February 27, 2018
By Nick Whitbread
Our feet, the heroes of our body. They do all of our heavy lifting everyday and almost never complain about it. What do you do to maintain your feet?
Imagine tomorrow if you had to start walking around on your hands just how sore, tight, fatigued and possibly damaged they would be. Obviously we have been walking around on our feet for most of our lives. It's not until we bring focus to the feet that we realize the engineering masterpiece that they are and how much of a load and how much stress they carry for us everyday.
When running, the load on your muscles and joints is exponentially increased compared to walking. Your feet are included in this and are the initial impact point for ground contact. We've all heard someone say "I'm going out to pound the pavement", and its exactly what some of us do. Everyone's running cadence (foot strike per minute) is different. A good cadence (how many times one of your feet strikes the ground per minute) depending on your running gait is usually around 90. If you run for an hour each foot is striking the ground over 5000 times an hour. Even for the runner with the lightest foot strike, that's a lot of times to land with all of your body wight plus the multiplying effects of gravity and inertia on your one foot. It is for this reason that we need to give our feet some love.
When the tissues and tendons of the foot begins to get tight, the plantar fascia usually being the first to let us know, so too does the Achilles and then the calf and its a (upside down) cascading affect from there. By taking a few minutes each day to self massage our feet we can manage our foot health. The video below explains tools that I like to use to maintain my feet. Just five minutes a day can make a world of difference for your prolonged running performance and for reducing your chance of injury. If you do no maintenance at all on your feet and you try just one of the tools below for just five minutes once, you will notice an immediate difference in how your feet feel. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Have a question you would like Antonio and I to answer please message us or comment below and we will do our best to answer it. If we have many similar requests we may make a video out of it.
We preface our advice with the fact that neither of us are licensed health care professionals. We are two chaps who love to run sharing our experiences of what has worked for us.