I have very inflexible ankles and it's really stopping me getting better at swimming/ ruining my enjoyment.
I can swim up and down doing crawl, nothing fast . However, when attempting to use a float I've discovered I have an almost non-existent crawl kick! What propulsion I am getting seems to come entirely from my arms/shoulders/core. Using a float, I'm going so slowly, I'm barely going anywhere- sideways more often. It's that bad. My breaststroke kick is proportionally far better.
If a top swimmer can lie with their legs out in front and their feet point flat over the ground creating a _ shape from leg though ankle to foot, my feet do this /
Taking away the support of the ground, and my feet are almost vertical- !
I've found kneeling with my toes pointing backwards, rather than resting on them, has always been agony- even as a young child. The only time it's not hurt was after I'd done months of pilates and yoga when it's part of the poses- but that's still using bodyweight to force my ankles to bend.
Don't know if it matters but I'm pretty flat footed.
Can anyone suggest any exercises I can do at home to improve that flexibility?
I've suffered from post-run migraines pretty much since I started running 15 years ago, running from my left shoulder blade up my neck and over my left eye.
I've tried (and revisited repeatedly) all the usual remedies/reasons: low blood sugar, dehydration, lack of carbs, overheating, excertional headache, taking over the counter migraine tablets before or just after a run, poor posture, my weird running gait.
Out of frustration one day when I had one of these, I was stretching my neck/back. I'd managed to get a 'crack' in my mid back and the pain dissipated. I've been experimenting ,mostly with limited success over a year or so. However, I've tried to use a couple of yoga moves this week and, touch wood, I've done it twice and been migraine free twice. No pills. No hot water bottles. Unheard of for me!
Post run, I've started off stretching my hips and hamstrings a few different ways. I then lay on my back into 'table top' and rocked left and right on my hips. I find this really sore as I'm tender. I stretched my shoulders/ arms in front and behind of me. Then I did the 'cobra' stretch a few times. I seem to need the combination of the mid-back and sacral stretching.
Its obviously not a panacea, and drives the dog nuts, but if someone else has tried everything and is otherwise fit, it might help them.
I'm replying as I'm just getting back from shin splints myself.
The obvious culprit would be the skipping, especially if you're a heel sticker and you're then bouncing on the ball of your foot. The floor of the gym can also be a factor. A sprung dance floor is going to give you more cushioning than concrete.
Assuming you're still sore even when walking, I'd stay off the running and also avoid any weight exercise that puts undue strain on your shins. It's taken me about 2 months to get back into minimal running.
As for suggestions, if you haven't already (and I'm no physio):
Get fitted for new running shows in a proper running shop. You don't say if you did this to get your new pair.
Massage your shins whenever you can. If you've got any muscley niggles, you want to work on the area. I've just used my fingers. You can use a tennis ball or one of those massage sticks.
Icing is good. A couple of times a day for 5-10 mins. Reduces any inflammation.
If you're experiencing pain even when walking, you might want to try an ibuprofen gel if you're not allergic.
I'd then treat your shins like royalty. Don't run, don't go on any 10 mile hikes. Once they're settled, then I'd walk longer and faster just casually. Then, and only then, would I try 1 min run, 1 min walk for say 10 mins. If okay, slowly build back up. If you have any discomfort still, get back to icing, massage and rest.
If it takes more than a couple of months and hasn't settled, get to a recommended physio.
No- no outside pressure except for my best friend. We're both coming from quite a way, spending money to stay locally (we live about 200 miles away from each other).. She's from a rowing/circuits background so I don't think she quite understands the long term implications of not letting it heal. I think she thinks I'm being a bit precious.
It was last night- just a normal 2 mile dog walk over mixed terrain- and that nerve feeling that set my alarm bells ringing and I guess I needed a bit of mental back up before going back to her and saying I'm not walking it either, for my own good. Best friends, eh?
I really appreciate the no nonsense replies. But six months no running ?! Me in a swimming costume is not a pretty sight...
Windsor Half Marathon is the end of the month. I've managed to give myself anterior shin splints in my left leg after using a higher cadence and better kick in a 10k almost 3 weeks ago ( I had been practicing at shorter distances- I've been getting bad headaches due to poor posture- new style=no headaches). I've been feeling it intermittently when walking regardless of shoe/trainer.
Been icing, stretching, I do yoga and pilates and I've been indoor cycling but after about 2 mins on a treadmill I stop as I feel it isn't a good idea to run through it.
Pal who is also running in race has asked if I could just walk instead. A pull on bandage dulls the discomfort but gives me a weird 'nerve' sensation where my leg meets the top of my foot. Can I walk a long distance on it or would it be inadvisable?