Running is a simple sport compared to other solo sports. You require little equipment or training to start a running program. However, aspiring runners can often become sidelined with foot and ankle pain if they are not careful. If you are new to running and want to continue training to run a race or get fit, here are some tips to help you reduce foot and ankle pain as you run.
1. Get fitted with good shoes.
Many new runners pull out an old pair of tennis shoes that have been gathering dust at the back of the closet. However, if these shoes are worn out of if the components are starting to break down, you'll actually cause your feet some injury. Instead, go to a running store and have your gait analyzed. You will be able to find a pair of shoes that fits your style of running and your support needs exactly. Don't be afraid to spend a little extra on running shoes. Compared to other sports that require more equipment, a simple pair of shoes is a relatively small investment that has a big return: pain free running.
2. Build up your mileage slowly.
People who are new to running may feel impatient to start accelerating the pace of their training sessions, especially if you are already fit from another sport like swimming or cycling. However, it takes your muscles, ligaments, and bones time to adjust to the force of pounding the pavement. If you don't build up slowly, your feet and ankles will hurt from the sudden increase in stress. Even if your heart and lungs can go further and faster, it's best to build both distance and speed gradually. Generally, most runners advise building your mileage by about ten percent per week. This means that if you ran 3 miles in your first week, you next week should have you running 3.3 miles.
Seasoned runners do not need as many recovery days between runs, but you will. Your feet need time to rest and repair. If you want to workout every day, choose weight lifting, swimming, or cycling on the off days to give your body and needed break from running. The cross training will help you be a better runner in time.
Running does not have to cause injury or severe pain. For more information, contact a foot and ankle doctor, like one from Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois, near you.