This might seem like an unusual topic, but if you think about it, the strength of our feet is super important. We strengthen our legs through running, cycling, body-weight resistance work and weight lifting. We intentionally work our core and do total body strengthening classes. All of this is great and helpful in racing faster, but what hits the ground first when you run? Obvious answer. If you weigh just 100 lbs., 400 lbs. of force shoot into your foot and up your leg every foot strike, which, should be happening about 80-100 times per foot per minute.
So, a key to racing faster is strengthening the muscles in your feet and ankles. That's right. How many of you do foot strengthening exercises regularly? If you do, it will lower your risk of injury not only in your feet but up your legs as well. I regularly do ankle circles and toes curls (put a towel on the floor, put your feet on it and with your toes, pull the towel back under your feet - kind of like during curls with your toes.) I spell the alphabet with my toes. I can feel the muscles in my feet start to burn if I do these correctly and enough of them, so I know the dozens of muscles in them are getting stronger, thus, I'll be racing faster! If you have weak ankles or sprained them a lot growing up like I did playing quite a bit basketball, all this is even more important. I have little ligament support particularly in my left ankle and so I have to pay attention to what this blog post is about, but it will serve all of us well, if we'll work on those feet!!