With marathon season quickly approaching, we want to recognize that being healthy encompasses everything from consuming the food that fuels us, to taking care of the tool that drives us to the finish line: our feet. The process of getting race-ready may look different from one athlete to the next but starting from a structurally sound foundation (pun intended!) that begins at our toes will make us all stronger, faster and better. Below, we’ve compiled a marathon training guide that takes natural foot health and function into account. Happy reading!
Before the Race: Prehab
Stretching is a fundamental part of any training routine… but it typically doesn’t involve warming up the feet. As running and most physical activity requires the feet to bear weight, strengthening them becomes a valuable part of training that helps to relieve foot pain and can also lower the risk of injury. Below, we show five exercises that will activate natural toe movement and help to build the intrinsic muscles in your foot arches. For best results, perform these exercises on each foot for 5-10 repetitions, at least 2-3 times per day. Including these training tips in your running routine should put you on the fast track toward a stronger, injury-free foundation. Click here to watch.
For the Race: Shoe Recommendations
Topo and Altra rank highly here in the office as race-ready footwear picks. Please note, these are considered transitional footwear that are best used when switching from conventional running shoe brands to a thin, flexible, and naturally shaped shoe that we encourage.
Some of our favorite running models:
Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 3 | Men’s / Women’s / Review“The Fli-Lyte 3 by Topo features a breathable knit upper with virtually no printed overlays, saving unnecessary shoe weight and eliminating “hot spots” during activity. Our wear tester loved the reinvented upper, noting the shoe’s lightness as well as its ability to prevent her feet from overheating. The Fli-Lyte 3 has a stack height of 20mm in the forefoot and 23mm in the heel, including the 5mm Ortholite removable insole. Overall, our tester really enjoyed this shoe, and despite needing to remove the insole, we think this is a great shoe for those transitioning to naturally shaped zero-drop footwear.”
“This is hands down our favorite running shoe from Altra. Although not perfect in all categories, the Escalante did receive an 8.6 out of 10. Even with some additional cushioning, weight and moderate rigidity in certain areas, Dr. Ray really likes this shoe. The ‘engineered knit’ upper gives it some additional room and flexibility, as well as an attractive look. We consider the Escalante to be a great option for those looking to get a more transitional running shoe.”
After the Race: Recovery Tools
The Hypervolt percussive message device by HyperIce is a fantastic tool for recovery from daily training, for those transitioning to natural footwear, and as a part of a natural foot heath plan with Correct Toes. We found that with regular use, the powerful device helped ease muscle stiffness and soreness, in addition to improving mobility.
The Hypervolt comes with five attachment heads for different parts of the body. This offers a specific and targeted massage experience that addresses the needs of different muscle groups. The variable speed selection feature further adds to the customizable experience with three levels to choose from. Don’t be afraid to use the top speed, however. While the device is powerful, the highest setting won’t create an unbearable amount of discomfort. Take it slow, listen to your body, but turn it up for those stubbornly tight spots.
The Hypervolt is certainly a highly functional, feature-rich massage tool, but one of our favorite features is the lack of noise emitted. Our tester put the massage device to the test in the office and received no complaints, thanks to the Quiet Glide™ technology. We have found other devices to be so loud that it is almost not pleasant to operate while alone. For many reasons, we highly recommend this device for recovery.
“Recovery is a critical component to a successful training. Whether recovering from marathon training, transitioning to natural footwear, or trying to improve foot health, The Hypervolt from Hyperice has a place in any routine.”
Be on the lookout for a more in-depth review and tutorial from the Correct Toes team soon! For more info or to purchase, visit the Hypervolt product page here.