Running a marathon is no small feat (feet 😉), so looking after your feet post-event is very important. You should rest, relax and reward yourself for your achievement! Here are some foot health advice tips for caring for your feet in the days after the race:
- Have a warm foot bath
Rest and recovery is crucial to any post-race plan, and giving your feet a chance to soak in a warm foot bath with some soothing Epsom salts will help you relax. Be sure to check your skin for signs of injury, such as cuts and blisters, prior to soaking your feet.
- Look for nail damage
Check your nails to see if the repetitive trauma from the run has caused damage. If the nail seems very loose you may need to remove it – in which case you should see a podiatrist. If there is little damage, then protecting the nails in the next days is key. Wear footwear with a deeper toolbox to reduce the chances of further damage. You may find that the damage has caused a blood blister to build up underneath the nail. These typically will grow out by themselves over time, but if the area is painful or you are concerned you should seek advice from a podiatrist.
- Check for blisters and cuts
If you have developed a blister during the run, you should look at its size. If the blister is small, and doesn’t cause you any discomfort when wearing normal shoes, you can use a piece of foam or gel padding to cover it while it heals. If the blister is large and you are unable to wear normal shoes because of it, then you may wish to carefully burst it. Take care not to remove the overlying skin! Ensure that you cover the area with a clean, dry dressing and check daily to assess its progress. If the blister has opened, or if you have developed any cuts to your feet during the race, you should clean the area and use an antiseptic before covering with a clean dry dressing. If you have any concerns about these injuries, you should seek advice from podiatrist.
- Keep an eye on your feet
Following the race you should monitor your feet, checking for swelling and bruising over the next days as (even without any noticeable pain) fractures can occur during the race. If you develop new bruises or if swelling continues for a prolonged. Then you should seek advice from a podiatrist or visit your GP. Injuries should resolve naturally (or with routine foot care) within three weeks. If your injuries are not resolving, then you should book an appointment with a podiatrist.