4 Tricks for Preventing & Treating Post-Marathon Foot Pain

With the Careful training and recovery tips can prevent post-marathon foot pain fast approaching on January 14th, I thought I’d take the time to share some training tips that will keep you from experiencing debilitating foot pain the night or day after you log those 26.2 miles.

One of the most common side effects of running a marathon is day-after foot pain, most often the result of inflammation in the soft tissue of your feet. This is frequently experienced by runners who trained on softer surfaces than the race course, or who wore down the padding in their shoes during training and didn’t bust out new shoes for race day.

To avoid this painful problem and protect your feet, you should:

  1. Train on the surface you’ll be racing on. If you are training for a marathon run on roads, a treadmill or trail path won’t prepare your feet for the impact.
     
  2. Run in a well-cushioned shoe. Racing flats or old, worn-out shoes will leave your feet to experience most of (if not all) the impact of the pavement.

After the race, even before any discomfort sets in, do the following:

1.     Immediately upon returning home post-race, soak your feet for 15 minutes in an ice bath.

2.     Rehydrate enough to resume your normal bathroom schedule,  then pop an aspirin or ibuprofen (unless you’re on medications that may interact with the drug or have been advised not to take NSAIDs by your doctor)

If you’ve trained properly and followed my post-race instructions but are still experiencing post-marathon foot pain for several days, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. You may be dealing with a more serious injury, such as a stress or hairline fracture.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.