So you’re going to run in a Mudder or Dash? Well, unless you’re an elite soldier or someone who is used to running over uneven terrain, up hills, over obstacles and down slippery slopes, you’d better think about improving your ankle stability. You basically need 3 things to minimize your risk of a sprained or twisted ankle when running off road: better balance, stronger ankle and foot muscles and improved proprioception (body awareness).
The easiest way to improve balance is to incorporate one-legged movements into your workouts. Doing bicep curls? Try doing them on one leg. I love my Bosu for this as well. Place it flat side down and step on it with one foot and try to hold the position for 30 seconds on each foot. If thats too easy, try it with your eyes closed. You can also do curls from here or even more advanced movements. Flip it upside down and try doing squats with weights. Don’t have a Bosu? Try using a pillow.
To strengthen foot muscles and ankle stabilizers, try a little barefoot running each week in Vibrams or barefoot on a treadmill or on the grass in your back yard. I’ve read about 20 minutes is recommended, but work up to it.
Balance boards are also great tools for training balance, proprioception, and strengthening ankle muscles. Try to increase your time every other day.
To your good health,