This is something I have struggled with in the past and its coming back to haunt me, so I decided I better nip it in the bud before the marathon training begins. I have bunions (pretty eh!) and toes that point outwards on the diagonal from my gymnastics days, the angle of my big toe means I collapse into the joint below my big toe which impinges the nerves of the two toes next to the big toe making them numb when I run. Three years ago the podiatrist gave me metatarsal domes and exercises to do. The metatarsal domes worked, although they took a while to get used to, and so did the exercises. The trouble is, I got lazy and stopped doing the exercises and guess what, 3 years later, the numbness has come back. When I went to the podiatrist, she asked me if I could spread my toes using the muscles in my feet, with all the will in the world, I could not get my toes to move apart even a tiny bit, new exercise number 1. She then asked me to push against her hand with the inside of my foot, guess what, total weakling! New exercise number 2, using a band for resistance. Finally she asked me to grip her finger with my toes and yes, you guessed it, I couldn’t do that either. New exercise number 3, pick up a ball with your toes. She has also changed my domes and added arches, which Im not convinced about, it doesn’t feel right in my right foot, but we will see. So, with my tail between my legs I have learnt my lesson and Im off to do my exercises, feel free to click the links and try the exercises yourself. Let me know how you get on. Always look after your feet!
We’re two weeks away from Hatters half marathon and Ive got a poorly hip flexor! I’ve been really good at doing my foot exercises, see numb toes blog, but I really haven’t got along with the new arches. The left one is fine and I no longer have numb toes, but the right one is too severe and has altered my hip positioning causing me to injure my hip flexor. Im so frustrated, training has been going so well, Ive been consistent and stuck to my plan, but now Im having to take time off because the hip flexor is too painful. I did drag it round 13 miles last weekend hoping it might ease (I should know better) but obviously it didn’t. Ive taken the arch out of the right shoe, Dave has done sports massage to the quads, adductors, hamstrings and glutes to try to get the hip flexor to release and I’m now stretching regularly to try and restore length to the hip flexor. Next week I will start strengthening the glutes to relive the hip flexor of some of the work and then hopefully I will be able to do the Hatters Half, cross your fingers. Below are some photos of the stretches Im doing to lengthen the hip flexors, these are great Yoga inspired stretches for runners to do as part of their stretching programme.