Sprinting and Plantar Fasciitis?

November 20, 2015 by Angela Coon
Injuries are never enjoyable.

Sprinting is possible with Plantar Fasciitis. Here are some ideas so you will be able to learn how to manage this difficult injury once it occurs. Learning proven healing strategies  will help you with the feelings of frustration you will have and the down time of your training will be minimized.   Plantar Fasciitis is especially annoying because it takes some time to develop and by the time you feel this pain in your foot there is no quick fix except making the decision to act fast once it happens.


The Key Characteristic of the Plantar Fascia makes healing slow

The thick fibrous material making up the bottom of the foot contributes to the length of time this injury takes to heal. Fascia tissue does not have the same blood flow characteristics as other tissue in the body. Knowing this in advance may help you understand consistency a nd thoroughness of treatment will be required.


Recommendations for Plantar Fasciitis
Before anything, try to trouble shoot a plan on how you will manage your therapy. First look at what your predisposing factor might be.

Predisposing Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
  1. Flat pronated feet. (approximately 75 % of the general population pronate)
  2. High arched rigid feet
  3. Inappropriate/ improper shoes
  4. Toe running or hill running
  5. Soft terrain (running on sand)
  6. Increased age

Tip: One of the things I do proactively in hope to prevent recurring Plantar Fasciitis is I try and replace my training shoes often to keep the protection and cushion for my feet.


Assume the worst, plan for the best

By assuming the worst and hoping for the best you set yourself up for the mind set to do what is needed to take the necessary steps to heal as fast as you are able. My experience with injuries in general with both athletes and non-athletes is people don’t take injuries seriously or they feel helpless with the injury. Try to strike a balance of taking the injury seriously, working hard at the right things, but then realize you will get better.  People commonly express having patience with this injury is beneficial.  All injuries take time to heal.


Managing Inflammation

Quick and appropriate response to the irritation and inflammation of PF will accelerate down time and increase healing speed.  How a person manages inflammation is individual. Here are some ideas. 

  1. Medications such as anti-inflammatory pills and creams
  2. Physio therapy which might include acupuncture, or electric muscle stimulation.
  3. Surgery for feet might be last resort. You can not undo surgery. Do you homework and try other things before doing surgery.  You are not looking to create more scar tissue in a small space with small bones, ligaments.
  4. Inflammation can be controlled through knowledgeable nutrition. Acidic diets cause inflammation.Inflammation slows healing.
  5. Ice, Ice baths and contrast baths – see below.

Ice baths and contrast baths

Hydro therapy including icing and contrast baths can play a key role in assisting in the reduction of inflammation once the fascia has been aggravated. Bags of frozen peas instead of bags of ice are often used for ease and comfort of use.I don't find it as effective but it's a good compromise in settings when you can't use water. ( car, school) Styrofoam cups filled with frozen water ¾ full are a great way to ice a sore foot. Contrast baths altering hot water and cold ice water in pales of water can systemically treat the entire foot not just the fascia. Systemic therapy that treats your entire body and therefore your entire energy system is most desirable. Water therapies effectively regenerate both the CNS as well as increasing blood flow throughout the entire body.


Stretching the foot

I've discovered the best time and place to stretch my feet is in hot water or after training when everything is already loose and easy to move.

Keep the calves and supporting ares of the foot ( hamstrings and glutes ) loose and stretched. One possible reason for PF to develop is the foot has not been handling the load or the foot is taking on more load than usual. 

Tip: Review your training volumes and be hyper vigilant on resting the foot / feet , when possible. Wrapping calves and keeping feet and ankles warm assist in taking stress off the foot.
We used to put heat on sore and tight muscles and then wrap in saran before bed. You will need to wear a loose pair of tights or sweatpants or wrap the area with a loose tensor so the saran does not come off in the night. 

 

Two Great Workouts you can do while you have Plantar Fasciitis

Reduce frustration of your injury by learning great workouts to do when you are not able to sprint normally.


1.Running in the pool with or without a belt
  • warm up in or out of the pool. I like to use varied lengths for a 2 to 4 minute time duration
  • Intervals of running I have used are 45 seconds of running with 15 seconds of rest.
  • a typical set would be one set of 10 intervals for a 10 minute duration
  • a typical workout would be 2 sets of 10 reps with 2 to 5 minutes of rest between. The lower value of rest going to the more keen and experienced swimmer or athlete.
  • a typical duration for this workout might be as short at 20 minutes or as long as 45 to 60 minutes depending on how much swimming you include outside of the running sets.

2. Bike Training Intervals ( maintain or improve cardio and deduce impact for foot)
  • warming up on the bike might be as simple as riding for 10 minutes with very little effort.
  • warming up might include medicine ball routines mixing intervals on and off the bike or a series of varied sit ups on and off the bike.
  • a typical set on the bike for training might be one set of 10 intervals of 45 seconds or 1 minute with routine or upward graded RPM’s with NO TENSION. (if you want to increase the tension to make this workout you are changing the nature of what this particular workout is intended for. This workout is not for POWER. This workout is for fitness or recovery.
  • a typical workout might include a warm up with one set of 10 intervals of 45 seconds at 120 rpms, with 15 seconds of break / each set you maintain 120 rpms
  • another typical workout might be as above but you perform 2 sets of 45 seconds to 1 minutes of 120 rpm , taking 2 to 5 minutes of rest between sets.
  • One, 2 or 3 exercises might be performed in between each interval. The exercises can be made as hard or as easy as you wish depending on the intensity of the RPM’s or the experience of who is doing the workout.

A time consuming injury such as PF might be an opportunity to fine tune areas of your training you are not currently taking advantage of. My experience has been that injuries have made me appreciate my training and health and therefor I've become more careful and proactive about training and regenerating. 

 Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

 Angé

 

 

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