The weather on Monday, April 16 was horrendous for running the Boston Marathon – cold, wet, and windy. But with the torrential rains came an end to a long drought for the United States, which hadn’t had a winner on the women’s side in 33 years. Congratulations to top woman finisher Desi Linden! To add to the excitement, the women’s 2ndplace finisher was also an American, Sarah Sellars.
To us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center, it doesn’t matter if you’re a marathoner or a weekend warrior. Anyone who runs any distance at all should take our advice for safeguarding their feet and ankles. Running poses some very specific dangers to your lower limbs which you can avoid by following these 4 tips:
- Start out slowly. Desi Linden didn’t start out running with her Boston Marathon-winning pace of 6 minutes 11 seconds per mile. Start slowly and work your way up to a faster pace, longer workouts, and longer distances.
- Mind your shoes. By this we mean a couple of things – first, make sure you take up the sport while wearing a shoe specifically made for running. This isn’t the place to scrimp and save – spend the time and the money to get a quality shoe that’s right for your foot and your gait.
Secondly, keep track of how many miles you put on your running shoes. Experts agree that you need to replace them after about 400 miles. If you begin to experience pain in your feet or lower legs, it might mean that it’s time for a new pair.
- Give your body a break. When starting a running routine, it’s important to work in some rest days. Not only do your feet need a break, but your whole body does. Give your muscles, tendons, and ligaments time to repair and restore themselves.
Recognize when your feet need help. Common injuries in runners include overuse injuries like shin splints, tendinitis, and stress fractures, especially if you ignore tip #1. If you’ve got persistent pain, swelling, or bruising anywhere on your feet, ankle, or toes, come in for treatment early on. Have expert podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM take a look before your pain becomes a major problem. You can make an appointment online or call us at our Centreville, VA office at (703) 996-3000.