Monday, September 30, 2013

plantar fasciitis (PF) fun

Firstly, I run a base mileage of 25-35 miles per week year round.  A typical week is at least one trail run or hill repeats, a short 6.5 mile maintenance run and two long runs on the weekend.  I have never had plantar Fasciitis (PF) like symptoms in my foot arch near by heel before.

A month go I finished a 16 mile run on a Sunday in my older Sketchers Go Run 2s and felt fine.  The following week, however, I did basically the same 16 miler on Sunday in my NEW Sketchers Go Run 2, same shoe, same model just newer (and probably a bit stiffer with more arch support) and by the end of the run could barely put pressure on my left arch near heal.  The next day my left arch was sensitive to the touch.

If you get fascilltis pain, which is basically swelling due to tearing of the fasciitis that connects toe area back to heel, there is little you can do short term other than take some pair reliever, ice it and immediately start stretching out the area that caused the tearing (calf, Achilles and fasciitis).  Long term requires figuring out what exactly caused the tearing and constant stretch exercises of much of your calf, Achilles and foot area.

Two days later after that Sunday, I hit the trails for a 7.5 very hilly trail run in my TRAIL SHOES (Tecnica x-lites) and to my great surprise I had no arch pain at all. Gone.  I don't believe the few hours of massage fixed my arch but that the shoes/hills didn't annoy it.  So, something about pavement pounding and my shoes were off.

Enter experiment number one.  I tried running a test 6.5 mile run in my trail shoes whilst running on pavement.  Comfortable but felt it a little bit in my left arch.  Yesterday, I completed a half marathon in Half Moon Bay in my trail shoes and almost had to stop at mile 10 because of arch pain. Luckily it wasn't bad enough to stop but painful and learned that if I run like a crab slightly askew there was less pain.  Today (day after) my left arch is sensitive to the touch but walkable. My plan is to continue to do the stretches below and attempt to figure what about my shoes or how I'm running on pavement that is irritating my arch.  One theory is that the 'extra arch' support found in Sketchers Go Run 2 is actually too much support and tweaked my fasciitis.  Which suggests my fasciitis or calf are too tight.

 Must do exercises:

1) Foot rolling : I do both recommended forms for different reasons.  I use a golf ball to pinpoint areas up and down the arch of my foot. Painful at first but as the arch stretches out it feels much better.  And, the second technique which is to freeze a bottle of water and simply roll the arch up and down the frozen bottle.  Feels really, really good.  If you live by the beach (especially cold water like we have in northern California) walking up/down the cold seashore also feels very good.

2) Gastrocnemius muscle stretch : After a run I always stand on a curb's edge and pivot both feet one at a time down hold 30 seconds then up.  The muscles are warm after a run and perfect for stretching out but don't over do it - stop when you get a mild burn.  This stretches the calf muscles nicely.

3) Soleus muscle stretch : Similar to above just bend you knee to isolate the Soleus and Achilles area.


  1. It has now been over a month and the pain has not returned even after running several hill repeats and a 20 miler last Sunday. So, trail shoes, calf massage and golfball rolls appear to do the trick.

  2. This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough.

  3. I discovered this is an instructive and intriguing post so i suspect as much it is extremely valuable and educated. I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article.