How to Prevent Foot Pain From Running
Foot pain is the enemy of runners everywhere. Swollen, sore, uncomfortable feet slowly turn your 5-mile run into a 2-mile run … then a light jog around the block … then, well, you get the idea. Foot pain is why serious runners lose their focus and distance, why casual runners stop altogether, and why would-be runners never really start in the first place.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! True, we can’t promise you that your feet will never hurt during or after a run. However, there are adjustments you can make that will help you preserve your feet and reduce your discomfort, allowing you to run longer and stronger.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of good shoes. Bad running shoes, or those that don’t fit your foot shape or running style properly, will wear out your feet a lot faster than shoes that do fit comfortably.
- Good form is essential, too. Proper biomechanics help you land more softly on your feet and reduces stress on your joints, helping you lower the likelihood of overuse injuries like heel pain and stress fractures.
- Know your limits, and build on them only gradually. Don’t go straight from the couch to serious distance running. Don’t even try to go from 1 mile to 5 or from 5 to 10 overnight. Limit your mileage increases to about 10-15 percent per week.
- Switch up your terrain if you can. Running up and down hills is harder on your feet than level grades. Likewise, softer trails or paths have more give than hard pavement.
- Warm up before that run with some stretching and light cardio. When you’re finished, make sure you cool down, too—this helps bring your heart rate down slowly and flushes toxins from your system.
- Fuel yourself properly with nutritious meals and plenty of water. Bring along water and an energy snack for longer runs.
- Don’t run every day. Your feet need some days off to rest and recover. Stay active with other sports and workouts that don’t put as much stress on your feet, like hitting the weights or going for a bike ride.
Remember that just because foot pain is common doesn’t mean that foot pain is normal. If you’ve suffered a sports injury or your feet are in pain and it’s keeping you from enjoying your run, stop by and see us at Dallas Podiatry Works. We’ll help you assess just what’s causing your pain and take the necessary steps to correct the problem. Schedule your appointment today by calling 972.566.7474.