Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Run Day: Understanding Your Feet

Happy first Sunday of fall everyone! Fall is the best time for running and I'm looking forward to sleeping in a little bit longer and still enjoying great running temps!


This morning I jumped out of bed at 6:30 a.m. ready to go for a nice 7 miler. This was a much needed run for me. I started my run with a heavy heart and a lot on my mind. It was nice to have the hour for mediation and to think things through. So much has been going on in my life the past week and it's nice to have running as a release. This is one reason why I love it so much! The first half of my run was a little bit challenging due to sore quads, but I picked up the pace the second half and finished my 7 miles in 59:03. Not too shabby I must say!

So today's topic is about understanding your feet. It's really important to know how high {or low} your arches are as well as how much you pronate...or don't pronate.

Source
Pronation is the rotational movement of the foot at the subtalar joint. Normal pronation is when the foot rolls inward by about 15% which is the ideal amount of pronation for your joints. This allows your entire foot to come in contact with the ground and has the optimal amount of dispersed impact. Overpronation is when the foot rolls inward more than 15%. This causes you to land on the front of your foot where you would then push off using primarily your big toe and second toe. It's usually common for flat-footed runners to overpronate {unless you're me of course}.  Under-pronation is when the outside of your heel strikes the ground, your foot rotates less than 15% and your outside toes are doing the most work. Want to know what types of shoes to buy for your foot type and pronation level? Take a look at this Runner's World article, Pronation Explained!

Last weekend at the RnR Philly Race Expo, I did an alignment test with Aline. Aline is an insole that corrects the positioning of your foot and allows it to function at your optimum level while reducing wear and tear on your body. Follow the link to learn more! Before going into the alignment test, I knew that I had high arches and that my feet were a bit messed up. During the alignment, I realized just how bad it was! I wish that I had pictures! For the test, you put your foot between these two metal rods. You ankle is supposed to fall down the middle when bending your knees. My left ankle rolled in a little and was slightly over the desired amount of pronation. However, my right foot was a hot mess! My inside ankle bone actually touched the metal rod. Like I said before, I have high arches which would usually mean that I would under-pronate. However, my outer quads are significantly stronger than my inner thighs causing my foot to roll in...severely. I had been talking to JP about getting an alignment test done, so the one at the expo was incredibly convenient!

I ended up buying the insoles and have been trying them out this week. First, I just started out walking around in them. Then I did a 3 miler yesterday and I wore then again on my 7 miler today! So far, so good. As of right now, my feet are a little sore and it's going to take some more getting used to, but I know that in the future this is going to be the best thing for me. Having you feet properly aligned helps the wear and tear on your body and prevents injury. Now that my alignment is more ideal, my feet will strike the ground at the proper angel with the right amount of force which will help my knees, hips and legs over all. I also now know that I need to work on my inner thigh strength. Once I get this back up to normal, my foot strike will also improve.

Do you know how high or low your arches are? Have you had an alignment test to determine your pronation? You can have alignment test done at running specialty stores, race expos and some shoe stores as well! I highly recommend having a test done to make sure your protecting your body. The better your form, the longer you'll be able to run {distance and age!}. Also, let me know what you think! Are we liking these topics? Yay, nay? I would love some new post ideas!

Sources:
Runner's World: Pronation, Explained
Wikipedia: Foot type
Natural Running Center: Pronation and Supination

Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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