that are roomier in the toe. Toe cramps and pain in the ball of the foot are also indications that downhill runs or shoe size may be a problem.
Running may involve minor soreness sometimes, but chronic or severe foot pain is a sign that something is wrong. By avoiding overtraining, choosing the right shoes and paying attention to what their bodies are saying, runners can avoid foot pain and accidents that could sideline them for a long time.
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