Runners Toes

If you are a runner, or live with someone that is, seeing deformed feet and toes is nothing new. The wear and tear that the feet take from running is easily visible. My feet have been jacked-up ever since I started running again almost three years ago.

The most common ailment is black toenails. They are caused by the constant rubbing of your toe(s) against the front or top of your shoe from the inside. This rubbing causes a blood blister to form under the nail, and the blister can’t breathe, so it takes a lot longer to heal. Often a new nail forms under the dried up blood blister and the old nail falls off – sounds fun, huh?

While getting properly sized for running shoes and wearing wicking socks can help, if you log enough miles, it’s inevitable…you will get a black toenail or two. If you are a woman, don’t worry about not being able to wear those open-toed high heals that you love – just slap on some nail polish to cover it up. OR, wear it proudly as a battle scar!

There is also no way to treat black toenail. It will be tender for a few days (always painful when my 18 month old inadvertently steps on a freshly-blackened toe), but it will get to where it doesn’t hurt anymore. Don’t try and pull the nail off – even if it looks dead. This could cause infection and will have you sitting in a doctor’s office explaining what you did.

WARNING! WARNING! If you are easily grossed out, now might be the time to quit reading this post!

So take a look at all the lovely runner’s toes below and try and guess which one is mine! Fun game, right?







Now that you have been throughly disgusted, I’ll do a quick recap on my training.

My ankle is slowly coming around after my Grade 3 sprain on 12/26/10. I went to the Dr. Rudy Ellis Sports Medicine Center last week and learned how to tape it up and also got a list of exercises to do. It’s definitely getting stronger, but I’m still maybe a week away from running any distance on it. I’m getting extremely anxious, but I want to make sure it’s healed before I run – a lingering injury is no fun.

Recent Workouts:
1/4/11 – BIKE: 1:05:01 – spin class with lost of hill intervals, some riding in aerobic zone after class. Avg HR – 138 bpm
1/5/11 – ELLIPTICAL: 0:35:01 – Closest thing I can do to running. I did 10 x 2 minute hill repeats. Avg HR – 123 bpm
1/6/11 – BIKE: 1:30:00 – spin class with speed intervals plus 30 minutes at aerobic threshold (AT). Avg HR – 139 bpm
1/7/11 – SWIM: 1991 yards in 0:44:51 – Slow Endurance with warm-up, 1 mile at easy pace (34:45) and cool-down
1/9/11 – ELLIPTICAL: 0:45:01 – Tried to do 45 minutes at AT, but it was hard to get my HR to 145 on the elliptical. Avg HR – 130 bpm. After this workout, I got on the treadmill and jogged half a mile at a slow pace. My ankle held up well, but I didn’t want to push it.
1/10/11 – SWIM: 3021 yards in 1:06:27 – 528yd warm-up, 3 x 767yd swims at 75% of full speed with 90 seconds between each. Times were 15:35, 16:11, 16:17. Finished with a short cool-down.
1/11/11 – BIKE: 1:23:01 – Spin class followed by 9 x 2min fast spins at 110rpm or higher with 1 minute rests. Avg HR – 142 bpm.

I’ve also been mixing in some weight training circuits about 3-4 times a week. Focusing on core and upper body strength. I don’t want to do anything involving legs that might hamper my ankle recovery!

3 Responses to “Runners Toes”

  1. Matthew Smith January 11, 2011 at 6:19 PM #

    I’m going with #5. It’s just a shot in the dark… Man, your workouts are looking strong. Way to go, man! I’m glad the ankle is feeling better. Thanks for motivating me to continue to train. Have a great week!


  2. The Yochum Family January 11, 2011 at 11:44 PM #

    I lost 6 toenails following my marathon. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. They don’t look great but I could easily cover them up with nail polish! I’ll guess # 6??

  3. Anonymous April 25, 2011 at 1:33 AM #

    I am currently training for my first marathon…running about 36 miles a week (1) of those runs between 16-18 miles long. I am on my way to loosing 6 nails…what a mess! Someone tell me its worth it?

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