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Foot Pain? The Athletes Guide To Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Pain? The Athletes Guide To Plantar Fasciitis

If you are reading this you have probably suffered with Plantar Fasciitis as I did during my training this year. The nagging pain of the tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments that run from your heel to your toes.

Firstly, don’t be alarmed this is a common running injury, not that it makes it much better! The Plantar Fascia is made of a rigid protein called Collagen. It is not very stretchy and the stress caused by overuse (running too much, or too far too soon), overpronation (where your feet roll inwards when running) and worn out running shoes can rip little tears in the collagen causing pain and inflammation.

It feels like a sharp stabbing pain and can also be a dull ache in the heel. During my training, I had pain first thing in the morning where the first couple of steps feel so tight and painful.

So what can we do about it?

One of the main ways to help repair and recover is to look at your calf muscles! If these are super tight (like mine were) they pull on the Plantar Fascia and cause pain! So, at the start, get on that foam roller, get stretching and if you really want to push the boat out then you could go and get a cheeky sports massage!

The second culprit could be overtraining, check your plan with your coach, are you following a plan? Think about adding some recovery or low impact training until you start to heal and the pain reduces. Then take it steady when you get back into training.

Plantar Fasciitis is a nagging injury that can get worse if not nipped in the bud. I managed to control mine with some foam rolling, using a massage ball on the bottom of my foot and reducing my training miles for a couple of weeks. The aim with training is to get stronger and fitter, by pushing through you will inevitably do the opposite and weaken the body exacerbating any injuries!

Here is a quick and handy checklist if you think you may be suffering!

  1. Check your trainers, make sure they are not too worn!

  2. Get a proper trainer fit - a gait analysis at your local running shop and get trainers that are suited to your feet.

  3. Run off-road on softer ground if you can to reduce the impact of running on hard concrete.

  4. Mix up your training with some cross training like cycling, swimming and strength work.

  5. Stretch! If you don’t like doing it on your own, find a yoga class or get a regular sports massage.

  6. Look at your training, sit down with a coach or discuss your plan with someone you trust to make sure you are not overtraining!

Don’t keep training in the hope it will disappear! Stop, take a second and put in the effort to fix the problem and recover so you are stronger than ever to achieve your goals!

It took me a couple of weeks and I was back at it! You can be too!

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