How to Treat Black Toenails

 

“BLACK TOENAILS”

A pooling of blood under the toenail, caused by the toe rubbing or hitting the top of your shoe. Often the toe will throb with the pressure of the blood.

Remedies: To relieve the pressure, you need to make a hole in the nail and drain the blood. Either heat the tip of a small, straightened paper clip and use it to burn through the nail until a drop of blood comes out, or sterilize the tip of a 1/16-inch drill bit with heat or alcohol and, by spinning the instrument between your finger and thumb, drill a hole in the nail. Stick your foot in a pan of water until all the blood comes out. (If you’re squeamish about doing this, see a sportsoriented physician.) Apply an antibacterial cream. Relieve inflammation with ice and anti-inflammatories.

If your black toenail isn’t painful, you don’t have to drain the blood. Lubricate with antifungal cream and cover it with a bandage. But monitor the nail, as it will probably loosen and fall offover the next few months. When it gets loose, carefully pull it off and continue to apply the antifungal cream. In the meantime, buy “a pair of running shoes with more room in the toe box.”

 

Excerpt From: Burfoot, Amby. “Runner's World Complete Book of Running.” Rodale, 2009. iBooks.

 

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7 bad habits of good runners by Jen Matz

 

  1. Starting out too fast. Going all out in the beginning may work for some runners – especially during shorter distance events — but most of us do better running negative or even splits. Negative splitting means you start off a race slower than goal pace and make up for lost time as you go on – this approach helps you finish a race feeling strong. To keep yourself from getting caught up in race day hype and sprinting out of the gate, wear a GPS watch so you can rein in the pace if it gets out of hand. Or try repeating a mantra to help you keep it slow.
  2. Skimping on sleep. The average adult needs around seven hours of sleep per night. During the peak of training, you may need even more shut-eye. Not getting enough sleep can weaken your immune system and impair your recovery time and performance. Aim to be in bed at least seven hours before you alarm is set to go off.
  3. Consulting Dr. Google. If you have knee pain, one of the first things you’ll probably do is Google something along the lines of “runner knee pain”. Don’t count on WebMD or a running blogger to accurately diagnose what’s ailing you. If you have more than just general aches and pains, and rest and ice isn’t helping, see your doctor. Only a checkup by a real, in-person doctor can get to the bottom of your injury.
  4. Not taking enough time off. If you get sick or hurt in the middle of training, it can be unsettling to take some unplanned rest days. But it’s always better to rest than push it when you’re not feeling 100 percent. Regular rest days are critical to recovery, and unscheduled rest days don’t always hurt either.
  5. Refueling improperly. Your next run’s success depends on what you did immediately following your last run. Refueling with the right foods within the right window of time can help your body replenish glycogen stores and repair muscles, so you’ll feel even stronger during your next workout. Refuel within 30 minutes to one hour of finishing up. Choose a snack that’s high in carbohydrates and contains a small amount of protein, like low-fat chocolate milk or whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana.
  6. Skipping the sunscreen. Outdoor athletes, like runners, have an increased risk of skin cancer. Unless you’re running on a treadmill, you need to cover yourself with sunscreen before every run. Note that 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can penetrate through clouds and fog, so lather up everyday to be safe.
  7. Not switching things up. Do you always train the same way and run approximately the same race times? If you have big PR dreams, you’ll need to tweak your training in order to achieve them. Try following a different type of training plan, preferably one with regular speed workouts.

Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners

Running is a simple activity, but the following guidelines will help you succeed at it.

Don’t begin a running program without a full medical exam.

Don’t attempt to train through an athletic injury. Little aches and pains can sideline you for weeks or months if you don’t take time off and seek medical advice.

Do dress correctly. If it’s dark, wear white or, better yet, reflective clothing. If it’s cold, wear layers of clothing, gloves or mittens, and a wool ski cap to retain heat. Sunblock, sunglasses, a baseball cap, and white clothing make sense on hot days.

Don’t run in worn-out shoes (check them for broken-down heels or very smooth areas where you push off on your strides). Don’t run in shoes that are designed for other sports, such as basketball or tennis sneaks.

Do tell someone where you’ll be running and when you expect to return. Carry some identification and your cell phone.

Do some light stretching exercises prior to your run/walk workouts to reduce muscle tightness and increase range of motion. You should do even more stretching after the workout.

Do watch out for cars, and don’t expect “drivers to watch out for you. Always run facing traffic so that you can see cars approaching. When crossing an intersection, make sure you establish eye contact with the driver before proceeding.

Do include a training partner in your program, if possible. A training partner with similar abilities and goals can add motivation and increase the safety of your running.

Don’t wear headphones when running outside, whether you're “training or racing. They tune you out from your surroundings, making you more vulnerable to all sorts of hazards: cars, bikes, skateboards, dogs, and criminals.

Don’t run in remote areas, especially if you are a woman running alone. If you don’t have a partner, run with a dog or carry a self-defense spray (first ensuring it’s legal to use where you run). Don’t approach a car to give directions, and don’t assume all runners are harmless.”

Excerpt From: Burfoot, Amby. “Runner's World Complete Book of Running.” Rodale, 2009. iBooks.