Running has become one of the most sought-after forms of exercise. It is a low-impact sport, and does not require years of rigorous training or expensive gear. With will power and determination, you can start running in no time.

But before you lace up your shoes and head out for your next 5-kilometer run, it is necessary to get your feet checked by a podiatrist to prevent any major or minor injuries that might impede your movement and speed on the day of the race.

Prevent Injuries

Not all runners have the same type of foot. Some can have high arches while the rest can have a neutral or a low-arched foot. According to several podiatrists, for runners who experience foot pain during their runs, it might be because they wear shoes that do not have adequate cushioning for the build of their foot. Proper cushioning on your shoes can prevent the powerful impact of running from straining your feet. Furthermore, podiatrist-recommended shoes can also provide support for the arch of your foot to help stabilize your movement. In all of these ways, consulting a podiatrist before buying a new pair of running shoes can help prevent many potentially sidelining injuries.

Runners who try to increase their running distances without giving their body time to adjust have an increased risk of developing foot injuries. If you experience foot aches and pains while running, try to slow down and see if the pain eases up. If the pain persists even after your run, it may be time to visit a podiatrist to get it properly taken care of the first time around. Experienced podiatrists can determine whether you have a stress fracture – the most reported foot injury for new runners.

Improve Foot Strength

Having healthy, strong feet is a fundamental need for runners. Aside from allowing you to propel forward during your runs, your feet also provide support and balance for your legs. If you have weak foot muscles, it can lead to ankle instability and sprains that eventually can cause much more serious injuries.

Podiatrists can suggest a series of post-run foot exercises that can help strengthen, stretch, and mobilize your foot muscles and ankles. These typically include ankle rotations, calf raises, balance exercises, massages, and foam rolling. Whatever your customized treatment plan, it can help minimize the possibility of common foot and ankle injuries such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis that can hinder your running ability.

Develop Good Running Form

Runners must develop an excellent running technique to run farther distances faster. A podiatrist can assess your cadence, posture, foot strike, and breathing pattern to appropriately evaluate your likelihood of acquiring injuries during a trial run or the marathon itself.

Your podiatrist can tell whether you’re putting too much stress on the wrong part of your foot and provide guidance on how to fix the way you run. Maintaining the proper running form can tremendously improve your running efficiency, and reduce stress and inflammation on the lower part of your body.

Run Longer Distances in No Time Flat

Whether you are an experienced runner or not, visiting a podiatrist before the next 5K can help you prevent foot injuries and improve your overall athletic performance. Consult a podiatrist at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care for one-of-a-kind foot assessment and treatment today. Call the CFAC location nearest you or complete our online appointment request form now.