Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Being Wise Sucks. Ankle Problems.

Occasionally you'll find yourself in pain. A small twinge or sharp stabbing pain may cause you to stop in your tracks physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. One small pain ignored has tremendous power to escalate into a major blowout later if not tended to as soon as the pain is recognized. But today we will be speaking solely on physical terms. I can get into a deeper post another time. I could write a 10,000 page book on the many correlations and phenomenons of running and the way it parallels within life. 
But for today being wise physically sucks. 
Why? Because it takes wisdom to know when to slow down and sometimes even come to a complete stop. 
Because I've told myself that I can not run on a perfectly beautiful day. The kid is in school and I didn't have to be at work until 11 am. But in being wise, I've placed myself in timeout. Yesterday after two miles on the treadmill I noticed a tight feeling in the lower left side on my left ankle. I believe it's due to the fact I almost rolled my ankle on last Sunday's run on a rock (I am by nature, a total klutz). I will be stretching and mending. In the two and a half years that I've been running and training I've yet to experience a serious injury {{knock on wood}}, because if I ever felt any kind of discomfort, unlike that of your regular fatigued or sore muscles, I've slowed down or stopped to care for the pain. And it usually occurs in my ankles. I've had weak ankles for as long as I can remember and as I'm trying to build my mileage back up to prepare for marathon training I've neglected my regular ankle strengthening routine. I had a routine I would run through a few times a week and it worked like a charm. But like any other muscle if you do not exercise it, it will lose it's conditioning over time and become weak again. So here we go. This is the routine I've used in the past and as of today am restarting. I perform the ankle rolls each time before I run but not necessarily the others. I perform all exercises listed below once or twice a week. Very short and simple. 

Ankle strengthening and flexibility routine

**Disclaimer reminder: I am not a professional, or licensed in any way, to treat or advise you on YOUR personal injury, health, fitness, and/or personal well-being (although I am working towards that! Yay!). This is simply my personal routine that has worked for me personally. I compiled these exercises through my own personal research.**  

Ankle rolls: As simple as it sounds, while standing, balance yourself on one leg and lift the opposite leg out in front of your body slightly and rotate the ankle clockwise 10-15 times and repeat in counterclockwise direction. This is a two part strength and flexibility move, you strengthen one ankle while balancing on one and work the flexibility while rolling the other. However, you may want to start by standing next to a chair to balance. 

•Hang 30: Find steps, preferably next to railing to balance yourself, let the balls of your feet hang off the edge of the step while holding your balance with the front pad of your foot on the step. Hold for 30 seconds. 

•Calf raises: Lift yourself off the floor standing on your toes. Repeat 10-15 times or however many you find comfortable. Strengthen your calves and ankles here!

•Ankle "windshield" wipers: while sitting upright in a chair place your feet together and in one move "wipe" your feet out while keeping your heels together. Repeat 10-15 times. Then, in one move while keeping your big toes together "wipe" your heels outward. Repeat 10-15 times. 

These are my four basic moves. 
Do you have any great tips for ankle strengthening? Please share!!! Knowledge is power and we can never learn enough. 

For additional exercises and excellent tips: 



***Do you find it difficult to stop or slow down? Have you experienced an injury due to it? Which body part on you is most prone to pain/injury?***

***Happy (& Blessed) Running!!!*** 

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