Wake up your feet for your best run

running_bum-feet-tips-toesox2 Let’s face it, the first few steps out the door for a run are not always the most pleasant—but it doesn’t have to be that way! Elite runner and certified yoga instructor Morgan Gonzalez (@running_bum) shares her tips to wake up your feet with a proper warm up and activation routine. running_bum-feet-tips-toesox3 Roll out. The first thing I do in the morning is roll out my feet with the various massage tools I keep next to my bed, in my gym bag and take everywhere I go. This helps warm up my feet, loosen up my calves and prime my lower legs for running. running_bum-feet-tips-toesox4 Stretching. I stretch each toe separately to ensure that each toe has individual mobility. Then I stretch all of my toes together, stretch my ankles by moving them back and forth and in circles with my hands. I finish up my stretching with a version of supta padangusthasana (reclining hand to big toe pose) and Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1) to loosen up the back of my legs from my hips to my toes. running_bum-feet-tips-toesox5 Activation. Just before my run I do an ankle/foot activation drill to ensure that my ankles and feet are firing properly for running. I begin by walking with an exaggerated heel to toe motion. I emphasize the toe push off and work my way from walking to a light skip. I pay attention to see if anything feels tight or out of alignment (if it does I go back to a few of the first steps). When everything feels “awake” and ready to go I know I am ready to take off for a good run! running_bum-feet-tips-toesox6 Be sure to check out Morgan’s personal blog Running Bums for a complete look into her morning run routine and her frequent outdoor adventures.