Ankle flexibility is vital in running. When I talk about ankles and the joints of the ankles I mean both at the leg-foot joint and also within the foot joints below the leg-foot joint. You can look this up if you want to know more about the anatomy and physiology. These are not anatomical terms but I hope make sense for this description.
This joint needs to move in running not only in the front to back plane but also in other directions as we negotiate bumps, lumps and stones which you will know only too well if you run off road.
The movement at the ankle also gives important feedback to the brain to allow us to rebalance.
If you stand and allow yourself to sway slowly to one side and then the other you will notice that your head will tend to move in the opposite direction to bring you on balance. You can choose to override this of course and let the whole body including the head move to one side but you will notice you need more muscular effort to do this. Try it.
So if we are held at the ankle joint we are not allowing the freedom of movement that is needed to run.
So check in with you ankles to see if they are free to move as you run as I did today.
Ankles don't move in isolation so more on this to follow. If you are interested you can sign up to receive my newsletter for more info.