This is the third instalment in our 3-part series on marathon running and caring for your feet. For preparing your feet for the race, click here, and for dealing with toenail injuries, click here. For after race foot care, keep reading!
Crossing the finish line of a marathon, half marathon, 10k, or 5k fun run is always an achievement. Well done, you! Strapping on the sneakers and running any distance is a test of mental and physical strength, and should be congratulated and celebrated. Thing is, you don’t want to go straight from that final mile to sitting down at the bar for a glass of wine, no matter how much you want to. There are a few steps you need to take post-race to make sure your body recovers properly, and that you can still walk in the days afterwards!
First of all, once you cross the line, don’t just stop! You need to keep moving, even while you are grabbing a drink and a snack. Make it a priority to change your socks as soon as you can – your socks will be wet and sweaty, and getting dry ones on will help prevent athletes foot, as well as helping deal with any blisters you may have earned along the way. Even with wearing wicking socks and well ventilated shoes, your feet will get sweaty.
Dry socks will also help cool your feet down. Dr Craig Brandoff, a New York City Podiatrist, says drying your feet and cooling them down is the best thing for them. “Now is not the time for soaking your feet in epsom salts”, says Dr Brandoff. “The skin on your feet is already soft and worn from being sweaty, and soaking them will just damage the skin. If you want to get your feet wet, a dip in ice water will feel much better”.
If you got blisters during the race (and let’s be honest, you probably did) you’ll want to start treating them as soon as possible. If they aren’t too bad then an ice bath will probably be all you need. If you have open blisters from the race, grab your pre-prepared blister kit (you packed one, right? A few different sizes of Band-Aids, alcohol, antiseptic cream, small scissors, sterilized gauze, and some Band-Aid Liquid Bandage) or head to the First Aid tent to have them treated.
Most importantly, be sure to treat yourself to a massage in the days after your big run. You earned it!.