Tips from Coach Rod – Strengthening Your Foundation

If a tree is not rooted to the ground, a strong wind will blow it over. How about that huge building you have watched in construction?  They take months building the foundation, then each two weeks the builders add another floor!

Getting a strong ‘footing’ or Foundation from the ground up is the point here.

The Pyramids?, how about these marvels of life, about 6000 years ago they were built?…it’s all based on Foundation.

Our feet are the Foundation for everything, walking and running! they set the tone for our bodies to function at it’s best and they set the tone for Performance!  It’s said, ‘Weak feet will lead to defeat’.  Strong and healthy feet will make you quick, powerful and agile. Feet that are weak and not operating normally, will make you slow, achy, lack balance and wobbly.

There are a lot of muscles in and around your feet, actually about 20 in your foot and then the connective muscles in your lower shin area make up another 10 or so, that’s 30 muscles we rely on for every step we make.  Now that’s alot of muscles to assist us with pushing off the ground, absorbing shock and supporting the arch which helps gives us balance.

Try this, stand in front of a mirror in bare feet, lift one leg and watch what happens, most likely we drop into the inside of the standing foot (the arch and muscles can’t support us, we wobble and compensate by arm movement and over compensation of the hips to shift the weight)

What happened?  Our foot muscles weren’t able to hold our balance.

Introduction to the Roadrunners Beach Sand Walking.

Just as we need to build an aerobic base at the start of a marathon training program, we also need to focus on building this foundation to strengthen our feet.  In a week or so, I’m going to get the Roadrunners to have a beach walk.  At the conclusion of the run we will invite the runners to walk bare-foot along the sand, that is to just walk down the soft sand for a half mile and turn around and walk back, (we will take off our running shoes).

Strengthening your foot muscles can help propel your run and prevent injuries to your feet, hips, and back. By walking on the soft sand, your toes will naturally curl to enhance strengthening.  By simply walking barefoot you will start to use your foot muscles and your feet will soon become stronger, you will strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the underside of the foot.  We will gradually increase the time or distance as you gain better strength in your foot muscles.

Here are a couple of additional exercises to help build your foundation at home:

Toe Walk:
Walk barefoot on the balls of your feet, maintaining a slow pace.  This tenses and strengthens the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the underside of your foot.

Toe Raise:
Hold the wall or a chair and raise up onto your toes and then drop down onto your heel. Do this for a set of 10 toe raises, rest and walk around and then do another set of 10 only do 3 sets to start with.  Each week increase the number of sets by 1 more until you can comfortably do 10 sets of 10.(This then becomes your every other day routine)

Pencil or Marble pick up:
Sit in a chair with a few pencils or marbles spread out in front of you.  Use your toes to grasp a pencil or a couple of marbles (start with the right foot).  Lift your foot to thigh level and remove the pencil or marbles with your hand (do 4-5 of these).  Repeat with the other foot.

Bottle Roll:
Get an old Coca Cola bottle, and use as a foot roller.  Sit in a chair and place the bottle under the right foot and apply a little pressure as you roll the bottle from the toes all the way to the heel.  The shape of the bottle is great in getting all the underneath of the foot, you will soon get good at the ‘rolling’ and in time you will be able to stand up and roll.  The extra pressure from you standing will help in building strength and you get a massage as well!

Here are a couple of books that are also well worth getting.

Fantastic Feet, by Aliesa George.

The Foot Book, by Dr Paul Conneely

I’ll see you in the sand.


SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015