Monday, January 27, 2014

Runner’s feet… the ugly truth

If you’ve been doing quite a bit of running lately, and your feet still look awesome and all of your toenails are still on and normal colored, please send me a photo as proof, and your secret.  I’ll keep it confidential…

I think all runners know our feet take a beating, and that means they usually resemble that beating.  As of today, I have two black toenails, one missing, and one massive, disgusting callous on the side of my big toe.  I haven’t had a pedicure in almost two years, and that’s why.  I would cry for the poor person who had to deal with my nasty feet.

I remember getting my first black toenail after my third half marathon, and slightly freaking out.  I was still naïve to all the foot related side effects of running.  I can’t give any tips on how to avoid the blackening or potential loss of (RIP) your toenails… but some pretty good rules of thumb to follow are:
-         -Wear properly fitting shoes.  Duh, right?  If your shoes are too tight, you are going to have a problem.  I didn’t know this until I started running more, but it is recommended to buy running shoes a half size bigger than your regular shoes.  I personally don’t do this.  Do what works for you. 
-         -Keep your toenails trimmed.  Nasty job, but someone has to do it.
-         -Give your feet some TLC.  I have slacked on this lately, but I try to use a foot cream or callous softener on my feet after a shower, and put socks on.   My personal fave is this Dr. Sholl’sfoot cream.  I also have one of those cheap foot massagers (mine was from Walmart) that you can fill up with some warm water and soak your feet in for a while.  Mine has a few different settings, and I usually throw some sort of foot soak salt in there.  It’s a cheap and quick way to do a mini at-home pedi.  I usually soak my feet after a race or long run.

Another lovely foot issue that is super common is the dreaded BLISTER.  Blisters are annoying, but can also really be painful if not cared for.  If I have a blister, I make sure to have it covered and taped sufficiently before I run again.  I HIGHLY recommend Band-Aid brand (or generic) blister band aids.  They are a bit spendier than your basic band aid, but totally worth it.  They stay stuck, and have an absorbent cushion for the blister.  Depending on the area of my foot, I’ll slap one of them on and usually throw a layer of pre-wrap around it for extra cushion and security.

Ever since I started wearing my beloved Mizuno Wave Riders, I’ve worn two pairs of socks.  Every single time.  I have a lot of laundry by the end of a week…  I wear a basic low pair of Adias socks underneath my Pro Compression socks.  If I am not wearing compression socks, I have two pair of Adias layered.  I doubt this is what would work for others… but it’s always been what I’ve had to do.

Any tips to add?  If you have other foot tips, please share!