• Sole Focus Podiatry


Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Running is one of the only forms of exercise that you can truly take up at the drop of a hat! No gym membership or team members required - just yourself, a good pair of shoes and a will to run!

That being said, it's often underestimated just how important it is to check in with your lower limbs if you're running regularly. You could feel like you're blitzing the bitumen and nailing your runs, without realising that you have an underlying issue that could cause you pain or injury down the track. Looking after your lower limbs can also help you to reach your running goals.

So, whether you're a beginner, or an experienced runner, this is a list of our top tips and the things that we think EVERY runner needs to know!

Understand your foot type

Before you start your running journey, it is best to understand your foot type, and a check in with your Podiatrist will give you the answer quick smart!

Pronated foot type:

Pronation put simply means that when you walk, your weight tends to load more on the inside of your foot. It is commonly known as collapsed or fallen arches and is generally associated with low arch feet.

This type of foot can cause various over-use injuries, especially when running is involved. The inward tilt of the foot during mid-stance is, to some extent, normal however if this happens to an excessive degree it can cause heel pain, shin splints and knee pain.

Supinated foot type:

A supinated foot means, as you walk, your weight tends to load more on the outside of your foot also known as rolled out ankles. This foot type is typically associated with high arch feet.

Supinated feet generally have less than normal shock absorbing capabilities. This foot type also frequently leads to overuse injuries of the tendons and ligaments on the outside of your ankles and prone ankle sprains.

Another common injury with this foot type is stress fractures of the metatarsals.

Every person's running journey is different...

Understanding your foot type can help pick the right running shoe, running surface and help immensely when it comes to developing a training load.

If your feet, ankles, knees or back hurt when you run, you may benefit from custom orthotics, which to improve the function of the injured or vulnerable body part and to facilitate alignment through supporting the back, joints, muscles, and limb ligaments and tendons.

Orthotics are often underestimated and we see plenty of long term runners who report incredible improvements in their running after getting custom orthotics fitted. They're our little miracle workers!

Pick the right footwear

This one is key! There are so many different running shoes with varying types of technology, and choosing the ones that are perfect for YOU is incredibly important.

Once you understand your foot type, you can select the right running shoe for you, and your Podiatrist is your best friend when it comes to this process.

Wearing old and worn-out shoes can lead to increased stress on your feet, ankles and knees.

Running shoes are classified as either neutral, supportive or motion control - pronated feet typically need a supportive shoe, whereas supinated feet may benefit from a cushioned neutral shoe.

Running shoes should also be updated every 600-800km!

Soft tissue work

As you increase your running, you will need to do a little more to take care of yourself. We know this isn't as fun as the run itself, but it's absolutely vital to ensure you continue to improve and avoid injury!

Easy at-home exercises can help support the arches of your feet and the muscles that help support those arches.

Some of these include:

  • Rolling your feet over a tennis ball to relieve tension

  • Stretching of your calf muscles

  • Strengthening of your feet by picking up marbles with your toes

Youtube is a great place to start to get some examples of these exercises in action.

Following a training program

Whether your goal is a local park run or a half marathon, following a training program will reduce the risk of overuse injuries and keep you on track to achieve your goal!

There are so many training programs available online and it's all about picking one that suits your goal.

Remember, it's important to start slow and work up to your goal distance gradually. It's also imperative that you allow your body to rest! Incorporating rest days into your program allows your body to recover and perform at its best next time you run!

Have fun!

Run by yourself, with a friend or in a group but make sure you’re enjoying yourself - this is the most important part of any form of exercise.

If you're a runner, or wanting to become one, we would love to see you for a Biomechanical Assessment to ensure that your lower limbs are in tip-top condition and ready to help you achieve your running goals!

To book an appointment, click here or call us during our open hours on (07) 4529 7430.

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