Problem Area: The Ankles
Your ankles are quite delicate in design yet they are put in some of the most potentially dangerous situations. Ankle injuries are both highly common and can be some of the trickiest to fully get past. What’s worse is they can arise from simple bad luck; a loose rock on a gnarly trail could end your season.
The best way to reduce your risk of ankle injuries is to strengthen the immediate ankle area as well as the surrounding muscles. By doing so, even if you do step wrong or roll your ankle awkwardly, it won’t come as much of a shock and could be the difference between a bad strain that lingers for weeks or something that is fine with a little post-run ice job.
- Bosu balance: Balance on your right foot atop a Bosu ball or small pillow. Hold there for one minute; you can increase the time spent up to multiple minutes. As you improve, try staying on that right foot and reaching down to touch the ground with your left arm, going across your body. Repeat with left foot.
- Calf strength: Strengthening your calf muscles also safeguards your ankles; do a three-way calf raise cycle: place your toes facing forward on the edge of a step for a set of 10 raises, the second 10 raises point your toes inward, finally, for the third 10 point your toes away from each other.
A balanced body is a better body. Seek out those cheaters and make them work to get stronger.
About The Author:
Caitlin Chock set the then-national high school 5k record (15:52.88) in 2004. Still an avid runner, she works as a freelance writer and artist.