New runners as well as seasoned runners are more at risk for acquiring certain foot and ankle problems. These include heel pain or plantar fasciitis, neuromas, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains. More detail about these types of problems and what to do about them can be found in my blog Common Foot Problems in New Runners. However, if you want to decrease your chances of visiting me, your Seattle podiatrist, here are some tips for preventing foot and ankle problems if you’re a new runner.

Buy New Running Shoes

Schedule a professional fitting at a store that really knows about running. Super Jock and Jill in the Greenlake area is an excellent choice. Whatever store you choose make sure that they measure your feet, watch you walk, and even watch you run to assess the best shoe for you. Old worn out shoes will not provide the support and stability you need to prevent foot and ankle injuries.

Start Slowly

Even if your best friend is pushing you to run your first race in 3 weeks, it’s much more important for you to train and be really ready before taking on your first challenge. You’re much more apt to injure yourself if you’re body and feet aren’t ready. Keep in mind your current fitness level and talk to your physician before beginning any new training program. Runner’s World suggests running three days per week to give your body time to recover in between runs. In addition they recommend increasing your training time between 10-20% each week. More information for new runners can be found in The Starting Line.


Warm up your legs by jogging in place for at least 10 minutes before you stretch. Engage in a variety of stretches to your routine. Try using Dynamic Warm-up and Cool Down exercises to get yourself ready to run.

Eat Well and Keep Hydrated

Avoid the junk and eat a diet containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Limit your sugar intake and keep yourself well hydrated.

For more information about starting a new running program or treating an existing foot or ankle condition the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City can be reached at 206-368-7000 or you may request an appointment online

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