It is 5 weeks now since I have run anywhere. I injured myself during a half marathon back in February and recovery is long and slow and I'm not feeling very mellow about it. I had been training for my first marathon (now not going to happen) and had been building up the miles. Being on the injury bench isn't much fun but it has given me a chance to reflect on what running does for my fitness and to think a little harder about the everyday stretches and TLC that my legs and feet need when I'm running.
Carnation Footcare sent me a few samples from their range of first aid and injury prevention products suitable for runners hoping to fend off, or recover from injury! They are all available from www.firstaidfast.co.uk. I shall spare you the photos of my manky feet and hobbly legs but I've been giving these runners products a go...
First up I tried the Carnation Hydro Blister - this was back in the week immediately following my half marathon and my toes and the inside of my arches were covered in blisters (new shoes didn't agree with me). The Hydro Blister is a little plaster that you place over the blister to protect it as it heals so that it doesn't rub further. I found the plasters to be a welcome relief in the days after the race and I'll be tempted to have some around for after every race.
As I haven't been running these past few weeks, and as I've been given prescribed orthotics for my running shoes, I offered my Carnation Pressure Relief insoles to Mr. B. who regularly suffers from sore heels when he runs. These insoles are designed to help relief the pressure not just on your feet but through the whole body as you run or walk; Mr. B. felt a difference when he wore them - their cushioning effect which bounces back takes a bit of getting used to but every runner knows that a bit of cushioning is very welcome, especially on a long run! I think Mr. B. should also check out Carnation's long life heel pads too in order to try and tackle his running niggles.
Perhaps most impressive from the Carnation Footcare range is this simple-looking gadget which I've decided should become part of my post-run routine from now on. The nifty Carnation PediRoller is a plastic roller that allows you to exercise your foot in a way that can help prevent a number of common runners injuries, and which can speed up recovery too. I've been using it to help me exercise my feet when I've been otherwise unable to stretch (I was more or less sofa-bound for a while!). By rolling your feet over the the roller and causing a curve in your foot, you can help stretch the calves and achilles which helps you fend off shin splints and plantar faciitis which, if you get it, can be incredibly painful.
I have too sorely learned the lesson that upping your running mileage can cause you injury so from now on I'm going to be a little more careful about trying to ensure I stretch and exercise to combat injury and pain.