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How to Avoid Foot Pain Caused by Running

According to the website Cool Running your feet pound the ground some 800 times when running just a mile. That's a lot of pounding!!! So you want to be sure to take care of your feet, especially if you are new to running. Rookies tend to experience more shin splints, blisters ankle sprains and other injuries than veteran runners (but those veterans had to start somewhere, right?).

Here are some ways to help you protect your feet and ankles that will hopefully help you stay injury and blister free.

  • Warm up: A few Sun Salutations will get your blood flowing before a run. Or try walking briskly or running slowly for 5 minutes, followed by gently stretching your leg muscles.
  • Buy good running shoes: Look for good shock absorption and construction that will provide stability and cushioning to the foot. Buy shoes at the end of the day when the foot is the largest. Here's a list of running sneaks that podiatrists recommend.
  • Keep your feet friction free: To avoid blisters, make sure your shoes fit well and try Thorlo's "blister-proof" socks. Give these socks a try, and in general keep in mind that nylon socks tend to be more abrasive than cotton. Try lubricating the friction prone spots with vaseline, and if that just sounds too icky try powder.

There's more, so

  • Strengthen your ankles: Weak ankles make you unstable on uneven surfaces, like trail running, and more prone to sprains. Try writing the ankle alphabet daily 3 to 5 times. This movement will strengthen your ankle joint through a wide range of motion.
  • Stretch your calves: Tight calves can really disrupt the foot's ability to function properly. Make sure to stretch your calves out after you run. I love holding the downward facing dog pose for 10 slow breaths to get this done.
  • Listen to your body: If you are experiencing pain in your feet, ankles or knees, slow it down a bit or take a couple of days off. Remember, ice can be your friend in these occasions and can help decrease inflammation and promote healing.

Hope these tips help keep your feet happy, because if your feet aren't happy you're going to be miserable.

Join The Conversation
Princess-Rebecca Princess-Rebecca 10 years
I started running a month ago and will use these tips for sure. I haven't suffored from any injuries but would like to keep it that way.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I always use Thorlo socks when working out or running. A friend got me hooked on them when we went hiking a while back and I haven't used anything else because they are so comfy! Aren't CoolMax and Thorlo's the same thing?? I could have sworn that I had a pair called Thorlo CoolMax or something like that. :?
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Never run in cotton socks (or cotton anything for that matter), but rather a wicking sock, such as CoolMax. I haven't tried Thorlo yet. Cotton holds onto moisture and therefore leads to blisters. It's a really bad choice for running, which is why I stick with synthetic fibers that wick the sweat away.
krisua krisua 10 years
I agree the warm-up being most necessary to avoid muscle injuries.
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