How can orthotics help my running?
A pair of orthotics can alleviate many of the foot and leg problems marathoners experience. If you have chronic pain in your foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back, it's worth a visit to the podiatrist. You may pronate (your ankle tips to the inside) or supinate (your ankle tips to the outside). Check the injuries chapter for more details on these conditions, but simply put, if your foot rolls around when it strikes the ground, especially over the long miles of marathon training, you are at increased risk for injuries, and orthotics may help.
Check the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine website at aapsm.org for ideas if you don't have a regular podiatrist, or ask fellow runners in your area for a recommendation. If you don't like what you hear from a podiatrist, such as “just don't run,” then run, don't walk, to another podiatrist. The right doctor wants to help keep you healthy and happily running and there are ways to correct almost all foot problems.
Most custom made orthotics (ordered through a podiatrist) cost several hundred dollars, but some insurance companies will cover one pair per calendar year, and once you have them they will last for several years. That said, some runners do just fine with simple over-the-counter arch supports or shoe insoles from a drug store, and a podiatrist can customize these devices with extra padding in a way that gives your feet the support they need.
Running Frequently Asked Questions
What are some key tips to proper running nutrition?
What is a good starting point for beginner runners?
How do I know that my running shoes fit properly?
Do you have tips on a more comfortable running shoe fit?
How does lifting weights help my marathon training?
How often do I need to lift weights during marathon training?
What activities can I do if I am sore or injured?
Can I ride a stationary bike to help with my marathon training?
How can I train for a marathon when I'm recovering from an injury?
Can I train for a marathon on a treadmill?
Will yoga help my marathon training?
Why is core body strength important for marathon runners?
Does trail running help with marathon training?
How can a fitness ball help my marathon training?
What should I pack for the marathon?
Is it hard to travel out of town for a marathon?
Do I need to warm up before the start of the marathon?
What additional clothes should I bring to the marathon?
What if it is cold at the start of the marathon?
What should I do if I don't want to throw away extra clothes at the marathon?
What if I can't sleep the night before the marathon?
What should I eat before the marathon?
What if I get hurt or sick during the marathon?
What do I need to do after the marathon?
What is the single best stretch for marathon runners?
How can I stretch my tight shoulders to help my running?
How can I stretch the muscles in my feet?
How can I stretch tight hamstrings?
What exercise will prevent a groin pull?
How can I stretch my tight shoulders?
Why should I stretch?
How can I stretch my quads without hurting my knees?
How can I stretch my hips to help my running?
What is the IT band and how can I stretch it?
How can I relieve my tired legs and feet?
What is the most important part of marathon training?
What if I can't follow my marathon training plan?
How much do I need to run each week to rrain for a marathon?
What should my marathon time be?
Do I need to run each mile at a certain time to complete a marathon?
Do I need to take a day off and not run while training for a marathon?
Do I need to do speed work when training for a marathon?
What are tempo runs and how can they help my marathon training?
What are the mental aspects of marathon training?
Will running on hills help my marathon training?
How do I know my best pace for running a marathon?
How much water should I drink while running?
Should I eat before I run?
What should I eat during long training runs?
What should I eat while training for a marathon?
What is beta carotene and how can it help runners?
How much protein do I need while training for a marathon?
Should I carbo-load before a marathon?
Do I have to give up my favorite foods while training for a marathon?
What should vegetarians eat while training for marathons?
Are energy bars and gels helpful for marathoners?
Are energy drinks better than water ?
How can I start training for a marathon?
How can I stay motivated during marathon training?
What running surfaces are best ror marathon training?
How do I know what pace to run when training for a marathon?
How can I find other marathoners to run with?
What should I do when I get hurt while training for a marathon?
Can I run another marathon right away after my first one?
Do I need different shoes for short distance running?
How long should my short runs be?
What workouts can I do to train for shorter races?
Will short races help my marathon training?
Do I need to warm-up before a short-distance race?
Can half marathon races help my marathon training?
How can short races help my marathon training?
Can I train for a marathon and 10-K at the same time?
Are expensive running socks worth the money?
What should I wear to run when it's cold?
What type of sports apparel is best for marathon running?
How can I carry water and food during a marathon?
Should I wear sunblock while running?
How do I choose a bra for marathon training?
Should I buy a stopwatch for running?
What types of shorts are best for marathon training?
What types of running pants should I buy?
How should I wash my running clothes?
What kind of shirt should I wear for marathon training?
How can I prevent injuries while training for a marathon?
What can I do about plantar fasciitis?
Should I take painkillers when I have a running injury?
What could be causing my hip and back pain?
Can I run if I'm only a bit sick or injured?
How can I treat and prevent blisters?
Is sports massage helpful for marathoners?
What is RICE and does it work to treat injuries?
What is the best way to apply ice to an injured area?
What is a neuroma and how can I treat it?
How can I relieve minor muscle aches associated with marathon training?
How should I choose my running shoes?
How can I keep my heels from slipping in my running shoes?
What size running shoes should I buy?
How can orthotics help my running?
Are men's and women's running shoes different?
Should I wear the same running shoes every day?
How do I know what type of foot I have, and what type of shoe I need?
What's the best way to dry my running shoes when they get wet?
How far ahead of the marathon should I buy new shoes?
What can I do with used running shoes?