After the exciting runner’s high wears off, we can often feel the physical side effects of our long runs in our feet, tender aches in arches and general soreness near the toes. To activate and increase our feet’s flexibility before our run and release any foot, ankle, calf tightness or soreness will help prevent foot injuries.
FOOT STRETCHES AFTER YOUR RUN
Stretching our feet after a long run isn't always necessary, but if we're having issues or dealing with soreness, stretching could help the foot issue. Performing some post-run stretches, will help a much-needed tension release in the feet.
Toes on the Wall Stretch
Standing with toes of the right foot up against a wall, push forward until you feel the stretch in your right calf. Hold for 10-20 seconds at a time, and then switch sides.
Repeat 2-3 times on each side.
Butt to Heel Stretch
Start in a quadruped position with knees directly beneath the hips and palms on the floor, with wrists directly under the shoulders.
With your toes curled under and into the floor, push your hips back toward your heels.
You should feel a stretch in the soles of your feet.
Hold for 10-20 seconds at a time as comfort allows.
Repeat 2-3 times.
Sitting in a chair, press the left foot into the floor with knee at 90-degree angle, and bring the right ankle on top of the left knee.
Using your thumbs, gently massage the sole of your right foot, increasing pressure as comfort allows.
If you find any knots, try to work those out gently.
Repeat on the left foot.
Another feel-good tip perfect for a hot weather running day, to roll a frozen water bottle underneath your feet to help ease any inflammation is a good recommendation for post-run foot soreness release.
ADD STRENGTHENING EXERCISES TO YOUR WARMUP
Instead of speeding through a warmup so we can hit the ground as soon as possible, to spend a little more time preparing our body for the run ahead, and adding strengthening exercises into our pre-run routine, is also a good recommendation.
We should just perform two at a time from the following, and switch to the other two for our next long run, until we figure out which combo works best for our body type.
Sitting in a chair with feet flat, place the edge of a hand towel under the toes of your right foot and scrunch the towel up using your toes, bringing it toward your chair.
Repeat steps on the left foot.
Repeat 3-5 times on each foot.
Big Toe/Little Toe Lifts
From a standing position, press the big toe on each foot into the floor and lift the four little toes on each foot.
Then, press the four little toes into the floor while lifting the big toe on each foot.
Perform 5-10 repetitions of each.
Using a Trigger Point Massage Ball, Tennis or Golf Ball
Gently roll the ball underneath the sole of your foot. If you find a tight spot, work the ball back and forth gently to release any tension.
Foam Rolling Your Calves
Many times the feet feel tight because the calves are tight.
Sitting on the floor with legs extended, place a foam roller underneath your calves and roll back and forth.
Gently massage back and forth on any tight spots in the calves.
To increase the intensity, you can place the heel of the right foot onto the left toes and roll out your left calf and then switch sides.
SWITCH UP YOUR RUNNING SHOES
Sore feet, and or joints can definitely be a sign that it is time to wear new running shoes. How we can figure out if our shoes are expired, depending on the shoe brand and model, running shoes should last anywhere from 500-800 kilometres.
A good recommendation is tracking the kilometres on our shoes by using apps, like Garmin Connect and Strava.
Also, using two pairs of running shoes and rotating between them when training, will make our shoes last longer, giving the foam 24-48 hours to fully decompress between runs. Rotating shoes appropriate for our running gait can vary the load of running just enough to assist in preventing injury.
Focus On Good Foot Stretches, Strengthening, Flexibility, Avoid Foot Injury and Enjoy All Your Nice Runs!