foot/ankle strengthening exercises

I have had a stop/start experience with C25K because I have had a lot of foot and ankle problems and niggles: plantar fasciitis, tight, niggling achilles. I am ok at the moment and about to begin week 7 but can feel some tightness in my right achilles. I really want to complete the programme this time and so stave off any injuries. I feel that I have had more problems since getting some new sneakers last September. I got them from a specialist running store here in the USA and they are the same brand as before: Brooks stability, but 1/2 size larger and a wide fitting. Although I am wide across the toe area (bunions) I have narrow heels and feel as though I have to tie them very tight so they don't slip. I am thinking of going to a running shop in the UK when I am back in a few weeks to see what shoe they recommend. In the meantime any advice on exercises I could do would be very gratefully received. Sorry for the long explanation/question. Many thanks, Beth


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12 Replies

  • I had an ankle injury a while ago - nothing serious - my GP thought probably tendonitis - but it was painful and did stop me running for a while.

    Interestingly, one suggestion the doctor made was that, because my shoes were a size and a half bigger than I normally wear, maybe I was tying my laces too tight to stop them slipping. His advice was to tighten the laces all the way up and not just at the top around the ankle. This can be a bit of a pain as it takes a while but it means that the shoe hugs the foot all the way up and doesn't just grip around the ankle.

    The exercise he recommended was to write the alphabet in capital letters in the air with each foot before getting up in the morning and in the shower. He also advised trying to avoid running up hills for a month or so. And, of course, an ice pack after running really helps.

    All injuries are different, of course, but hopefully nothing here that will do any harm to try and it certainly worked for me. It took a while but the ankle did heal eventually and "touch wood" no recurrence. Good luck!

  • Thanks for replying and the helpful suggestions. I will try the laces technique and the exercise- thanks, Beth

  • Hi Beth, I bought a compression ankle support to run in when my Achilles was niggling - it worked wonders for me.

  • Yes, forgot to mention ice - that's really soothing! Good suggestion about the laces Lolb I'll try that next time.

  • I'll give this a try too- I know I do have slightly weak ankles and had to do exercises when I was a child. It may be linked so the compression support sounds like a good idea.

    Thanks a lot. Beth

  • just to piggy back on this question. everytime i go out walking or on the C25K sessions my left ankle really hurts. its down the outside of the ankle and radiates down the side of the foot. i bought insoles for my trainers (scholl ones and use the hard arch support) and also have a neoprene support that i found knocking around but neither seem to help :(

  • I've just had an ankle injury and had to stop for 5 weeks, I've also pulled my ligaments in my ankle previously playing netball. I have just brought an ankle brace and went out running with that on tonight. So far so good, ankle was fine whilst running and feels ok now, hopefully it will be fine in the morning. Can't remember the name of it but it laces up at the front and as amazing reviews on Amazon. I will be wearing it for netball all the time now as well. good luck.

  • Thanks for the tip. I ran today and then my ankle has been niggling me. I have bought an ankle support and will see how I get on with it on Friday. The solution for my weak ankles as a child was ballet lessons so maybe I should go down that route as well- shame I am so uncoordinated- and do some ballet inspired exercises.

    Thanks again.

  • Well I did ballet from the age of 3 until 15, can't say it strengthened my ankles!

  • I thought I was an embryo Margot Fonteyn as a child (that dates me) so I was clearly delusional! I still have weak ankles too.

  • I tend to get achilles tendon niggles too and still have stiff ankles in the morning. Just recently I started doing the 'writing the alphabet in the air with you feet' thing Lolb mentioned above and have found it really helpful. Ditto this exercise

    Interestingly I discovered that by myself that overtightening the shoe laces aggravated the problem. What I did was take the laces out of the last hole so that I couldn't overtighten them around the ankle. I've been increasing my distance so I can do the Race for Life 10k and so far so good - Touch wood. :-)

  • Thanks so much for the tips and the video link - much appreciated. Beth

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