Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Marathon Runner's Guide to Keeping Feet in Tip-Top Shape

The New York City Marathon, the premier event of New York runners, is one of the world's great road races. Drawing more than 85,000 applicants the race attracts world-class professional athletes, driven to cross the finish line in Central Park. Running is a great cardio workout for your body, but pounding the pavement over the course of a long run can be extremely harsh on feet. Every stride taken while running applies a force of 3-4 times your body weight across knees, ankles and feet. During a 10-mile run, feet make 15,000 strides, which means thousand of pounds of force are placed on the feet of runner’s during the New York City Marathon!


NYC podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong is one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country. He serves as the Director of Surgery at NYC FootCare and is on the Board of Directors at Gramercy Park Surgery Center. Dr. Zong offers foot related advice and tips to runners participating in this year’s New York City Marathon, for keeping feet in tip-top shape and feeling like a champion at the finish line.

Keep Your Feet in Tip-Top Shape With 10 These Tips from Dr. Zong:
 
1.  Stretching. Stretching primes the body for the strenuous activity. Stretch before and after running. Concentrate on the calves, hamstrings, quads and feet.

2.  Shoes. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. They provide specific impact support that running demands. There is a wide variety of sneakers for every prove range at retail outlets like www.shoes.com. If feet sweat heavily during running try putting talcum powder in your shoes to keep feet dry.

3.  Orthodics. If you have arch or heel pain, you may be a perfect candidate for orthodics. Visit a podiatrist to inquire about purchasing orthodics for your shoes.

4.  Socks. Cotton socks absorb moisture. For a long run like a marathon, your feet may require a synthetic sock (containing acrylic), which helps alleviate moisture from your skin. Make sure that the seams of your socks are not in an area of pressure, which can lead to a lot of pain. If you cannot find a comfortable location for the seams try turning socks inside out.

5.  Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Do not pop Advil or Aleve before a race to prevent aches that may arise during the race. Save this treatment for the day after the race. Taking anti-inflammatory medications will mask any pain that is felt during the race and can lead to more serious injury. Pain is a valuable feedback mechanism that you need to pay attention to during a long run.

6.  Groom Toenails. Make sure your toenails are not long before a race. They should not extend past the tip of your toe and should be shaped in a straight cut. If you do not properly groom your toenails before a marathon you run the risk of developing an ingrown nail or even a fungal nail.

7.  Toes. If you have a tendency to develop corns and callouses on the tips of your toes try adding padding in your sneakers underneath your toes. If your toes or toenails turn black you may have developed subungual hematoma (bleeding under the nails). This may cause nails to fall off. Keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection and seek treatment from your podiatrist.

8.  Blisters. Blisters are the results of excessive friction between shoes and feet. Take preventative steps by making sure shoes fit properly and are laced up so that they are form fitting to your feet. If you are prone to blisters apply Vaseline to problem areas prior to your run or try padded “blister proof” socks like those made by Thorlo. Additionally, applying moleskin to problem areas also prevents blisters from forming.

9.  Visit Your Podiatrist. Dr. Zong’s patients who run in the New York City Marathon make appointments the entire week before the race to get rid of corns, callouses, get moleskin, have their orthodics padded, and in some cases receive cortisone injections for their heel spurs (plantar fasciitis) so they can run in their dream event.

10.  Finish Line. When the race is complete Dr. Zong says practice RICE:

Rest your feet.
Ice helps keep inflammation and swelling down.
Compression with ACE wraps will also reduce swelling.
Elevation will help your feet rest up for the next big run.


About Dr. Oliver Zong


Dr. Oliver Zong is a podiatrist in Manhattan’s influential Financial District. As one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country, he serves as the Director of Surgery at NYC Foot Care and is on the Board of Directors at Gramercy Park Surgery Center . Besides traditional and cosmetic foot surgery, Dr. Zong is also an accomplished cryosurgeon and co-founder of the Podiatric Cryosurgery Center of New York. He is an attending physician at New York Hospital Downtown, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, and Gramercy Park Surgery Center. An accomplished foot surgeon, Dr. Zong is credited with coining the terms, “Foot Makeover”, “Foot Facelift”, “The Toe Tuck”, and “High Heel Feet”. For more information please visit www.NYCFOOTCARE.com.

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