Guest Post: Race Prep tips #15: The efficiency of your feet

Caleb McInnes is a Sports Podiatrist (Co-Director) at Freedom Sports Medicine; Multiple Age Group Australian Champion Duathlete & Triathlete; 4 x Australian representative at World Duathlon / Triathlon Championships and qualified Lvl 1 Triathlon coach.

Your feet are the only things that contact the ground when you run and they are one of the biggest shock absorbers we have, but they are also static support and dynamic spring.

Most runners train almost every other area of their bodies … but when was the last time you whipped off your shoes and trained the 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles of your foot and the 13 muscles below the knee which assist with you foot function?

Running requires efficiency, and being inefficient increases the stress on your body. To reduce the stress on your body there are a few key things to address:

  1. Mobility
  2. Stability
  3. Strength
  4. Technique

Today I am going to touch on a small part of just one component technique.

So many people ‘over-stride’ especially as they fatigue, but over-stride is not really a word I like to use. To address this issue, words and phrases like ‘RUN QUIET and CADENCE’ are cues to consider in order to start becoming efficient.

For the majority of people who run a 10km event you likely take 10,000 + steps in a single run and hence you hit the ground 10,000 + times. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing but what if you could reduce the stress on your body each time you hit the ground by just 5-10%. Guess what – you can (!), and that results in a MASSIVE decrease in the amount of impact stress on your body.

Those of you who run with headphones in, try this. Take them out and concentrate on the noise you make – even if for only short periods of time. Try making less noise and think about what you have to do to achieve this.

Our bodies have multiple in-built shock absorbing systems, but so many people can’t or don’t use them well. There is good news though! We can get stronger, more mobile, more stable, improve our technique and become efficient, resulting in less stress on your body, less fatigue, fewer injuries and enhanced performance.

So many more things to consider but start small and see you will see the improvements.

Caleb McInnes (Sports Podiatrist; Director – Freedom Sports Medicine & Feet Alive Workshops)



1 thought on “Guest Post: Race Prep tips #15: The efficiency of your feet

  1. Pingback: Race Preparation tips #16: Taper is not a 4-letter word. | nigel hanscamp

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