Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you: Sue Conley on a crucial aspect of your training prep
Oh, your poor feet! White cotton socks and sturdy trainers notwithstanding, your poor hooves are taking the brunt of all the good work you're doing to prepare for the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon. Do them the favour of treating them extra-nicely over the next few months, and they'll return the thoughtfulness with interest.
This is a really good time to acquaint yourself with your friendly neighbourhood podiatrist, or if you're feeling fancy, a good pedicurist. The former helps keep your toenails in good trim, can treat calluses and also give good massage. A salon or health spa-based pedicurist can help keep your feet moisturised from toe to heel and add a lovely splash of colour on the nails. Bring your own varnish, too so you can tend to touch ups at home; CND Vinylux Weekly Polish (€11.95) is vibrant, long-lasting, and easy to remove; basically, it's perfect.
If you get blisters, which can happen if your trainers are only just breaking in, or fit poorly, good old Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (€3.29) is your best choice post-pop, pre-plaster. Sometimes they go away on their own, but if not, we'd recommend a visit to your new pal the podiatrist, too. Carnation Footcare SilverSock: High Performance Socks (€13.35) are pricier than you might normally pay, but they're an excellent investment: made of fibres coated with silver, these are thermodynamic, help reduce the chance of blisters, and kill off odour-causing bacteria. They'll help keep those nasty calluses away, too.
At bedtime, use Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion (€18): cooling and soothing, its beeswax base locks in the moisture (and it's got our friend coconut oil in it, too.) Popping on a pair of white cotton socks will add to the pampering. If you prefer something that absorbs really quickly, Scholl's Velvet Smooth Intense Serum (€8.99) doesn't sacrifice efficacy for speed, and if you can't sleep with socks on (like me, cannot bear them), this is an excellent choice.