Yes, the Chicago Marathon is a month away. How are you doing on your preparation? Hopefully your training has been moving along and you are visualizing a successful finish.
Along with the running, it is time to check out your shoes. Are you ready for a new pair? You want to be able to break the shoes in so they are ready for the race. If the shoes that you have been using in your training are working well, go out and buy a new pair of those shoes. If you aren’t’ that happy with them, take them with you to the running store so that you can explain and show the sales person what you don’t like about the shoes. Make sure that the new shoes that you get feel great right from the start in the store. (Don’t forget to go shoe shopping later in the day so that your feet are at their largest.)
Then it is time to break in your new shoes. Don’t take them out for your long run first. Start with the shorter runs first so that you don’t injure yourself by running a long distance with shoes that are not broken in. Wear them for the next three weeks on the shorter runs and then in the last week, make sure they are ready for the long run.
The other thing that you want to prep for during this last month is practicing drinking on the run and deciding what you are going to drink. While it may sound silly, you don’t want to keep hydrated and drinking and running are not as easy as they may sound. You also don’t want to drink something that does not sit well in your stomach. So check out the energy drinks on your long runs and make sure that you can keep hydrated.
The other thing that you want to prevent at this point and going forward are blisters. Blisters are the enemy of the long distance runner. During a marathon, you have an increased risk of blisters for several reasons. Heat and moisture that build up during a marathon will cause your feet to swell. The swelling leads to irritation and then blisters. Dousing yourself with water will also increase the amount of water around your feet and that will increase the chance for irritation.
There are several steps that you can take to prevent blisters. The first step is to make sure that you moisturize your feet daily to make sure that the skin is healthy. Dry cracked skin will only lead to problems during the race. Your sock choice will make a difference also. You don’t want to wear cotton socks as they will absorb the moisture and let it just sit next to your skin. You want to wear socks that wick moisture away and have reinforced heels and toes. You might find it best to run with slickened skin. This means that you apply Vaseline or another lubricant to your feet right before the run (or you could try a padded tape like product that sticks even when wet) so that your feet have a layer of moisture that can help prevent blisters from forming.
Some people have found that wearing double socks can help. With two pairs of socks, the friction can be between the socks and not the sock and your foot. If you decided that you want to try this, please try it now and not the day of the race. You may find that you need to go up a ½ size on your shoes to accommodate the socks. Experiment early so that you won’t regret it during the race.
Also it really gets down to fit. Make sure that your socks and shoes fit correctly and that there are not any spots that rub your foot from the start. When you buy your shoes try them on with the socks that you plan to wear during the race. If you are planning on wearing two pairs of socks, try on shoes with both pairs on your feet. Make sure the shoes feel great the minute that you put them on and break them in gradually prior to the race.
Overall, have a great time. This is quite an achievement! Maybe someone will give you a foot rub when you get home! I’d really work that angle if I were you…
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
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