We’ve been talking about painful feet in training this week.

As runners, we spend a lot of time on them, but how well do we care for them?

I have a friend who sees a chiropodist regularly (pandemics notwithstanding) and she swears by the foot massage for running. For some of us (i.e. me!), the thought of someone else touching our feet is enough to put us off everything, so it’s a DIY job.

For me, I keep my toenails short for comfort. I’ve only ever lost one toenail from running and it’s not an experience I’d like to repeat. I regularly massage my feet with my hands and use a decent moisturiser to keep the skin soft.

But I’m more interested in mobility and keeping my feet well for running.

We’ve probably all heard horror stories about plantar fasciitis (I can’t say it either) and it’s a condition that can last for months and months and months. I think, though, that it’s broadly preventable. By keeping my feet and lower legs supple (self-massage, stretching and strengthening exercises), I seem to have kept it at bay. Even when I’ve had the tell-tail, early-morning twinge (when putting the foot on the floor to get out of bed results in a blood-curdling yelp), I’ve managed to pull myself back from the brink and recover quickly.

I’m not saying that it will be true for you, but prevention is always better than cure!

Check out this patient information document from the Royal Berkshire Hospital about the condition.

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