Ankle Strengthening

Hello!

I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago. The injury brought to light the importance of ankle strength when it comes to Spartan Races. During the typical Spartan Race, the uneven terrain and running pace put quite a toll on my ankles. In addition, the intense training adds to the wear and tear. Since my injury, I have incorporated ankle strengthening routines into my training. The routine has made my ankles stronger than ever before.

Routine

Two times a week I go through a balance training routine. The balance training, strengthens my ankles and also improves my proprioception. The proprioception improvement assists when running on uneven terrain. Below is the balance routine:

  1. Using a Bosu Ball, I stand on the board side with both feet. I make circles with the ball ten times both clockwise and counterclockwise.
  2. Using a Bosu Ball, I stand on the board side with one feet. I keep my balance for one minute, 3 times on each foot. To further enhance the exercise I close my eyes.
  3. Between the single foot balance exercise I perform 20 calf raisers and 20 dorsiflexions of the foot.

It may seem like a short routine, but it does wonders for my ankles.

Running

A major component that can assist with strengthening your ankles while running are the shoes you wear. In a previous post, here, I reviewed the New Balance Minimus, which can greatly strengthen ankles. Specifically it is the vibram technology that contributes to this. Shoes with the vibram technology and a minimal structure put more stress on the surrounding structures of the feet. There is not as much support compared to a regular running shoe. For example, I used the Nike Free RN Distance for a few months straight and then used a more minimal shoe. The following day my feet and lower legs were much more sore.

I would recommend using a minimal shoe a couple times a week for less intense runs. You can build up to using them in more intense runs, but definitely take it slow.

Final Thoughts!

Overall I did not make many changes in my workout routine, but they have made a major difference. I hope the balance routine and the shoe recommendation helps with your performance!!

Mitch

*This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.


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My Spartan Race Training Schedule

Hey!

Racing competitively in Spartan Races requires a lot of time. At first I stuck with my normal routine of 2 days on one day off. I mostly hit the gym and only went on a run a couple days a week. After the Boise Sprint, in June 2016, I knew I had to change things up. Not only did I increase the number of workouts per week, but I also included two a day workouts. As a student I have always been skeptical of two a days. But after doing it for awhile now, it has really helped my performance. In the longer workouts I would have to pace myself to make sure I would finish strong. But now I can split them up into two and increase the intensity in each. Below is the routine.

The Routine

Monday

Morning= HIIT workout

Afternoon= Sandbag workout

Tuesday

       Morning= 30-60 minute Run

Wednesday

Morning= HIIT workout or 30-60 minute Run

Afternoon= Lift workout

Thursday

Morning= Hill sprints with sandbag, bucket, or none

Friday

Morning= HIIT workout

Afternoon= Sandbag workout

Saturday

Morning= 30-120 minute Run

Sunday

Foam Roll, Stretch, and Meditate

Sample Workouts

Here is a list of some of my workouts. Each one is linked.

HIIT workout

Sandbag workout

Bucket workout

Stretch Routine

Foam Roll Routine

Lifting Routine

Cindy

Abs

Wrap-up

Overall this routine can be pretty time consuming. I do stretch everyday and try to foam roll and meditate as well, but on Sunday I just make sure that I do an extra long session of each to take care of my body and mind. Also, I take epsom salt baths every night after a two a day workout. This routine can be very taxing on the body so make sure to ease into it. I hope you enjoy!

Mitch

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