HAPPY FEET WILL MAKE YOU A HAPPIER RUNNER. CHANCES ARE, YOURS COULD USE A TUNE-UP. FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE TECHNIQUES AND TLC TIPS TO GO LONGER AND STRONGER.
<b>TEXT</b> SARA ANGLE
You probably don’t realise it as you’re running, but your feet are pounding the pavement some 600 times per kilometre, and enduring a force of two to four times your body weight with each foot strike. No wonder up to 79 per cent of runners experience some kind of foot injury each year, according to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
“There are many sensory nerve fibres in your feet,” explains Luke Bongiorno, the managing clinical director at Orthology, a physical therapy and sports medicine clinic in New York City. “If you don’t take care of your feet, you won’t properly stimulate those nerves, which can throw off your proprioception [the body’s ability to know where it is in space] and thus cause the wrong muscles to fire.”
During a run, when you push off your big toe, its nerves signal your body to activate your glutes. But if you are not able to get those feelings through your toe, the glutes won’t mobilise, and other, less powerful muscles will compensate.