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Tips & Advice

The purpose of this section is to offer basic guidance to athletes on the many aspects of athletics training. Over the coming weeks the content of the section will grow to provide a wealth of invaluable information.

TRAINING SHOES

Have you ever wondered just how often you should change your training shoes ? This is not as silly a question as it may seem because the answer isn’t when they are falling apart through excessive use or can walk themselves. A popular school of thought is that they should be changed after about 500 miles of use or every 6 months…whichever comes first. When you run, every time your feet hit the ground with a force of 3 – 5 times your body weight. Over time the cushioning effect of your shoes deteriorates and eventually instead of the shoes taking the impact it is absorbed by your joints and muscles. A simple test to assess the condition of your trainers can be seen in this video PLAY .

THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN YOUR RUNNING SHOES

We wear the mud and grit on our running shoes with pride, proof of our courage against the elements and lethargy.

However, there are limits! Especially if your gym trainers are the same as your run-on-the-trails shoes.

It’s also not going to help the durability of the uppers if they’re constantly caked in mud.

This video shows how to clean your muddy shoes play video

HEEL DROPS IN RUNNING SHOES

What’s THE BEST running shoe ever invented? Is it a barefoot, minimalist or conventional shoe?

Have you ever read an article or listened to someone talking about “THE best running shoe”?

Sorry to disappoint, but guess what?

It doesn’t exist!

Are you exactly the same as all your fellow 7.094 BILLION humans on planet earth?

You see…

We are all unique, and if there’s one thing you need to do it’s making sure that you find the best shoes for YOU.

If you’ve been feeling a bit bamboozled by the options out there, what with the barefoot and minimalist shoes popping onto the scene, then this video is for you PLAY .

SHOE LACES

Ever had to stop in a race just to tie your laces up?

Picture this: You’re into your stride, enjoying the rhythm and beautiful scenery, trying desperately to ignore the fact that your laces have come undone.

Do you stop and tie them up (again)? Or do you just continue, hoping that you don’t trip up and end up with a hurt knee?

OR: you’re running well, but your shoes are just slipping slightly at the heel.

Have you ever had the experience where you tighten the laces but then they end up cutting into your foot?

If one or both of these scenarios sound familiar, watch this video PLAY . Learn two ways to end naughty straying laces for good. Make sure a PB doesn’t run away from you just because your laces come undone.

RUNNING BACK PACKS

Running should be your time to feel free and unencumbered, but practicalities mean that getting your training in can mean running to and from work.

So, if your running is making you feel more of a mule than a racehorse it’s time to look at your backpack! The great news is that running packs have improved massively in recent years and there’s going to be the perfect one for you.

With the right pack your runs will be so much more comfortable. This video will guide you through what you need and what your options are, so take a look PLAY .

RUNNING STRETCHES – HIP FLEXORS

Remember how the Tin Man needed his joints oiling in The Wizard of Oz? Well, so do you! Oiling your muscles and tendons with a good stretch will stop you creaking in the mornings and help you feel more comfortable when you’re out running.

When athletes are asked ‘do you stretch enough?’ The usual response is, ‘I don’t stretch as much as I should.’ And then everyone talks about the calf, quads, hamstrings, but rarely mentions the hip flexors.

What are the hip flexors? They’re the muscles and tendons on the anterior (front) of your hip joint, linking your legs to your pelvis. They influence the movement between your top and bottom half. They effect the smoothness of your stride, feed into your quads, affect your hamstrings, and if they’re tight, affect the spine and cause lower back pain.

So, they’re pretty important!

This video guide will show you a good all in one stretch PLAY.

USING THE GRID MASSAGE ROLLER

The Grid is a tube-like object and when used on a consistent basis, I promise you it will transform your running and your day-to-day comfort. And who doesn’t want that?

You may have heard of foam rollers, so what’s the difference? A foam roller compresses over time, whereas the Grid is hollow with little protruding nobbly bits. These little bumps really know how to access our tight muscles. So all in all the Grid will not only last a lot longer, (saving £££’s) but also say good bye to nasty knots fast.

So how to use it in the most effective way?

Watch this VIDEO and find out. For the sake of time, (we all like quick and easy how-to’s) I show 3 of the 5 muscle groups you can target. But it’s up to you. You know which part of your body is the tightest, so be your own physio for a moment and dive into the world of Grid.

The other 2 great areas to target, would be the hamstrings and quads. You can use the same technique as is shown in the video.

RACE DAY PREPARATION

Be the Race-Day King! How to avoid pre-race anxiety and make your big day go smoothly…

How often do we hear people lament ‘I did all the training, but on the day things just didn’t go right’? This doesn’t have to be you, just follow our race-day-tips.

Now print out this tick list and stick it on the fridge, that way you won’t forget any essentials, and avoid pre-race stress!

Pre-race Energy Bar
Pre-race Bottle of Water
Old Sweater or Jacket
Bin Liner (holes cut for head and arms)
SpiBelt
Gels (1 per half hour after first 40 mins)
Post-race Bottle of Water with 1 Nuun tablet
Protein Bar

You don’t need to worry about pins or water for during the race – the race will provide. Another tip is chose a race day bag that’s not black and easily identifiable.

The wait time before the race is when nerves hit. A bit of anticipation-excitment isn’t a bad thing, serves to kick start your adrenaline, but too much and it paralyses you. So, use the time to keep moving, walk around, don’t start jogging or stretching until the last 20–30 mins or you’ll be wasting precious energy reserves.

You may need to sip on water pre-race if you’re waiting around a while, just don’t over do it! If you end up stuck in a long toilet queue distract yourself with gentle limbering exercises – ankle rotations, shoulder circles, hip circles, gentle hamstring stretches. Or get chatting with others around you.

Most of all remember this is something that should give you joy, so enjoy the experience! This poem always cheers me up, no matter what’s happened in a race:

There are only three winners: The one who competes with himself, The one who crosses the finish line first And the one who finishes the race. – Sri Chinmoy

Now, what’s your race experience been? Get sharing and leave a comment below.

And if you want to have even more resources to be the runner you love then make sure you sign up for email updates, because there are new advice posts in each newsletter that I know you’ll find useful.

A video of useful race day tips can be found here PLAY .

NATURAL GAIT ANALYSIS

Gait Analysis… is it really all it’s cracked up to be?

Ask yourself these two questions: Q no. 1: How do YOU run for the bus? I always say, not everyone is happy on a treadmill but we all know how to run for a bus. So do you heel strike, or run on tippy toes with heels? Or perhaps you’ve never paid much attention, as catching the bus is your top priority! Q no.2: Have you ever spent out on a pair of running shoes and then found they give you blisters or worse? If so, chances are you haven’t been fitted with the correct shoes for your gait. Watch this video and find out how this FREE Natural Gait Analysis could be the answer to your problems PLAY  .

While Natural Gait Analysis isn’t rocket science, in order for it to work, your assessor needs to be a NGA expert, plus … and this is super important … know her/his shoes inside and out. If you like diagrams, you can learn more on how we do it here » .

THE IMPORTANCE OF A WARM UP

We know we’re supposed to stretch after exercise but what about before? There’s some conflicting advice out there regarding stretching pre-run, but all the experts recognise and advocate the value of a gentle pre-run warm up.

Basically it’s common sense. Don’t stretch and yank cold muscles – they won’t like it. Equally they’re not going to thank you for launching cold into your top pace. So, ease your body into your run and you’ll no longer have cold muscles, and if you’re particularly tight do the warm up and then stretch.

So, for some warm up ideas that will also enhance your run, click PLAY

So that’s the warm up taken care of, now DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH afterwards! You can see a simple but all-inclusive stretch routine here »

The massage ball I use in the warm up is also very handy for post workout stretching and easing stubbornly stiff muscles. It’s a worthwhile investment (and much more effective than a tennis ball which isn’t firm enough and has been known to pop).

And if you really want to hone your training then monitoring your heart rate is an accurate way to judge what you should be doing, you can read up on HRMs here »

 

SUMMER RUNNING TIPS

Check the weather forecast

Given the unpredictability of the weather in the UK, it is always worth checking the weather forecast before you head out for a run, no matter what time of year, but for summer it is especially worth knowing how hot it might get so you can be prepared with what you wear, whether you need sun cream and how much water you may require. If you are planning a longer run or you are racing, this is especially important to ensure you have the best experience possible. There’s nothing worse than getting completely sun burnt on a long run or wearing too many clothes for a race in brilliant sunshine! If you have planned a long route, remember to check the weather across the whole route, as obviously the weather can vary hugely in areas within relatively close proximity to each other.

Plan how much water you might need

If the weather forecast is for warmer conditions then make sure you consider how much fluid you will need to take on. This includes considering how much water you need to drink the day before, in order to best prepare yourself for your run the following day. Again this is most important when you are doing a long run or racing, but applies to all runs to some extent.

Dress accordingly

The fact that it can be cold and wet one day and clear blue skies and very hot the next means that it can be difficult to decide what to wear out running. In summer, I would always go with as little gear as possible, as it is most likely that by the time you’ve been running a few minutes you will heat up, even on a colder day, after all it is the summer… What you wear will depend on how long you plan to be out running and whether there are any big changes in the weather predicted whilst you are going to be out. If it is forecast to get very wet and you plan to be out for a few hours then best take a waterproof. However, if you are doing just a shorter run these considerations are not so important.

Plan your route

Planning your route is important in order to avoid getting lost, especially in warmer weather when you don’t want to find yourself lost with no water left. Also, the route you take will influence what you wear, due to differences in weather – from say up in the hills to an inner city route. If you’re planning a mix of terrain then you will need to prepare accordingly: for example, the shoes you choose to wear, and also whether you take an extra layer with you.

Know your limits

It is important to know your limits as a runner, and this can be judged by the level of experience and the type of experience you have as a runner. If it is a very hot day and you are not used to running in hot conditions then it may be worthwhile to amend your training plan for the day. For example, if you planned to do a 16-mile run, perhaps do a slightly shorter run instead, say 10 miles. You might not react well to the heat, so it is always best to be cautious. You can then take that experience to inform your training decisions the next time the weather is hot. If you were largely unaffected by the heat then you will know you can do the 16 miles; if you struggled, then you will know to perhaps swap your long run for a shorter run, or do some cross training in the gym instead.

Take appropriate gear e.g. your phone

This is particularly important if you are running in an area you don’t know very well – you may be out running on holiday for example. It is a good idea to take your mobile phone with you in case you find yourself lost, or in need of water or food, and don’t know where the nearest shop might be. It is also a good idea if you are out running in the hills or even just out for a long run. In the summer you may not feel it to be so necessary, as the days are long and the weather usually better, but it can get surprisingly hot and this can be as much of an issue as hazardous wintry weather!

If it’s clear blue skies, wear sun screen!

This seems like an amazingly basic point to make but it is surprising how many runners don’t think about it. I know you are not going out sunbathing, but being out running you are still exposing yourself to the sun, and when the weather is good you don’t want to have to spend the rest of the day indoors suffering from sun stroke! Sometimes the wind disguises how warm it really is so you should always check the weather for how much or little cloud cover there may be.

Reassess your target run/race time accordingly

This is especially important if you are racing, as we all have races we really want to achieve a specific time in. However, if the weather is very hot, then it is definitely worth reassessing your target time accordingly. You can consider here how much of your training was done in warmer weather, and how you usually cope in these conditions, then judge a suitable target time from there. This can of course apply to training runs as well. It is good to reassess your time and then still have a target, as opposed to trying for your original time and feeling de-motivated when you realise you’re not going to achieve it in the current conditions.

STRETCHING FOR BEGINNERS

 

The Benefits of Running Stretches

A good little stretching routine should be like brushing your teeth before going to bed. Implement it early, stick to it and it will reward you with a happy life. The main benefits of stretching are:

1. Flexibility During running you use the same muscles repeatedly and so they are getting stronger and tighter. In the meantime some other muscles that are used less will be getting weaker. With stretching, you reduce the stiffness of the strong muscles and strengthen the weaker muscles, ensuring a good muscle balance.

2. Muscle cramp prevention during activities.

3. Faster recovery.

4. Flexible bodies walk lighter and happier. You will notice the benefits in your everyday life too. Flexed muscles open up your range of motion, where tight ones do the opposite. Imagine you are running, and suddenly there is a massive puddle in front of you. You can carry on running, bounce off, stretch those legs wide and fly over it or stretch your legs not so wide and land it in, or simply stop and walk around it and then start running again. You could do either of these, but guess which one is the most fun?

When to stretch?

It is advisable to stretch after the run, when the muscles are warmed up and the joints are lubricated. A basic stretching routine will take around 10 minutes.

Get into the stretching position slowly, find the point where you feel the tightness and hold for 20-30 seconds (ideally 30). Some people are more flexible than others. Don’t try to push the stretch as far as your friend, but instead be guided by your body. We are all unique. You should not feel any pain or discomfort when stretching.

And do not forget to do the stretching exercises on both sides.

Stretching Routine

 

1. Reduce Lactic Acid

When you finish your run, lie down on your back with your buttocks touching the wall, and put your legs up straight against the wall. You can also hold your arms up. This pose will reduce the build up of lactic acid in your limbs, and calm you down after the run.

 

2. Hamstring

Still on the floor, grab one foot with your hands and gently pull it towards your body, while keeping the leg stretched. If you find it hard, bend the ‘resting’ leg and put the foot on the floor. If you can’t reach your foot, place a rubber band or a towel around it and stretch pulling on it.

3. Hamstring and Back

Next, bend your legs and hug them and gently, pulling them to the chest. This will stretch your hamstring and lower back.

4. Groin

Push yourself up into a sitting position and put the soles of your feet together in front of you. Then place the elbows on the knees and slowly lean forward pushing the knees towards the floor.

5. Full Length Stretch

The easiest way to get into this position is to stand on all fours – hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Tuck your toes in, lift your knees, and slowly straighten your legs, gently pushing your buttocks away from your arms. Breath deep looking at your knees. This will stretch your hamstrings, back and arms.

6. Hamstring

From here walk your hands towards your body, touch your toes and gently pull at them. Make sure your feet stay hip-width apart.

7. Quadriceps

Roll yourself up. Knees together, bend the left leg, holding it at the foot with the left hand, and gently pull towards your buttocks. You can use your right hand for support (place it against the wall), but if you’re balancing okay, hold the bent leg with both hands. Make sure you stand straight and don’t lean forwards or sideways.

Hips and Calves

Stand straight, place one foot forward and lean against the wall. Then slowly bend your arms and keep bringing your body towards the wall. Hold your head up and keep your feet flat throughout the stretch.To Finish

To sum up the stretching set, interlace your hands above your head and stretch your shoulders, pushing the hands up away from your ears

CALF MUSCLES IN RUNNERS – INJURY AND CARE

 

There are several muscles in the front and back of the lower leg. The calf at the back of the leg comprises two main muscles: the gastrocnemius (which itself has two parts) and the soleus (which lies underneath the gastrocnemius).

Preventing Calf Problems

As with all the muscles we use for running, the calf muscles need some attention in order to keep them in tip-top condition. Here are some things you can do:

  • Warm up and warm down

Some runners prefer to incorporate a warm-up during the start of their run by jogging slowly at first and then gradually picking up the pace as the muscles warm and lengthen. Other runners might want to actively stretch out their calf (and other) muscles before they actually begin to jog or run.

More vital is a warm-down or stretching routine after the run. Muscles which have become elongated during a run can tighten up after the run, so it is a good idea to stretch them out gently.

A good stretch for the gastrocnemius muscle is to place your hands against a wall, have one leg back and one leg forward, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees straight. The gastrocnemius of the back leg will be stretched. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds, but make sure you do not stretch to the point of pain.

A good stretch for the soleus muscle is to perform the above stretch and bend the knee of the back leg. This will additionally stretch out your achilles tendon.

Resist Overtraining

Naturally most of us want to improve or maintain our current running performance, whether it be to run faster, longer, or simply just to keep running regularly. Sometimes, however, we might get a little too enthusiastic and overdo it, and this can lead to injury.

My own experience of a calf strain (torn calf muscle) resulted from running much too fast down a hill, thinking I was superwoman! The pain was sharp and stopped me in my tracks. The muscle took quite a few weeks to repair itself, but then I was back to running well. Try to be aware of your body when running, so that you can transcend yourself but not overtrain.

Replenish Electrolytes

Cramping of the calf muscles is where the muscles contract and then stay contracted. This can come about if the muscles are overused, if the body is dehydrated and deficient in the minerals calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. The minerals will help you rehydrate, in turn helping your muscles.

Certain products from specialist running shops can provide an easy and effective way to replenish lost minerals/electrolytes.

Massage

Another way of reducing tightness in calf muscles is use of The Grid. From a position where you are seated on the floor you can roll your calves over the Grid with greater or lesser intensity. The Grid will help to tease out tight muscle fibres. See a video on how to use The Grid here play video


Treating a Calf Injury

 

If you are unlucky enough to sustain a calf injury you would do well to follow a few guidelines in sequence.

If you have injured your soleus muscle, you are more likely to experience an ache. If you have injured your gastrocnemius muscle you will experience a sharper pain.

Rest

You will need to rest if you have calf strain. If you continue to run you will not give the calf muscles a chance to repair themselves. Depending on the severity of the strain, the pain may not allow you to run anyway. In severe cases you may need a period of immobilisation. Rest assured, however, that your rehabilitation will start immediately. If you can walk, walking around will automatically help recovery. Aim to walk pain-free before you consider calf stretches. This can take 7 to 10 days.

Ice and Compression

It can be beneficial to ice the affected area for 20 minutes of every hour for the first 24 hours.

Compression can easily be achieved with compression socks or calf tights. Wear them at night for hours of recovery time.

Gentle Stretches

Once you can walk pain-free you can try some gentle stretches. Start with seated calf raises, then progress to standing calf raises. You can do the calf raises with or without equipment.

For a seated calf raise without equipment sit with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your heels so that you come on to the balls of your feet. Stay there a moment before you lower your heels.

For a standing calf raise without equipment, raise your heels again so that you come on to the balls of your feet. Stay there a moment before you lower your heels. Use a wall or chair for balance if need be.

A progression from this is to stand with the balls of your feet on the bottom stair of a flight of stairs. Raise your heels, putting your weight on to the balls of your feet. (It can be wise to hold on to a handrail for balance.) After a moment lower your heels to slightly below the edge of the bottom stair.

Make sure you do all the stretches without pain, so as not to set your recovery back. You can stretch too much too early after injury. The scar tissue is not as flexible and it can take a little while to break down. If you go back to running too quickly, the injury may reoccur. In the later stages of recovery you could see a sports massage therapist for deeper work on your calf.

Light Jogging

Over time, when you have rested, when you can walk pain-free and you can stretch pain-free, you could try light jogging. Try for a few minutes with your first jog, taking time afterwards to assess how your calf muscles feel. If they feel fine, go out again the next day, or the day after, and go a little longer. In this way your rehabilitation will be sure and you will be enjoying your normal running again in no time.


Summary

Prevention is better than the cure, so look after yourself! However, if you become injured, be the master of your own recovery. Help is available from so many sources. Take heart, apply yourself, and you could well be running better than ever!

TENDONITIS IN RUNNERS

 

Tendonitis is a painful condition, often seen in runners and those participating in other sports, such as tennis and swimming.

By looking after your body nutritionally, eating a well-balanced diet, and by wearing the correct footwear, you can protect your body against tendonitis.

Including sulphur, vitamin C and essential fatty acids into your diet can also aid in preventing tendonitis.

Tendonitis, what is it?

Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, which attaches muscle to the bone. The associated pain is a result of the inflammation.

Tendonitis usually affects the upper and lower limbs, and different tendons are affected depending on the type of sport. For example, runners are more likely to get patella tendonitis (knee), whereas swimmers are more prone to getting it in their shoulders.

Possible causes of tendonitis

Tendonitis can be caused by a number of different factors such as trauma, wearing old or incorrect footwear, infection and nutritional imbalance. A lack of sulphur in the body is thought to be a causative agent in tendonitis.

When the body undergoes dietary or physical stress, it puts a strain on the adrenal glands, which release the stress hormone cortisol. High or continued release of cortisol can result in adrenal burn out and inflammation.

The body uses sulphur (a natural substance in the body) to remove cortisol from the blood, in a ‘detox’ reaction. This then reduces the body’s levels of this important compound, so it has less available sulphur to help maintain healthy tendons (keeping them flexible), and to heal inflamed tendons.

It is therefore important to include sulphur-rich foods in the diet and consider taking a sulphur supplement such as methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM also occurs naturally in foods. Spicy or hot foods such as radish, onion, garlic and cruciferous vegetables all contain good levels of MSM. Superfoods such as bee pollen and maca also contain excellent levels.

Possible treatments and ways to prevent tendonitis

Massage from a practitioner, or self massage, for example using The Grid, can be very beneficial.  Some people also find ice to be useful for localised swelling and inflammation.

Summary

If the problem persists or worsens, you may need to visit a health professional, chiropractor or physiotherapist.

 

ACHILLES TENDONITIS IN RUNNERS

 

The Achilles tendon is the tendon connecting the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the heel. Its inflammation is called Achilles tendonitis. Inflammation is due to repetitive stress, which leads to micro-tears to the tendon.

It can take up to 6 months to heal, and if left untreated can develop into severe degenerations and bone spurs, or rupture completely, requiring an operation and a much longer healing time. It is advisable to get professional help when the first signs appear.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

  • Pain above the back of the heel, as well as stiffness (especially in the morning)
  • Pain after running
  • Pain while running, which worsens a few hours after the run
  • Tight and stiff calves
  • Swelling; forming of a bump

Causes of Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the biggest tendon of the human body, taking a huge amount of strain. The cause of its inflammation is not always so straightforward, and to treat it, it is important to find out the source and investigate what changes might have brought it on. The source might lie in the foot, calf, knee or other body parts.Some of the most common causes of the inflammation are:

  • Sudden increase in the amount or intensity of running
  • Wrong or old running shoes
  • Repetitive activity
  • Tight muscles (especially calves)
  • Differences in biomechanics of the runner’s body (one foot might be flatter, or leg shorter; to adjust to these differences muscles have to work differently).

Treatment

  • Ice – Put ice pack on the affected area for up to 20 minutes when required, but stop if you feel anything strange, for example skin numbness. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth is a common tool for this, but I’d recommend the Hot/Cold Pack. It offers more flexibility, as you can freeze or heat it as required.
  • Rest – give the tendon time to heal, reduce running or stop completely.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory – Painkillers like Ibuprofen will reduce the inflammation and pain, but avoid using them for long periods.
  • Heel Pads – Placing these into your running shoes will lift the heel and reduce the impact and stress on heel, Achilles tendon and calf. You could try the Sorbothane Heel Pads.
  • Operation – In the most severe cases (like Achilles tendon rapture) an operation will be required.

Prevention

The best advice I can give you to avoid the injury is to always listen to your body! Failing that, or with some unexpected surprises popping up in your running life, here are some other tips:

  • Increase gradually – When increasing your running, distance or intensity, do it gradually (follow the 10% rule) and give the body time to adjust to the new amount before you start adding more.
  • Cross-train – try swimming, Pilates, yoga, strengthening exercises. This helps to strengthen and stretch all the muscles for better flexibility, strength and balance. Alternating the running surface will also strengthen different muscles in the legs and feet.
  • Get fitted for the right shoes and update them regularly. Find out more here »

Achilles Stretching Exercises

1. Facing the wall take one step forward, leaving the back leg behind, feet flat on the floor. Put your hands against the wall in front of you, then bending them slowly, start leaning forward from the hips. The front leg bends in the knee, the back leg stays long and straight. This will stretch the calf and hip flexor of your back leg. Don’t forget the other leg!

2. Facing a table, take a smaller step towards it, keeping the other leg behind. Bend your knees as if you were going to sit down, keeping more weight on the back leg and using the arms for support. This will stretch the Achilles tendon of your back leg.

3. And one of my favorite torture stretches: standing straight, give yourself a hug behind your back, placing the hands on the opposite elbows. Take a step forward, keeping the other leg behind flat on the floor. With your legs straight slowly start to bend forward from the hips. This will nicely stretch the back of the leg.

Note: Get into these stretching poses slowly, go as far until you feel the tightness and hold. Stretches should be held for 20-30 seconds (ideally 30). Again, listen to your body. Never force your body into anything uncomfortable or too painful. You are stretching to make running more fun, not to get another injury.


Achilles Strengthening Exercises

1. This exercise is recommended for calf and foot strengthening. Stand straight, one foot over the edge of the stairs, the other bent behind. Make sure the forefoot and the heel of the foot on the stair are in one line. Support yourself with the arm on the wall, but do not lean against the wall. Slowly push your heel away upwards, and then lower it down. Repeat 8 times. If this feels comfortable, make a few repetitions. If you find balancing in this exercise difficult, start off simply standing on the floor and move to stairs whenever you are ready.

2. This exercise will work your calves, hams and glutes and more. Hands on hips, take a step sideways, pointing your feet about 45º outwards. Bend your knees, making sure they stay above your heels and don’t go out beyond. In this position, slowly push your heels away from the floor and then lower them. Remember, your hips stay at the same point. You are only lifting the heels, not the hips.

 

 

LINKS TO OTHER TRAINING INFORMATION

AUTUMN RUNNING TIPS

BACK PAIN IN RUNNERS

BLACK TOENAILS FROM RUNNING

BREATHING EXERCISES FOR RUNNERS

CIRCUIT TRAINING FOR RUNNERS

CROSS TRAINING FOR RUNNERS

DELAYED ONSET OF MUSCLE SORENESS

FOODS THAT FIGHT PAIN

FUEL YOUR BODY FOR RUNNING

GET READY FOR CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING

GYM TRAINING FOR RUNNERS

HIP PAIN IN RUNNERS

HOW BAKING SODA CAN HELP YOUR RUNNING

HOW TO BREATHE WHEN RUNNING

HOW TO RUN IN SNOW

HOW TO STAY HYDRATED WHEN RUNNING

HOW TO TAPER FOR A MARATHON

HOW TO USE A HEART RATE MONITOR

HOW TO USE ENERGY GELS

HOW TO USE THE GRID ROLLER

HOW TO USE A TRAINING DIARY

ILLIOTIBIAL BAND SYNDROME IN RUNNERS

INJURY PREVENTION FOR MARATHON RUNNERS

KEEPING FIT DURING INJURY

KNEE PAIN IN RUNNERS

LONG TRAINING RUNS

MARATHON TRAINING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

MIND OVER MATTER FOR RUNNERS

NUTRITION FOR MARATHONS AND ULTRA MARATHONS Part 1

NUTRITION FOR MARATHONS AND ULTRA MARATHONS Part 2

NUTS AND RAW ENERGY FOODS

PLANTAR FASCIITIS FROM RUNNING

RECIPE FOR NATURAL ENERGY BARS FOR RUNNERS

RECIPE FOR NATURAL ENERGY DRINKS FOR RUNNERS

RECIPE RAW CHOCOLATE HEAVEN

RECIPE GOJI CHOCOLATE

RUNNING WHEN SICK

RUNNING ENERGY AND HYDRATION

RUNNING RECOVERY TIPS

RUNNING TECHNIQUE TO HELP AVOID KNEE INJURY

SHIN SPLINTS AND RUNNING

SPORTS MASSAGE FOR RUNNERS

SPRING RUNNING TIPS

STRENGTH TRAINING SESSIONS FOR RUNNERS – CIRCUITS

STRENGTH TRAINING SESSIONS FOR RUNNERS – PLYOMETRICS

STRENGTH TRAINING SESSIONS FOR RUNNERS – CALISTHENICS

SUMMER RUNNING TIPS

THE BENEFITS OF SWIMMING FOR RUNNERS

TIGHT HAMSTRINGS IN RUNNERS

TRANSITION TO MINIMALIST RUNNING SHOES

TOP TEN WINTER RUNNING TIPS

UPHILL RUNNING

WEIGHT TRAINING FOR RUNNERS

WHAT TO EAT BEFORE RUNNING

WHAT TO EAT AFTER RUNNING

5 SIMPLE SPEED SESSIONS