20 Aug Three-point Check After a Race
Let our Sports Podiatrist Russel Rubin guide you on how to take care of your feet and your footwear after you’ve run a race. He should know; not only is Russel a trained Sports Podiatrist, he has also competed as a cyclist and a runner in numerous marathons, triathlons and ultra-distance races.
1. Foot check
- If blisters are seen, first consider its size. If the blister is small and not causing a problem while wearing trainers or shoes, a simple dressing is all that is required.
- Should the blister be so large that you are unable to wear footwear, then carefully burst the blister without removing the overlying skin.
- Ensure the area is then covered with a clean and dry dressing and monitor its progress. Consider using an anti-microbial agent. Use a clean, dry dressing with a non-stick part.
- Most foot blisters last between three to seven days and will clear up if excessive friction is avoided.
- Check the corner of yours nails to see if you show signs of having an ingrown toenail.
- If redness and swelling are evident around the edge of the nail, visit your podiatrist.
- It is very important to cut your toe nails correctly before a race. Cut straight across the toenail, using appropriate toenail clippers. Leave nails slightly long. Cut nails when they’re dry, not wet. Don’t try to clip each toenail in one go; instead make a few smaller clips.
- Use a moisturiser that has a urea component. Apply it daily.
- Soak your feet in Epsom salts or make up your own saline solution using 3-5 tablespoons of salt in a litre of warm water.
- If your feet are bruised after a race, stay off your feet and don’t try to run too soon after. Let your feet heal and don’t wear tight shoes.
2. Shoe Check
- Replace your running shoes every 600-800 kilometres, depending on your running style, body weight and the surface on which you run.
- Write the date on the inside of your shoes when you buy them. This will help you get a rough estimate of how many kilometres you’ve run in them and tell you when it’s time to change them.
- If you’ve been feeling muscle fatigue, shin splints or some pain in your joints, you may be wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning, stability and shock attenuation.
- When you’re feeling pain in both your feet, it’s often an indication that you need new running shoes.
The twist and pinch test
- If you hold your running shoes at both ends and twist the shoe, it should feel firm. An old shoe or one that doesn’t have proper support will twist easily.
- You should not be able to compress the midsole by more than 30 per cent.
Worn outer soles or treads
- The soles last longer than the shoe’s cushioning and shock absorbency, so if the soles are worn down, it’s time for new ones.
- Rotate two pairs of running shoes. If you get a new pair of running shoes about half-way through the life of your old ones, they can serve as a reference to help you notice when your old ones are ready to be replaced.
3. Body and training check
- Your body will tell you when you are ready to run again, so listen to it.
- Remember, over training is as bad as under training.
- It is worth having a short jog three to five days’ post-race, if you feel up to it. If you are in pain, don’t force it.
- Post-race is a good opportunity to try new things like shoe lacing techniques and nutrition, so speak to experienced runners or trainers about a new training program and other tips.