The Wigan 10k Run is only a few weeks away and many runners are well into their training regime for this increasingly popular local run. 2500 runners took part in last years event and the 2015 run is looking, at this stage, to easily beat last years number.
This brings to my mind how we simply take the health of our feet for granted. For many runners in this years 10k, it will be one of the first events that they have taken part in and it may well be quite a shock to the system, in particular, their feet!
Know Your Body
We all know that taking part in any sport regularly is a great thing: it’s enjoyable, good for a healthy body and mind and recommended by health professionals everywhere. However, exercise, in particular running, can have a distinctly unhealthy effect on our feet.
Whether you are running for fun, fitness or running a marathon, you put yourself and your feet under great stress. On average, you put six times your body weight through each foot when running, which can emphasise any minor or major potential problems significantly! The demands you will put on your feet and lower limbs can lead to a range of injuries from an irritating blister to a very painful torn ligament. So as in all aspects of foot care, prevention is the key.
Firstly, know your limits. If you are overweight or out of shape you are far more likely to suffer from an injury. So build up slowly and at your own pace. There is no point in taking on a 10k run with over 2500, highly competitive runners all trying to get to the front. You are simply likely to push yourself too far too quickly.
Secondly, wear the correct footwear. Get these fitted properly to suit your foot type. Too small and they can cause black toenails and blisters. Also, remember to wear the correct socks to reduce the risks of fungal infection and blisters.
Preparation Is Key
Thirdly, prepare for your event by warming up with stretching exercises for 15 to 20 minutes before starting and of course remember to warm down after the race, get fresh and out of those socks! Take a towel and spare socks to change in to after your run.
What if you do suffer from an injury? Rest is best for minor injuries. You can then gradually return to exercise when any pain and discomfort has gone. If there are any cuts, wash them and cover with a clean dressing. Leave blisters unopened, if possible. For minor sprains and strains, I.C.E (ice, compression and elevation) is usually the answer.
Check It Out
If the problem is more serious, or if you are in doubt, it is best to seek the help and advice of a podiatrist. Podiatrists can treat a number of acute injuries, and can also help you to prevent an injury developing in the first place through the use of insoles and stretching exercises.
So good luck to all the runners in this year’s Wigan 10k and if you are unfortunate to suffer an injury pop along and see us with your race number for a 10% discount off any treatment you may need.