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Delete those Runner’s feet – GB Athlete Adelle Tracey’s Tips

Delete those “Runners Feet”adelle

Although we all like to hide behind our trainers, flats and spikes there’s no denying most of us need to spruce those toes before slipping on a pair of sandals. So now summer has arrived here’s some tips on how to get rid of your runner feet in a glamorous and durable way with lasting results!

Calluses

Calluses are thickened areas of skin, which can occur on your hands and feet. As runners, calluses occur commonly because of the repeated friction of shoes rubbing against the skin, particularly on feet with bone abnormalities or bunions. Whilst calluses can be painless and offer a protective purpose to the skin, preventing blistering, when calluses are left to become very thick they cause more harm than they do good. They can become dry and crack resulting in a painful area of thickened skin which can become infected.

Treating Calluses

To avoid painful and built up calluses, file and use a pumice stone and pedegg after showering or bathing when the skin is supple. Use a foot cream following this to get the moisture back in to the skin so the calluses aren’t as dry.

Recommendations

My favourite foot cream is Norwegian formula nourishing foot cream for dry and damaged feet.

For very thick Calluses that are painful its recommended to seek medical advice from a doctor or chiropodist to treat these or a sports physician. 

Blisters

Blisters are inevitable if you are doing a lot of mileage. Like calluses; bone abnormalities, natural pronation and adaption to new shoes are just some of the causes of blisters.

Tips

  1. Salt water, Aloe Vera gel and keeping blisters exposed to air will help it heal
  2. Compeed and Zinc Oxide tape reduce friction when running.

Healing

I have been lucky enough to have never had blisters, possibly due to the following these prevention tips! Like most minor flesh wounds, a good way to get a blister to heal quickly is by soaking it in warm salty water and then applying Aloe Vera gel to the exposed area and letting the skin breath and air.

Reducing friction

Using a Zinc oxide tape and a Compeed plaster, apply this to the blister before running to protect the healing wound. Compeed plasters are great because they come in a range of sizes and shapes for specific areas; they also provide a cushioning effect and act as a ‘second skin’. You can get these for calluses, corns, blisters and bunions.

Its always advised not to pop blisters, if they haven’t popped already on their own, the blister is doing its job and protecting the skin below, so do not pop it! I would recommend seeking medical advice if a blister does not heal after carrying out the above treatment.

Nail care

Our nails have a hard time constantly being knocked and bruised about in our trainers, here’s some tips to prevent painful nails and give a long lasting finish.

  1. Clip nails and file often keeping them short
  2. If you’re going to paint your nails use Shellac varnish

Clippering

One thing I would recommend is to keep your nails relatively short, long nails constitutes to bruising and can cause ingrown toenails, which can become infected. Fortunately for us ladies there is some way to disguise our bruising toes with varnish but with the constant wear and tear of training it never seems to have much of a lasting effect.

Shellacing Nails

One thing I’ve discovered that is a long lasting solution to disguising my battered nails is Shellac. Shellac is a natural resin that is used in Shellac varnish, which sets using UV light and isopropyl alcohol. This results in lasting nail varnish for up to 6-8 weeks (on your toes) and 2-3 week on fingernails. I can truly say if shellac can withstand the testing conditions of two, month long training camps in Kenya it can definitely withstand the demand of everyday training. You can ask to get a shellac pedicure at your local nail salon or if you like to try things out yourself or want to save a bit of cash you can buy a DIY shellac kit.

Again for painful, misshapen or infected nails seek medical advice.

What you’ll need

For this you will need to purchase a UV nails box, Top and Base coat in shellac, a colour of your choice in shellac and some IPA (90% Alcohol) and cotton wool. 

Legs

Here are some tips on how to get smooth soft legs all year round when running in tough conditions. 

Tips

  1. Exfoliating removes dead skin and leaves legs clean and smooth
  2. Use shaving foam to give smooth unirritated finish or Wax for finer hair
  3. Invest in a good body moisturiser

Exfoliate

Exfoliating can be done in many ways; using abrasive products like body scrub, gloves or body cloths, you can remove dead skin from your body. Exfoliating can result in skin having a smoother, brighter and cleaner appearance. As a runner, I know I am constantly trudging though muddy fields so using an abrasive glove when showering just helps to get a deeper clean and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple. Although its important not to exfoliate deeply too much, this can make skin sensitive. I would recommend exfoliating no more than twice a week!

Hair removal

If you want to achieve smooth legs, hair removal is constant when you are a runner. Waxing hair is better long term, because when hair is pulled out of the pore it grows back each time finer and lighter. However, it is costlier than shaving and hair must be grown in between waxes. If you are going to shave, my personal favourite shaving gel is Gillette satin care with a touch of Olay for sensitive skin. It leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturised with less irritation, which is important if you’re shaving your legs as regularly as I do. I have also found as someone with particularly sensitive skin that shaving foam improves sensitivity. As for razors I’ve found the best disposable and cost effective razors are BiC soleil vitimine E triple blade!

Moisturising

As moisturisers go it is very much dependent on your skin type. My skin is very dry and when you’re training and showering twice a day this only contributes to skin becoming dryer. I have been through many different moisturisers but my personal favorite has to be Garnier body, Intensive 7 day Ultra-replenishing lotion with shea butter. As a runner, skin is constantly being exposed to the elements, which can cause skin to become dry and dehydrated, so moisturising is essential, especially if your skin is that way inclined to start with, like mine. I like to use a thicker cream for dryer areas such as hands, knees and elbows, for these areas I’d recommend Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula concentrated cream.

 

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