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It’s the area we spend the most money on when it comes to running, yet our feet are generally the most neglected part of our body. We spend hundreds of dollars wrapping our feet in the next new technology or even better the next lighter brighter minimal or barefoot shoe, don’t get me wrong shoe choice is very important and my ever growing number of Icebug and inov8 shoes is testament to that. But how many of us actually work on what is doing the business inside the shoe, Our FEET.

What happens at your feet can tell you so much about your running whether you are a forefoot, midfoot, heel striker or have no idea which one you are and just run for the love it, it is important that your feet and ankles have the mobility and strength to deal with the force of three times your body weight coming down on them every time you land.

So let’s for now take Technique out of the equation as that is a whole different blog. We want to look at how we can make you stronger and more confident on the trails that you won’t roll or end up with plantar fasciitis.

Let’s start with foot Mobility, as most of us are kiwis reading this blog we probably all have this same issue. Jandals! We all love them and I still wear mine most days but we can’t hide from that fact that the do terrible things to our feet. Mainly though the art of holding them on our feet with our scrunched up toes we lock our ankle joint and effective ruin our beautifully designed shock absorbers. I’m not saying don’t wear them just be aware that you should do a bit more work on your feet if you wear them often, same goes for high heels.

First up massage

If you have a partner willing to do this before and after runs you are very lucky if not you can give these ago

Massage stick or golf ball

Simple roll ball/stick around under your lift and curling your toes as you do it. Pay special attention to your heel, forefoot, arch (especially with your toes lifted) and between your toes.

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Mobility

Sitting at bottom squat.

This helps with a lot of different thing but in this case we want to use it to open up those ankles.

It as simple as going down to the bottom of your squat and sit there for a while. You may need to hold on to a post or something have the mobility there yet. Once you get use to this you can shift you weight from left to right to add a bit more load to each ankle.

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Sitting on your Ankles

It’s all in the name.  Get down on your knees line your feet up so they are in line with your shins then sit on them slowly. Start short and work your way into it. Never over do it.

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Next up foot position

Don’t rely on a Shoe to support your foot it just makes it weaker. Some nice simple thing you can do every day can help fix the issue of collapsing or rolling ankles.

First up is one that we can do all day.

Be aware of how you walk, sit and stand. Try and stand, sit and walk with your feet pointing forward. It sounds simple but many of us walk or stand with one or both feet pointing out. Next is weight position. Try and make sure you weight is even on both feet and even between heel and forefoot. As we Sit, walk and stand for about 16 hours a day making this small change can be very effective.

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Foot Screw.

This one is another you can do at any time but you might get a few funny looks.

While you are standing simply try and screw your feet outwards without actually moving them. This activities your glutes and prevents your ankles collapsing. Hold for a while then release and repeat as you wish.

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Foot Strength

Skipping

Beach running barefoot (don’t overdo it. Check with your Dr if you have any injuries)

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Single leg squats

Stand on one leg then squat down and try and touch the ground with the opposite hand. Repeat 10 times each leg trying to touch in a different spot each time.

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Hope you enjoyed these tips if you are ever after more info check out www.healthstrive.co.nz or if you live in the Auckland region come along to our small group strength and conditioning for runners where we go through all this and much more.