As a running coach I’m always hearing from my runners that they want to do more technique drills to improve their running. I’m all for this, especially when it’s a 30*C night on the track.
Last night I made our Serpentine runners take off their shoes and pay attention to what their feet and toes are doing. All too often as runners we stuff our feet into socks and shoes and forget about them as we run. Give those feet the attention they deserve! Your lower legs will thank you.
I’ve compiled some of my favourite drills & stretches below if you want to have a go at them. They’re great to add to your running sessions, or do on the kitchen floor while waiting for the pizza to bake.
Start with bare feet on a solid surface (preferably not soft carpet)
- Stand straight with feet hips distance apart
- Lift all your toes and place them down one-by-one starting with the outside (pinky!) toes first spreading them out nice and wide.
- Lean from the ankles forward/backwards and side to side a few times eventually finding what feels like a comfortable centre.
- Big toe presses: Press ONLY your big toe down for 5 seconds x 5
- Bit toe lifts: Lift only your big toe x10. Do this 3 times
- Alphabet foot: Lift one leg in front of you and write the alphabet with your toe (like a paintbrush!) Repeat with the other foot.
- Walk forward on your toes 30 steps
- Walk backwards on your toes 30 steps
- Walk forward on your heels 30 steps
- Walk backwards on your heels 30 steps
- With flat feet walk forward with your toes facing out (duck walk) 30 steps *do not lock your knees*
- With flat feet walk backward with your toes facing in (pigeon walk) 30 steps *do not lock your knees*
- Curl all your toes under your feet and walk forward 15 steps
- Point all your toes in the air and walk forward 15 steps
- Toe & plantar stretch. Sit down and grab your foot with the opposite hand and try to get each finger in between your toes with the aim to get your knuckles right up touching the toes. Feel the stretch already and then move your hand and toes around in circles (each way) stretching those toes and feeling the movement on the top and bottom of your feet.
Of course, my favourite Jasyoga has a lower leg reset video which is the best out there and great if you want something to follow along to!