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Plantars Faciitis-A Quick Look at a Common Problem

Everyday I get asked the same question about Plantar Faciitis and I always give the same advice. These are the steps that I have used to rid myself of the ailment and they are what I recommend to all of my customers. I am no doctor and will not pretend to be. If the condition is too severe to run on go seek professional help.

The first thing I look for when a customer comes in with PF is whether or not they are in the right size shoes. If the shoe is too small it can prevent the foot from having adequate room to swell causing the foot to tense up because there is no room. Running on a tense foot that is unable to naturally spread makes the plantar fascia more susceptible to tears. A podiatrist goes more into this in an article featured in Running Times.

After ensuring that the customer is in the right shoe I start to explain the steps I’ve taken to beat this problem.

1) Keep your calf muscles stretched out.“The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is very tight calf muscles which leads to prolonged and / or high velocity pronation of the foot. This in turn produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia leading to possible inflammation and thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it looses flexibility and strength.” In the store we have many tools to assist with loosening the calves. They include the foam roller, the stick, and our newest addition the Trigger Point Kits.

2) Warm up the fascia before taking that first step in the morning. This is easy to do if you keep a golf ball or tennis ball along with a dish towel by the bed. when you wake up place the ball on the ground and gently roll your foot over it, by doing so you will break up any scar tissue that might have formed throughout the night and will cause the blood to start circulating through the fascia. Next take the dish towel and stretch your foot and your calves by holding both ends and pulling your foot towards you. By doing this you ensure that when you start walking you aren’t doing so on a tight, un-stretched foot.

2B) Another use for this dish towel is foot strengthening. Place the towel flat on the ground longways and place your heel at the end of the towel. Next, use your toes to bunch up the towel until you reach the very end then repeat this exercise 10x on each foot.  Strengthening your feet is good for many reasons, but for PF it helps you maintain better control of the foot.

3)This one is very easy and needs little explanation. Freeze a water bottle and roll your foot over it, you get the same results as the tennis/golf ball trick with the added bonus of ice.

4)If all of these steps don’t help I have the person try an orthodic for extra support or a Strassburg Sock that will allow the foot to be in a stretched position throughout the night. Both of these are last ditch efforts before sending someone to see a doctor.

Plantar Faciitis is a very common problem that can be treated fairly easily if you take care of it when the pain first appears.  A good rest day and a few dollars invested can save you from costly time away from training and a dreaded trip to the doctor.

I wrote this in hopes that my running friends will have something to look at if they forget the steps I mentioned in the store. Again I am not a doctor, just someone who has suffered through this problem a few times before finally taking the necessary steps to heal. If you have any questions for me feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at




My New Favorite Toy

I recently did my tax return  and with the good news of a refund I decided to do something that I have been dreading for a long time……… I purchased another Garmin GPS unit along with a Heart rate monitor. I have been dreading this day because when I train with one I tend to get lost in the pace per mile and my runs end up being stupid fast every day. I ended up selling my last Garmin because I had a two week streak where I ran all my miles at about 7:15 pace or faster and I never felt like I was recovering.

With this Garmin I decided I would do things differently. I purchased the one with the heart rate monitor and decided that instead of going crazy on trying to run as fast as possible all the time, I’ve decided that I’ll wear my HRM on my easy days and try to stay as low as possible. The first time I did this I saw great results the next day. I took my easy run EASY and the next day I had the best run I’ve had in 6 months.

I didn’t only pick this Garmin because it does pace on the run, I also got it because it’ll work in the water and on the bike. I can get a pretty accurate reading of distance if I ever do ocean swims and I can buy both a cadence sensor and a power meter. As an aspiring triathlete this watch is an all in one. The watch will even track multisport workouts and display them on their training site. In the near future I will get to play with all of these features, but until then I will be enjoying it on my runs and as a tracker on the bike.

Touchscreen: no
Weight: 2.5 oz (72 g)
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 20 hours, typical
Water resistant: yes (50m)
GPS-enabled: yes
High-sensitivity receiver: yes
Heart rate monitor: yes (optional)
Bike speed/cadence sensor: yes (optional)
Foot pod: yes (optional)
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer): yes
Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data): yes

I am in no way affiliated with this product and am writing this based on my experience with the watch. If you have any questions regarding my post feel free to e-mail me at If you are interested in purchasing one check out the Jacksonville Running company or