Optimal Foot Care Tips for Runners
Running is a sport that’s often associated with discussions about the right footwear, stretching routines, and proper running techniques. However, the health of your feet and ankles, crucial for maintaining your running performance, is a topic that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Here are some simple and effective ways to keep your feet in prime condition:
Our feet are packed with muscle insertions that extend from the ankle to the toes. Some of these muscles lie deep within the foot, while others are closer to the surface, like the arch. To relieve tension and improve foot and ankle mobility, consider using a tennis ball, a spiky ball (for the brave), or even a lacrosse ball to gently roll the soles of your feet. This practice will help target those muscle areas and support overall foot and ankle health.
This refers to the movement of your foot towards your shin. Limited dorsiflexion can contribute to ankle discomfort and contribute to issues like shin splints and ankle instability over time. To enhance your dorsiflexion, try lunging or standing with your foot on a chair or bench while pushing your knee over your toe, ensuring your heel stays flat on the ground. The longer you can hold this position, the better, as it gradually increases the range of motion in your ankle’s front.
Strong ankles are essential for preventing injuries and adapting to varying terrains. While heel lifts on stairs are common exercises, exercises like side lunges, Cossack squats, and deep squats also play a pivotal role in enhancing ankle strength.
Typically made of soft silicone, they can assist in improving toe mobility and maintaining proper foot posture. Wear these spacers for short periods during toe mobility drills or around the house to help engage the muscles in your feet.
Despite these helpful tips, it’s essential to have your feet assessed by a professional. When scheduling your next appointment, be sure to ask us to evaluate the health and movement of your feet. Your feet are the foundation of your running, so taking good care of them is paramount to your success and enjoyment of the sport!
16th October 2023