Ever wondered why that foot might be hurting during those long runs? Ever noticed that while trying to strike the ball of that foot on the ground, you might actually not even be placing that entire foot on the ground after propelling off of the other? Guess what, this takes away energy, this can cause shin splints, this can cause stress fractures and this can lead to just NO GOOD. Let's prevent this NOW!
Three exercises below to help you to practice eliminating that improper footstrike
1. Use one foot at at time. Lean slightly forward from those ankles, lifting one flexed foot, driving the heel of that foot towards your glute and almost like you do while biking, circle that leg forward to allow that foot to land with some dorsiflexion, striking with the ball of that foot, but making sure that ENTIRE foot is DOWN. Why? Try running on your toes for 10 miles and see how it feels. IT'S PAINFUL. #SOGUILTY. This proper to footstrike leads to a stronger gait, a more efficient and effective use of energy while moving forward AND it makes running FUN and more enjoyable!
2. Place both foot on the back of a treadmill. Do this same motion while switching feet with a minimal bounce while switching. SO, instead of mountain climbers, (which this might seem much alike), your taking one foot and placing it fully down while THEN taking the other foot up and placing it down fully, making the transition quick without any bouncing, stabilizing that pelvis and allowing that footstrike to properly hit the treadmill.
3. Apply this to your running! Go out for 0.5 miles and just think about this. AGAIN, this does not happen overnight! When you think about what you're supposed to be doing, with time and repetition, you'll begin to notice that you're finally striking the foot on the ground the CORRECT way during those long runs! #TAKENOTE.
Next time to you head out for that long training run, think about the above. I promise you, you'll be thanking yourself for reading this in NO TIME. :)