Doctor’s Orders for a Successful Race

The Ridge Run is Just Around the Corner—See You at the Finish Line!

By Dr. Sabrina Landers, DPM
This article originally appeared in the BAPA Villager

Shoes … the Final Chapter

With the Ridge Run less than a month away, the shoes you have grown to love, for better or for worse, are the shoes you should wear for race day. Changing shoes or insoles this late in the game can cause other foot and ankle issues.

Different shoe lacing patterns and padding are a great way to stop pain from pressure points. There are few other tips to help avoid blisters and pain during the race! Try an over-the-counter friction block stick. Apply this solid stick to all areas prone to irritation just prior to lacing up your trainers. Avoid running in full cotton or wool socks. Consider instead, an acrylic or cotton-polyester blend to wick away moisture and avoid rubbing in your shoes.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

Last month we discussed adequate hydration to avoid cramping and exhaustion during your run. Start now to develop an optimal hydration routine for race day. Drinking copious amounts of water can cause hyperhydration depleting your blood’s sodium volume. Increase sodium intake with an electrolyte supplement just prior to the race to maintain strength throughout the race.

Pre-Race Nutrition

After long hours of hard work and training, the last thing you want is a sick stomach on race day. Spend time this next month experimenting with certain foods. Assess the types, quantity, and ascertain a consumption schedule that works well with your body. If you find that bananas and peanut butter provide long lasting energy during your training session, then consider adding this to your breakfast on the morning of the big day.

Gradually increasing your carbohydrate intake leading up to the race can boost stamina and assist in sodium preservation which will combat fatigue and dehydration.

Last Minute Pain Control

If your training sessions cause pain and over the counter interventions are not helping, please consider seeing a specialist before the run. You have come too far to turn back now. As a reminder, make certain you are stretching, properly hydrated, and have managed a few days of relaxation in between strenuous sessions. Avoid wearing your running shoes when you are not training, as changing shoe gear during off times can allow your foot to recover following a run.

Post-Race Recovery

Self-care following the race is paramount! Consuming 12 to 24 ounces of water with electrolytes and eating a meal high in carbohydrates 30 minutes to two hours following the race refills your body’s depleted stores.

Change out of your running shoes! Find a comfortable pair of non-constricting shoes or sandals that avoid all pressure points established during the race. Don’t forget your nightly full body stretch to relieve the lactic acid build up from your day. Enjoy a full night’s rest basking in the glow of your recent stellar accomplishment!

Sabrina Landers, DPM, is a board certified Podiatrist at Keir Foot and Ankle Specialists, 11628 S. Western, 773-941-4040. This article is part of a series on training for a 5K or 10K.