I am training for a spring half marathon and lately I have had some pain in my left heel, particularly in the moning. I suspect it’s plantar fasciitis?
I have been doing really well with my training; I have only missed one run so far and I don’t want to miss any more.
What should I do about my foot? Should I just suck it up and keep running?
Pain in the Heel
First, check with your doctor. You want to get this injury properly diagnosed.
If it is plantar faciitis, a prescription for anti-inflammatory medication may be needed for a short period of time. Don’t forget to eat an anti-inflammatory diet (high in vegetable greens, high in Omega 3 fats, no dairy, no sugar).
Physiotherapy and massage may be appropriate. Your doctor will be able to advise you on that. Some people have also had success with other therapies such as accupuncture and osteopathy.
I suggest you lay off running for a few days. It’s not going to greatly impact your race, particularly if your training has been really consistent. In the mean time, stretch your calves a lot – in the morning, during the day, in the evening (I use this Pro Stretch thingy; I purchased it locally but here is their website).
Also try this foot massaging technique that totally helped me through a plantar fasciitis injury:
Sit on the edge of your bed or on a chair. Put your left foot on your lap, as though you were going to take a look at something on the bottom of your foot. Make a fist with your right hand. Place your knuckles directly below your toes and massage the full length of your foot, back and forth, for at least 10 passes. (You other foot might appreciate some love too, while you’re at it!) Do this massage every morning before you start your day. I find it to be really effective!
When you are ready to return to running, continue with the stretching and foot knuckle massage. Start running slow and easy, even if you’re feeling great. There is no sense in overdoing it and being back at square one!