Often after long runs, we can feel the physical aftermath in our feet. We can feel soreness in our Achilles, arches, toes. Usually, after a few hours we don’t feel the discomfort, but we will feel it again the next day after our run.
Stretching our feet after each run is not mandatory unless we have some issues with foot soreness. But even to stretch our feet a few times a week will help prevent getting that foot soreness and tightness. To perform some basic post-run stretches will help release the tension in our feet.
3 Basic Foot Stretches
- Toe Stretch on the Wall– Standing with toes of the right foot up against a wall, push forward until you feel the stretch in your right calf.
Hold it for 20-30 secs, and then switch side. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.
- Butt to Heel Stretch– Start in a tabletop (quadruped) position, with knees under the hips and palms on the floor, with wrists directly under the shoulders. Curl your toes under and into the floor, push your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a stretch in the soles of your feet.
Hold for 20-30 secs or as comfort allows. Repeat 2-3 times.
- Self-Massage– Sitting on a chair, press the left foot into the floor with the knee bent at 90-degree angle, and bring the right ankle on top of the left knee. Using your thumb, gently massage the sole of your right foot, increasing pressure as comfort allows. If you find knots, massage those gently. Repeat on the left foot.
Another self-massage option is to roll a frozen water bottle underneath your feet to help ease any post-run inflammation, and plantar fasciitis. You can also use a foot massage gel roller than can be frozen to release muscle tightness and plantar fasciitis.
Foot Massage Ball- To use regularly can help release tendon tightness, and help protect our feet.
- Helps correct imbalances in the muscles.
- Relieves knots and tightness around the plantar fascia ligament.
- Improves range of motion.
- Relieves heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
- Stimulates blood flow to affected areas, providing long-term healing.
Tips for Using Foot Mobility Balls
- Massaging your feet with your Foot Mobility Ball will provide immediate relief, but using it regularly will provide long-term healing.
- Massage your feet using your Foot Mobility Ball at least once a day.
- Roll each foot along the entire length of the plantar fascia ligament, from the ball of your foot to the heel.
- Roll for 2-3 minutes each foot.
- When you find a particularly tender spot, pause for 60 seconds and relax your foot muscles, slowly increasing the pressure.
- Massaging your feet should not be painful. Apply enough pressure to provide relief, but do not press so hard that you experience severe pain.
Foam Rolling the Calves- Side effects of tight calves are tight feet. To foam roll our calves will help release the Achilles and foot tightness.
Sitting on the floor with legs extended, place the 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 on the left foot and roll out your left calf, then switch sides. Adding some pressure from the top leg on the bottom leg will increase the intensity of the massage
3 Pre-Run Warm Up Foot Strengthening Exercises
To perform some pre-run warm up foot exercises will help activate, strengthen our feet muscles and blood flow. This will make our feet stronger for the running impact.
- Toe Crunches– Sitting on a chair or standing with your feet flat on the ground, place the edge of a hand towel under the toes of your right foot and scrunch the towel using your toes, bringing it towards your heel.
Repeat 2-3 times on each foot.
- Big Toe/Little Toe Lifts– From a standing position, press the big toe on each foot into the ground and lift the four little toes on each foot. Then alternate, and press the four little toes into the ground while lifting the big toe on each foot.
Repeat 5-8 times
- Use a Golf Ball– Gently roll the ball underneath the sole of your foot, roll the ball back and forth gently to release any tension. If you find a tight spot, massage it gently.
Don’t overuse your shoes- Wearing old worn out shoes can cause sore feet and joints. The recommendation is to switch to new shoes after running 500-800 km, depending on the shoe brand and quality. Also, having access to two pairs of running shoes and rotating between them when training, will make your shoes last longer. Using two different models, will also help support your running form by strengthening your feet. Make sure that your shoes are appropriate for your running gait to prevent injuries.
Release Your Feet, Strengthen Your Feet, Run Strong, Feel Great!