The 39th annual Chicago Marathon is coming up fast! The October 9th event attracts elite world class runners as well as wheelchairs, handcycles, runners with disabilities and thousands of others who just love to run.
For most marathon participants, our feet bear the brunt of running. During a marathon, given an average step of 3 feet, our feet will take more than 46,000 steps! It’s a fact that 90% of those who drop out of the race or visit the medical tent suffer foot problems.
So don’t focus only on carb loading, hydration schedules and conditioning – prepare your feet too before the race so they will carry you through in tiptop condition.
Select your Running Shoes Carefully
The right running shoe is essential – are yours too worn? As a rule of thumb, running shoes are worn out when you’ve put 400 miles on them. But don’t wait too long to replace your shoes – you should leave plenty of time to break in new shoes before race day, at least 2 weeks. Also stick to what always works for you. Now isn’t the time to try a new model or brand.
Socks Are Important Too
You should always run with good socks to prevent blisters from friction. Avoid cotton socks that retain moisture. Instead choose dual-layer acrylic socks. On race day, wear a pair that you’ve worn and washed a few times to avoid surprises. Your socks shouldn’t sag or exhibit any sign of developing holes.
Cushion Any Problem Areas
Do you have any corns or calluses? Prepare your feet by adding corn pads before running to cushion the area. If time allows, Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM recommends coming in for a quick visit to check and trim any calluses. We can also evaluate your running gear for proper fit and quality.
Avoid Cracked Skin with Moisturizer
Your feet may be tough and ready for a long run, but that doesn’t mean that your skin should be too dry. If untreated, dry skin can crack open and bleed. This is a very painful condition and also can let bacteria into your feet. Smooth an emollient foot cream on your feet every night to keep skin healthy and supple.
Last Minute Foot Check
A few days before the race, look over your feet thoroughly. Apply blister pads or adhesive bandages to any blisters and plan to carry a few if you can. Cut your toenails straight across the top – don’t round them to avoid ingrown toenails. You’ll avoid a “black toenail” that can result when a too-long nail repeatedly bangs against the end of your shoe.
Whether you are an elite runner or you’re trying a marathon race for the first time, we applaud your efforts and wish you every bit of luck on October 9th!
We Are Expert in Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to assess and treat all types of foot and ankle sports injuries and conditions. We handle many treatments and surgeries right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Whether you want to run a marathon or just around the bases, we can help keep you in the game!