Plantar Fasciitis is a common running injury also known as Runner’s Heel. Regardless if the runner is elite or someone who just started, it affects up to 10 percent of people during their running career. For many runners, the tell-tale symptom they have plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel or arch of their foot after taking that first step in the morning.
Many times, plantar fasciitis can be caused by increasing your mileage too quickly. This can happen when you fall behind on a training plan and want to catch up, or you think you’re ready to make the jump in the distance when training for a race. You may feel ready mentally for the mileage increase, but your plantar fascia, the connective tissue between your heel and toes, might not be. To avoid injury, do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week.
Another cause of Runner’s Heel is overdoing it with speed work and hill workouts. Both of those things will help you become a better and faster runner, but if you incorporate them into your weekly workouts too much, you risk stressing out your plantar fascia. A good rule of thumb is to do no more than two high-intensity workouts a week. That includes track work, hill workouts, and tempo runs.
No matter how smart you train while running, if you have the wrong shoes, you could bring on plantar fasciitis. One way to find the right pair of shoes is to head to your local running store. There, a trained salesperson, can look at your feet and do a quick gait analysis to see what shoe will work best for you. Going directly to the local running store will also give you the opportunity to try on the shoes and test them out. If you don’t have a local running store nearby there are also a number of online resources that can recommend the best running shoes for people prone to plantar fasciitis.
If followed carefully, the above tips should help you avoid Runner’s Heel. However, if you do get plantar fasciitis for whatever reason, the good news is there are several ways to treat the injury so you can be back to running and achieving your goals in no time.
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