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A Podiatrist’s Guide to Starting Running Safely

A Podiatrist’s Guide to Starting Running Safely

Embarking on a running journey can be both exciting and daunting, especially for beginners. As a podiatrist, our expertise in foot and ankle health positions you perfectly to be guided through this exhilarating endeavour while ensuring your feet stay happy and healthy. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to get into running as a beginner and the valuable role a podiatrist plays in this process.

 

Start Slow and Set Realistic Goals:  

As a beginner, resist the urge to lace up your shoes and sprint out the door. Instead, start with a manageable routine that includes a mix of walking and running. Gradually increase the running intervals as your stamina improves. Setting realistic goals helps prevent overexertion and minimises the risk of injuries. Also try not to focus on the amount of time you run for or the total distance and speed of your run, this is where injury can occur as your body is not able to adjust to this change in activity levels. 

 

Invest in Proper Footwear:   

Podiatrists understand the significance of proper footwear. Recommend your patients invest in quality running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. A gait analysis can help identify any specific foot issues, such as overpronation or supination, guiding the selection of the most suitable shoes.

 

Listen to Your Body:   

Running can be demanding, and it’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s signals. For beginners, we encourage you to start with shorter sessions and to take rest days to allow for recovery. If you experience persistent pain or discomfort, please seek medical advice with a podiatrist to address any potential issues early on.

 

Warm-Up and Cool Down:   

We emphasise the importance of warming up before a run and cooling down afterward. Simple stretching exercises can help prevent muscle strain and improve flexibility. A podiatrist can recommend specific stretches to address the unique needs of a runner’s feet and ankles.

 

Proper Running Form:  

Maintaining a good running form is crucial to minimise stress on the feet and lower limbs. Proper posture, a mid-foot strike, and controlled breathing can contribute to a more enjoyable and injury-free running experience.

 

Custom Orthotics and Insoles:   

Podiatrists can provide personalised solutions to address specific foot issues. Custom orthotics or insoles can correct biomechanical imbalances, enhance stability, and alleviate discomfort. This tailored approach ensures that each runner receives the support they need based on their unique foot structure.

 

Regular Checkups with a Podiatrist: 

Regular visits to a podiatrist can be a proactive measure to monitor foot health and address any concerns promptly. Podiatrists can offer advice on injury prevention, recommend strengthening exercises, and provide ongoing support throughout a runner’s journey.

 

Embarking on a running journey as a beginner is a rewarding experience that can lead to improved fitness and overall well-being. As a podiatrist, our role in guiding individuals through this process is invaluable. Proper footwear, gradual progression, and personalised foot care, will contribute towards a positive and sustainable running experience.