Soon the whole world will be watching the UK to witness the annual extravaganza that is the London Marathon. On Sunday April 23rd around 50,000 runners, including Scottish long-distance runner Eilish McColgan who makes her debut this year, will be racing through the capital.
Running is a great form of cardio exercise but as many of us know our feet can often take a bit of a bashing when training. Many of us will experience a foot problem at some point – hardly surprising when you hear that our feet carry us some 150,000 miles in a lifetime. They carry the weight of our body and yet most people tend to ignore their feet, even though they are crucial to our general health.
Painful feet can be a real issue especially for marathon runners. They often report hardcore blisters, while Athlete’s foot can run rife after wearing sweaty trainers for so many long runs, and some participants even end up losing nails after the race. Thankfully Dr Paul Chadwick, podiatrist and advisor to Excilor – www.excilor.com – makers of the much loved and trusted medicated footcare product range – has some handy tips to keep your feet in good shape. Plus, if you are running the marathon, Dr Paul Chadwick has some tips on how to prepare both mind and body before race day:
#1 HAVE A PLAN
First, get yourself fitted with some proper running shoes. Buy these in the afternoon if possible as this is when feet are at their biggest. You’ll also need a proper training schedule. We’ve all heard those horror stories of people who don’t train properly before race day and either get injured or drop out as a result.
Do your research beforehand to ensure your mileage increases gradually and allow yourself plenty of time before the big day to build your runs up. Getting a training buddy is a great idea – it can offer greater motivation when you’re both starting out, but make sure that you’re both happy with the training schedule and that it fits around all your family and work commitments.
#2 WATCH OUT FOR INJURIES
Runners often sustain an injury during marathon training and that can scupper the best-laid training plans. Creating body awareness is key to finding and addressing any niggles which could catch up with you. Work systematically through the body and check for any discomfort, pain, or soreness.
Nail fungal infections are incredibly common among runners as their feet get hot and sweaty and are enclosed in trainers much of the time. In fact, research by leading health brand Excilor estimates that around 21 per cent of the British population suffer from an infection at any one time, with 49 per cent of those that suffer not aware they have an infection. Dr Paul Chadwick explains: “Common signs of a fungal nail infection are discolouration and the hardening and thickening of the nail in question. If not addressed these infections can lead to further complications such as permanent loss of the nail, a resurgence of the infection and even, in extreme cases a spread of infection to other areas of the body or even the bloodstream.”
Thanks to the Excilor range of evidence-backed solutions, which consists of three specially formulated hero products, these infections can be treated quickly and easily. Pharmacist and advisor to Excilor, Noel Wicks says: “For mild cases, try Excilor Nail Fungus Treatment Solution, a fast-acting product which stops the fungal nail infection from progressing. You’ll see visible results from two weeks onwards.” Need something a bit stronger? Then Noel Wicks suggests using the Excilor Nail Fungus Treatment Solution Ultra – a powerful solution which brightens, smooths, and strengthens the nail immediately, as well as protect it against future infections.”
In addition there is Excilor nail fungus treatment pen which makes it handy to apply when you’re constantly on the move. Its format means it’s easy to pop into your bag on the way to the gym or even in your backpack when you’re heading out for a long run. All of the Excilor products are enriched with glycerol, nail care lipids and biotin so they serve to boost nail health at the same time as fighting against infections. Each product in the range is designed to penetrate the nail thereby ensuring the nail is treated from the inside out. The solution immediately lowers the pH of the nail, creating an environment that is hostile to fungal growth, but the damaged nail does need time to grow out for the nail to look completely healthy.
Athlete’s foot, also known as Tinea Pedis, is another bane for runners and it is said to affect around 15-20 per cent of the population. Annoying, unhygienic, and itchy, it can spread to different parts of the body. Stop it in its tracks with Excilor’s Athlete’s Foot 3 in 1 Treatment and see a marked improvement within seven days.
#3 SEE FOOD AS FUEL
Nutrition plays a vital role in our energy levels. A balanced diet rich in high-quality fats, protein and carbohydrates is essential to marathon training as each play their role in energy production, repair and recovery. Carb-loading is important before a race to ensure you have enough in the tank for the big day. Why not experiment before race day and carb load before some of your longer runs? Then you can see how your body responds and make a plan that suits your body for race day.
#4 TAKE TIME OUT
Marathon runners obviously need to factor in time to run for long distances as part of their training, but huge benefits can also be derived by including other activities in your schedule. For example, resistance training for major muscle groups can help improve joint integrity, speed and power. Active recovery is key to staying in great shape too and swimming and yoga can be good choices for helping your body to wind down after some serious running. Sports massage is also a great way to get hands-on feedback and will draw awareness to areas which need a little extra pre-marathon attention.
#5 TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Mentally preparing for the marathon can be just as important as doing your physical prep. Make sure you have a few strategies to overcome any ‘brick wall’ moments during the run – an energising song or a memory of a happy place can work a treat. Don’t forget that the cheers of the crowd can put a spring in your step too, so it’s a good idea to have your name on your T-shirt so well-wishers can encourage you. Familiarise yourself with the London Marathon route before the big day if you can, especially the last few miles. Just seeing that last stretch can do wonders for a tired body and mind. Visualisation is extremely powerful – imagine yourself running the marathon and the sensation of crossing the finish line. If you believe you can do it, then you will.
 According to the College of Podiatry as referenced in Medical News Today, 2018.
 Excilor research published in 2022.
 Survey by Excilor 2022.