Squats, stability balls and stretches

The other day, a running friend of mine asked me how it’s going with my biokinetist? She knows all about bio’s because she often comes to track moaning about how sore she is and that her bio is a secret assassin. I blogged about my initial visit to Mari a while back. Mari is helping me to strengthen muscles and work on areas of my body which are not as strong as they could be, hoping this ultimately will help my running form.

Mari gave me some homework to do, which I have tried to do regularly. One is them involves rolling a ball under my foot to help with my collapsed arch. The other is to make sure I lift my head and not look down when I’m running. This may sound like an easy thing to do, but trust me, it takes concentration since I’m not used to running that way.

On one of my last visits to Mari, she realized that I am incredibly weak and even before I think of lifting my legs and knees when I run, that I need to work on strengthening them. She has given me a bunch of hamstring, glute, back and hip exercises to focus on.

I’ve been amazed at how difficult but also easy home gym is! Firstly it takes effort and discipline to do them. But they make me sweat like mad and I’m often stiff the following day so they definitely work.

To help me remember the exercise, Mari takes photographs of me at my appointment. Trust me, there’s no better image than seeing 1. Just how much weight I’ve put on, and 2. How tough simple exercises are such a strain for my body. I am seriously weak and have lots of work to do!

I giggle like crazy when I see the pics! I look like I’m in such pain and feel so awkard! LOL.

But yes, the bio is one of the best decisions I made. I am feeling stronger. I feel more confident and for the first time, I’m more in tune with my body and know and understand what I need to do to improve my running. I’ll keep you posted!

If the (running) shoe fits…

If you follow my blog / tweets / moans in the office, you will know that I have been struggling with pains in my left foot for a while now. Podiatrists and biokinetists have diagnosed a combo of plantar fasciitis as well as morton’s neuroma.

Two different treatments have been recommended. The podiatrist made me orthotics for my running shoe and sent me on my way. The biokinetist has been giving me exercises to strengthen my feet and has shown me different massage techniques to do. She also recommended a change in running shoe style and size.

I’ve been reluctant to say anything ‘until it worked’, being the sceptic that I am. But so far… so good. I switched from the Asics 1170’s to Asics Gel Nimbus, which is more of a neutral shoe. The other major change is that I went from wearing a size 6 to wearing a 7 1/2! I know! I feel like I have giant feet but Craig at Dunkeld Sweatshop (this dude is good!) ensures me that this size is right for my feet.

So? Is it working?

I ran the 15km Colgate race in May as well as the RAC 10km two weeks ago. During both races, my foot ached like hell, especially the section where the neuroma sits. But the plantar fasciitis is 90% gone. (As my biokinetist put it, it will take time for the heel to heal.)

I walk around at work some days and actually find myself wondering where the heel pain is. But it’s gone. It feels wonderful!

I’ve got a long way to go with the www.lynosport.co.za treatments but I can definitely feel that my feet are getting stronger. I just need to be good and carry on doing my exercises.

Now just to tackle that neuroma…