When I began training for this marathon I imagined that at the end I would emerge a slim, toned running machine, and utterly bikini ready. Thanks to extreme runger (this is a real thing) with secondary severe donut-addiction this wasn’t completely to be, but I’m definitely leaner and stronger. However, I began to realise there was one area that had not fared so well. My runner’s feet.
I looked at other women’s feet in their pretty summer sandals, perfectly painted toenails and fully attached skin. My own feet were suffering some special kind of trench-foot, sweating for mile after mile through the roasting summer. I’d liken them to something attached to the lower half of a zombie. I do have photographic evidence, but I’ll spare you that and provide a written description instead: hard skin, calluses, a blister on the end of one of my toes, a suspiciously black toenail, bits of skin that weren’t hard were hanging off all over the place, and a mysterious rash occupying 1/3rd of my left foot. It’s true, running is the secret to a sexy body.
However, we shouldn’t be preoccupied with only the aesthetics. There’s a great saying in the equestrian world that goes “no foot, no horse”. No foot, no runner seems pretty sensible too. We literally rely on them for every step we ever take and yet how many of us give them any thought at all? I have spent more time ironing the ribbons of my race medals flat than I have caring for my feet, despite all they have done for me. I decided I needed to take action, and spent a few weeks focusing on getting them back into the land of the living. So here are my best tips for keeping your amazing running feet in tip-top condition.
Get your trainers properly fitted
This is the number one cause of missing toenails. Most people run in at least half a size bigger than usual, but get them fitted at a running shop to be safe and buy some decent running socks while you’re there
Cut your toenails really short
Second top tip for not losing your precious toenails. Cut them before every single long run. Also because long toenails are gross.
Treat suspicious rashes quickly
Do not just ignore disgusting things on your feet, take it from me they will not go away on their own. You need special cream for that, go to the chemist. Fungi are not fun, they are also gross.
If your toenail does fall off, paint another one in its place
It’s been proven scientifically (by several of us on twitter in our new favourite game, spot the missing toenail) that if you paint your toenail back on nobody will notice it has gone. Ok, this is the final toenail tip, you know what you’re doing now.
Use a lubricant
Some people find their toes rub together which can cause blisters and calluses, there are lots of lubricants from Vaseline to bodyglide which you can put on before your runs
Wash your trainers once in a while
I know, I know, washing trainers in the machine can cause extreme anxiety, what if they melt or shrink or worse get eaten. The risk is real, but so are fungal infections. If you can’t sniff them without gagging they’re overdue
Buy some recovery footwear
Grab yourself a pair of Oofos and you will never look back. They are designed to alter your gait to allow your feet and legs to recover. And they are literally like walking on clouds.
Book yourself a pedicure
Once you have completed the basic level care, and warned them in advance that you are a runner, you are now ready for the final transformation. Book a luxurious pedicure which must include (a lot of) dead skin removal, moisturiser, massage and toenail painting – remember to ask them to paint on the fake nail if necessary
Air them as much as possible
Now your feet are finally ready for public viewing get them out as much as you possibly can. You can’t help he hours trapped in sweaty trainers, but the rest of the time go for flip flops, sandals or bare. I practically live in my Oofos for this reason (and again, because they are actual clouds of joy)
Keep up the good work
Your feet are finally the perfect accessory to your amazing runner’s body (because ALL runner have amazing runners bodies), it’s up to you now to keep them that way. Make it part of your post-run routine. Wash, dry thoroughly, cheese-grater, moisturise and a cheeky little massage. And don’t forget to thank them for all their hard work.
So there you go, my humble guide for keeping your feet in the best possible condition, whilst blending in with their non-runner peers. If you have any other tips I’d love to hear them!