Running: getting it right from the ground up

I know that many of you are following Couch to 5k programmes as you get back into running after having your baby. And as long as you’ve done the ground work in terms of core and pelvic floor rehab and are working on your strength, you know that I’m 100% behind you.

We’ve previously talked about physiotherapy guidelines on returning to running so what I want to talk about today is your feet…the point where it all starts…and the connection to your core & pelvic floor!

Why do your feet matter?

  • Each foot comprises 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. And there are around 200,000 nerves in each foot to provide your brain with the sensory feedback you need to move with skill. Even if we ignore the connection to the rest of the body, that’s a lot to impact upon when running if we’re not getting it right!
  • Consequently, runners invariably spend lots of time and money looking for the “right” types of trainers to support their feet, to deal with weak arches, etc. and this is typically to address pain/discomfort in their plantar fascia (think soles of your feet).
  • It’s also really common to hear runners suffer from knee pain, lateral/outside thigh pain, hip pain, etc. because those ground forces and the way your foot strikes the ground has an impact throughout your kinetic chain (think neighbouring joints, muscles, etc.)
  • What many people are less aware of is the fascial connection (think a big web/wrap that connects different parts of the body together) between our feet and our core. Dysfunction in one area can absolutely create dysfunction elsewhere and so it’s essential to work on your feet if you’re working on your core and pelvic floor.

To help you with this, I’ve included a few links below:

  • the second is a series of videos by Dr Emily Splichal, a podiatrist, human movement specialist and barefoot guru who I’ve had the pleasure of hearing talk several times now. These exercises will help with activating your feet and re-connecting them to your core.
  • and the last is a link for £25 off barefoot trainers at Vivobarefoot.com should you follow me down the rabbit hole that is minimal footwear. (You need to enter my name – Kerry Cox – when you checkout and it’s on spend over £100). The logic being that modern shoes tend to cramp your feet and restrict the natural range of movement. This weakens the muscles and the foot, alters the shape of our feet, reduces stability and reduces our ability to truly feel sensory information from the ground.

Keep that connection in mind…the arch, the pelvic floor and the diaphragm are all connected and they should all lift as you exhale!

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