BUILD RUNNING STRENGTH FROM THE FEET UP in 2017. Allison Pattillo reminds runners of the importance of foot strength in her article for Competitor.com, which is not readily conveyed by the title, “When Imbalance is a Good Thing: Build Strength with Balance Boards.”
She quotes Eric Orton who is an endurance athlete, the author of The Cool Impossible, and a coach. “The health of our feet, good or bad, relates to our run health”. He goes on to say, “If you really think about it, our feet are the only thing touching the ground”, and “We are only as strong as our feet.” The athlete-coach indicates that exercises which focus on the foot and even ankle, hip, and spine muscles “that are often overlooked, are essential when it comes to developing healthy patterns in running muscles.”
Patillo goes on to provide helpful advice on improving balance. There’s a link to another piece showcasing balance boards that can aid runners in this work. The message about foot strength is not as strong once balance is discussed in the article, so it’s being emphasized here. Runners and walkers who are spending time now to develop a training plan for 2017 might consider making improvements in foot and ankle strength, which can includes balance work, the foundation of their year’s effort.
Earlier in 2016 an Earned Runs BLOG featured research results that pointed to functional ankle/foot mobility and strength as being equally or more important to running health as we age than that of the larger joints. “It may be that our ‘running age’ is more closely related to our ankle ‘age’ than hip or knee age. It’s not too late to work on strength, mobility, and flexibility for the ankles and feet if you hope to keep running beyond age 45 when overuse injuries are known to increase.”
Check out this article, "GMB Fix Your Feet” written by the physical therapist Jarlo, and perhaps you will decide to focus training first improving mobility, flexibility, and strength of the feet and ankles.
The lengthy website page item “first introduces the basic anatomy and movements in these structures, then discusses the importance of working on this area, and lastly how to incorporate the demonstrated exercises in a training routine.” Scroll down to the section, “Strengthening Exercises for the Feet and Ankles” to quickly review the exercise/massages and select some that will work for you.
To be able to “run happy” into the future, perhaps it’s best to start with happy feet in 2017.
* Orton’s book, published in 2013, was described by Goodreads.com:
“Featured in the bestselling book Born to Run, coach and performance guru Eric Orton has spent a lifetime learning and thinking about running and about the limitless possibilities of the human body and mind. In The Cool Impossible, Orton shares his wealth of knowledge in an inspiring step-by-step guide that will open up a new world of achievement for runners of all levels of ability and experience. “
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...