• Lachlan Cogan

Don't let pain stop you from running



Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy. A lot of people run for exercise, it’s free and you can do it anywhere. Whether you are running to stay fit or whether you are trying to challenge the limits of your endurance by running a marathon, you need to make sure you look after yourself so you can keep running. The lower limb is obviously very important when it comes to running, so this is an important part of the body to look after. Here are three tips to help keep you running;


1. Bunny hops

2. Calf stretches

3. Dowel exercise




1. Bunny hops

Bunny hops are a great exercise to help keep your feet strong. It’s also a great exercise as it can help you work on your cadence (this is the number of steps you take in a minute). Start with your feet a comfortable distance apart, and facing straight ahead. Soften your knees by slightly bending them, keep your elbows by your side and bend your elbows so your hands are out in front of you. Bounce up and down on your feet, just small hops off the ground. The idea is to stay on the ball of your feet. Your heel should just skim the ground before you start the next hop. Try to keep yourself nice and relaxed as you hop up and down. If you have a metronome or a metronome app on your phone you can set the metronome to your cadence and try to hop at the same speed as the metronome. Start out hoping for short intervals, 10-20 seconds at the most, then build up the length of the intervals you can hop.




2. Calf stretches

Running is a great exercise for staying fit and healthy. Running also tightens your calf muscles, so you need to make sure you loosen the calf muscles. If you don’t loosen the calf muscles they will continue to get tighter and tighter, which may lead to injuries if you keep running with tight calf muscles. Stretching your calf muscles is a great way to loosen them. There are two muscles that make up the calf, so therefore you need to do two stretches. To start with, stand with one foot in front of the other and lean into a wall. Keep the back leg straight with the heel on the ground, lean forward into the front knee which should be bent. You will feel this stretch at the top of the calf muscle. For the second stretch bring the back foot forward a bit and then bend through both knees, keeping the back heel on the ground. You will feel this stretch down the bottom of your calf. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and do both stretches to both calf muscles.




3. Dowel exercise

Running can put a lot of strain on your feet, pounding the pavement step after step. To keep your feet in tip top shape so you can keep running, you need to look after your feet. Running will cause the muscles in the feet to tighten up over time. The dowel exercise is a great way to loosen them back off. Place a piece of dowel on the floor, if you don’t have a piece of dowel you could use a broomstick or feather duster. Start with both feet standing on the dowel, the dowel should be in the fleshy part of the foot just before the bones in the ball of your foot. Slowly walk forward over the dowel, so the dowel touches every part of your foot from where it starts till the end of your heel. Any time you feel soreness in the foot, it means the dowel is in a tight spot of the foot, so stop and hold there for 5 seconds. Stop as many times as you need until you have walked over the dowel. Repeat this 3-5 times.

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