Running long distances is very good exercise and helps us to increase our stamina and general fitness while at the same time improving our muscle tone and body fat percentage. Going for a run can trigger body-wide changes that are result in total-body transformations over time.
However at the same time running is also one of the most difficult forms of exercise, requiring a high level of continued exertion over an extended period. This isn’t helped by the fact that there is so much else that gets in the way when we run, and so much else to contend with. Not only do we have to have the will power and fitness to continue, but we also need to manage shin splints, nipple rub, chafing, temperature, blisters and more.
Burning feet is just one more of the problems that many runners face, and it’s crucial that we find ways to deal with this if we want to get the most of our training. At the same time there are odd occasions where burning feet can be indicative of a more serious problem, and so it’s important that we look into what may be causing them.
Possible Causes of Burning Feet (And Solutions)
Of course there is a good chance that your burning feet are caused by simple friction within your shoe. This friction burn is caused by your foot moving back and forth within your shoe and rubbing against the sock and sole inside. This is also what eventually causes blisters so it’s important to find ways to deal with it.
If you are experiencing friction burn then this means that your feet are rubbing. It may be that your shoes are too tight, that your socks are prone to rubbing, or that your feet are becoming sweaty. You can manage this by ensuring that your socks are proper training socks, that your shoes fit well, and that you use a little talcum powder to prevent them from rubbing as much.
Of course it’s also possible that your feet are just very hot, and that this is compounded by the fact that you are using them a lot and that they are pounding against the concrete. If your feet are getting very hot then you can manage this again by using the correct trainers (with breathable material) and socks.
This burning sensation may also be a sign of nerve damage which can occur as a result of your feet undergoing so much impact. If this is the case then you should see a doctor, and you should also looking into using trainers that have more padding in future to avoid them receiving so much damage. Nerve damage can also be caused by other factors relating to the regulation of glucose, and this is most likely to occur in diabetic patients.
A vitamin B12 deficiency is also a common cause of hot feet via nerve damage. Try supplementing your diet with extra B12 and see if this reduces the problem. You are also likely to experience a tingling sensation if this is the cause.
If your feet are overly pronated while running, or if your foot is rolled inward, then this can place pressure on the wrong parts of the feet leading to vascular damage or tarsal tunnel syndrome. The best way to combat this problem is using orthotics or custom fitted shoes after having your gait analysed.
Poor circulation may lead to either a build-up of blood in the feet and legs (you may also experience varicose veins), or if may cause a reduction in blood circulation to the feet which also causes numbness (chronic exertional compartment syndrome). You can improve your circulation through improved diet (to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure) as well as through diet and exercise to strengthen the heart. Ironically then running will help to reduce the problem long term – though you may try other forms of CV such as rowing until the problem subsides.