The unexpected lockdown benefit that can help our running form - Women's Running

The unexpected lockdown benefit that can help our running form

Author: Kate Sellers

Read Time:   |  June 1, 2021

Spending more time in your slippers might not have seemed like a commitment to improving your running form, but our feet will have noticed the difference – now we want to know how to reap the rewards

We all spent a lot more time at home this year than we intended – and for many of us, that meant less time in shoes and more time in slippers or socks. We loved when Nigella Lawson admitted that she hadn’t worn a pair of proper shoes in over 6 months during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show – and we totally identified with her.

Surprisingly, this small change to our footwear has had a big impact, with a lot of podiatrists noting that our feet have adapted to suit shoeless life by changing shape. And that’s not all; they may be stronger too. By wearing shoes that are less restrictive and less supportive (sorry, slips), or no shoes at all, the many muscles and tendons in our feet have gotten stronger. And, of course, this is a win for us runners – the stronger our feet are, the happier they’ll be as they hit the ground running.

So, how do we keep these new-found foot gains as we start to wear proper shoes again? First up – stay barefoot where you can. If you are still working from home some days, focus on moving around your house as much as possible, and try to vary the terrain if you can – think grassy fields or sandy beaches.

Barefoot exercise is a great way to keep our feet strong, too. Some of us will already have sacked off our trainers for those at-home Zoom workouts, but if you haven’t yet and are still working out at home, that’s a good option. But don’t worry if you are going back to a real-life gym – while you can’t very well rock up in your socks, you could invest in a pair of minimalist shoes that will help you continue to reap the rewards.

This also could be the perfect time to try out some barefoot or minimalist running. Adapting from highly supportive running shoes to minimalist shoes can be tricky, but if we’ve already started to get our feet used to barefoot movement, we’re already well on the way. Check out our article on the benefits of minimalist running, and top tips on how to get started.

Written by

Kate Sellers

Kate Sellers

Kate is our Senior Digital Executive and a keen runner. She's also a qualified Personal Trainer and yoga teacher, so she knows her stuff about workouts, cross-training and stretching. She loves to combine running and exploring, so you'll often find her testing out the latest kit in exciting locations across the UK and beyond. Kate champions exercising for enjoyment. "Most of the year, you'll find me running for fun and wellbeing," she says. "That being said, I do still love the thrill of training for a race from time to time!"

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