in their approach to achieve good time in their first 5k race.
Generally, what most new runners will do is increase their weekly
mileage and/or increase the number of speedworkouts per week in
order to get to their desired pace faster than they ought to.
Certainly, I could relate to this mind set of training as I too was a very enthusiastic novice runner. However, if you wouldlike to stay clear of injuries this approach is not the way to go. Injuries of the repetitive overuse type come in abundance with faulty training habits, and for runners this generally includes plantar fasciitis.
In this article I will explain exactly what this condition is and ways
to prevent this from occurring.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that functions to support
the bottom (plantar) aspect of the foot. The suffix "itis" refers to inflammation,
so plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that occurs to the
plantar fascia. Additionally, the foot serves two primary roles: the first is a
supple structure that functions to absorb shock; the second is a rigid lever
that serves to propel the body forward. When the role of shock absorption is
too great, either because of too much weight or consistent repetitive loading,
the structures under the foot become stressed. Likewise, if the foot is overly
stressed during the propulsion phase, microtrauma willensue.
This includes the plantar fascia along with other structures like your foot
muscle intrinsics. Because of the attachment of the fascia to the medial aspect
of the calcaneus (heel bone), the symptoms generally present itself at the heel,
where the inflammatory process occurs. The less stress on the fascia, the less
likely symptoms will develop. Therefore, the first way to prevent this condition,
as alluded to above, is to lose weight, and reduce mileage and high intensity
runs. This will remove the repetitive microstress from the plantar fascia.
Another way in which one becomes predisposed to this condition is by
having a tight calf-Achilles tendon complex.
While the pathomechanics of
this structure can become complicated, simply stated, tightness of the calf can
be one of the bigger culprits for plantar fasciits. A tight calf-Achilles tendon
complex will limit upward motion at the ankle. When the ankle is restricted from moving, the foot, particularly the midfoot, compensates by dorsiflexing (bending upward) more, thereby causing increased tensile stress to the plantar fascia. Lastly, an overly pronated (flat foot) or supinated (high arched foot) can predispose someone to this condition.
Unfortunately, there is not much one could do with their genetic endowment
except for finding shoes/sneakers to accommodate for faulty biomechanics.
Sometimes orthoses should be considered. Simply put, allow experts to analyze your feet, the way in which your foot behaves during the gait cycle, and determine if there is adequate range of motion at your ankle.
1) Train by gradually increasing mileage - rule of thumb is increase
mileage 10% per week
2) If overweight, lose weight in another way (bicycling, swimming,
dieting) before taking on high impact activities like running
3) Stretch your calf muscle to avoid overcompensation at your mid-foot
4) Allow an expert to analyze your feet to recommend the proper