As Flying Pig training continues, mileage is ramping up. This weekend my long run had 9 miles on the plan. I haven’t run this far in several months…having been injured back in November that stopped me from running for 5 weeks. But I’m persistent and determined to stay the plan. So 9 miles it was. However, I was running with friends who failed to mention that I would be running on trail, instead of road, for those 9 miles.
Unfortunately not only did I wear my road shoes, but also it was on a trail that I injured myself and mentally I wasn’t ready to run on trail again yet. Lastly it didn’t help at all that this particular trail system was covered w/ snow, ice and slush. So on I went…for 4.5 miles of nothing but hill after hill of wet slushy mushy yuck. My feet got really tired, or was it my legs and my feet?? I do love running trail, and it was beautiful, but I was really wishing I would have worn my trail shoes.
At the 4.5 mile mark I felt I had run 10 already–it was more work than I was expecting…so I wimped out and took to the nearby road to finish my mileage.
What did I learn?
- know the terrain you are going to be running on before you dress.
- keep your ankles strong in order to be able to accommodate to irregular terrain or slippery conditions (snow, ice, slush, mud, large gravel)
Here are two really easy yet super effective exercises to keep your feet and ankles strong:
- to strengthen the extrinsic muscles of your foot (they start above your foot) hold your leg still and pretend your toes are a pencil. Draw out the alphabet (A-Z) in GIANT capitalized printed letters by moving only your foot so that the motion is occurring at your ankle joint.
- to strengthen the intrinsic muscles (these start and end in your foot) place a towel on the floor,
place your feet on the towel, then scrunch your toes as if you were going to pick up the towel and move it. Continue for 2 minutes.
Each of these should be done 3 times a day to help keep your ankles and your feet stronger.
Soon I will have a full collection of helpful tips for Runner’s foot care. Stop back and be sure to opt in to the mailing list for continued tips and training to maintain optimum foot health.