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Although it is often overlooked, foot care can massively affect your race performance. So if you truly wish to improve how long or how fast you run, take note of these foot care tips to gain that competitive edge for the win.
Invest in Sock-Options
You'd probably agree that nobody likes those smelly white tennis socks, so why not throw those in the bin for good and get a professional pair of running socks? Or better yet, just get two. They will not only reduce blisters dramatically but absorb shocks and give you some nice added stability during races. There are plenty of options to choose from and a good running store will have the ones that best serve your needs. They might be a little pricey, but trust me, these babies are well worth the investment.
There's Nothing That Can't Be Fixed With Tape
No, not the good old duct tape, but the new Kinesio tape every athlete and physio is going hyper about. Don't get all carried away with it though and tape everything up including your forehead. Just put a few lines on your feet and watch the tape work wonders. It will help with your stability and comes in particularly handy when your foot muscles are getting tired. A guide with more information can be found on runnersworld.
Get Professional Help
We are not referring to a psychiatrist who wants to talk about your childhood here, but a professional foot massage therapist. If done right, foot massage will release muscle soreness and increases blood flow, which in turn results in better races. But be aware that not all massage therapists have the same standard. Just like in any other field, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. So choose wisely and ensure that these therapists have some references or certifications. Last minute decisions are never a good idea, so do not visit a new massage therapist an hour before your all-important race.
Do It Yourself
If visiting a professional massage therapist is too expensive for your taste, there is plenty of good that you can do for your feet by yourself too. You may have heard about trigger point therapy and self-massaging. A simple way is to get a tennis or lacrosse ball and step on it to gently massage spots that feel slightly hard or tensed. The technique is called myofascial release and will alleviate muscle soreness or painful spots similar to massage therapy. It can also be a great warm-up for your feet, so there is no reason not to invest a few bucks in a tennis ball or take one from your garage and give it a try.
Proper foot care can massively affect your race performance. Pay heed to it for a pleasant surprise in your next race or marathon.
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