Ankle pains. A runner’s worst nightmare. And if it isn’t addressed and treated on time, it can even lead you to sprain your ankle and prevent you from running for a while. So how can you avoid it?
1. Get the right shoes
This part is absolutely crucial when you want to avoid any kind of injury on your run – but especially ankle/feet injuries. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when shoe shopping:
- Enough Toe Length
Feet swell when you run, so aim for a thumbnail-length space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If you end up in shoes half a size larger than your usual shoes, don’t worry. It is completely normal.
- Enough Toe Width
If your toes are too compressed and squashed inside your feet, you’re gonna end up with blisters. Make sure there’s some wiggle room.
- No Seams
Look for a seamless upper (seams can rub against your feet, causing blisters) that comfortably hugs the top of your foot.
- Has the Right Arch
The arch should contour to the shape of your foot. Your shoes should feel like they are moulded to the shape of your foot.
- Holds Your Heel
Make sure your heel stays in place before buying. If your heel is wiggling around or moving too much it is time to swap out for another pair of shoes.
- Feels Firm
Pillowy cushion-like shoes feels nice on our feet, but a firmer shoe is best if you’re a runner. It’ll have more spring-back on the road, minimizing stress on your muscles.
- Flexes Right
Check the shoe’s flex point (where it creases when you press the toe into the floor). It should bend at the same place as your foot to ensure a natural stride.
2. Ankle compression sleeves
Ankle compression sleeves not only add an extra layer of protection for your ankle but also aid in stabilizing and reducing injury risk. They also help you recover faster from injuries and help with joint strength as well!
3. Fix your form
Having an incorrect running form is the biggest factor of running injuries. By not having the right form, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of getting hurt!
Read our more detailed article on how to have the right running for to avoid injuries!
Stretching is absolutely essential! If you’re not stretching out and warming up your muscles beforehand, any stiffness is going to make it really hard to run and really easy to get hurt! So make sure you stretch out your entire body before running, especially the muscles on your legs.
5. Strength Training
Strength training helps your bones get stronger. It increases your bone density, hence decreasing the risk of fractures. It also helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis. This is particularly beneficial to runners as running can often cause a lot of pressure to be applied to the joint areas below your waist.
Read our article on strength training and whether it is really necessary for runners.