FEBRUARY 7TH, 2018

BY COACH PATRICK HAMMOND

HOW TO PREVENT PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Coach Patrick Hammond earned his Masters Degree in Sports and Performance Psychology from the University of the Rockies. He is a USA Track and Field Level 1 certified coach. He cofounded Educated Running with the intention of helping runners reach their full potential, and learn about their sport.

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[1] Miller, Becky. Livestrong. "  Sleep & Muscle Recovery." 2017

References

Wear Athletic Compression Socks

Wearing a calf sleeve 30 minutes before, during, and up to two hours after your run can help your calves and feet warm up, perform, and recover better. The reason for this is that compression increases blood flow to muscles helping them function and recover better. It also keeps muscles closer to bones, which decreases microtears in muscles.


Making an effort to utilize the above practices into your daily routine will decrease your chances of getting PF. If you have questions or need further explanation about the methods mentioned please reach out to us at Educated Running!


Wear the Right Running Shoes and Track Mileage

Running in the wrong shoes can result in PF. Running in the  right shoes for too long can do the same. Select a running shoe at at your local run specialty shop, where you can try on various pairs.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and provide a full running history. Once you have your new shoe it’s important to note that most running shoes last between 350 and 450 miles. Track your mileage to know when you have reached this limit.


Sleep 8 Hours Each Night

Much of recovery takes place while you sleeping. Because your muscles are all connected, when one set of muscles is not fully recovered it can affect another. Healing starts during non-REM, deep sleep. During this time your pituitary gland releases a shot of growth hormone, which stimulated tissue growth and muscle repair. Your breathing also slows down, which means your brain requires less blood. To help your muscles heal, your body channels all of this the excess oxygen and nutrient rich blood  to your muscles. [1]. Be sure to sleep extra after an injury or and intense workout, when your body needs extra recovery time. Remember -- lack of recovery is a common culprit of most running injuries.

Warm Up Before Your Run

In addition to training on a specific plan, engaging in dynamic stretches prior to your run warms up your muscles so that they are prepared to be activated on a run. Dynamic stretches also build strength and improve form, which makes you a more efficient,and thus less injury-prone, runner.


Foam Roll Your Calves

When trying to prevent PF it’s important to focus on keeping your calf muscles loose. A tight calf muscle can often result in PF because it pulls on the fascia. A tight fascia is much more susceptible to injury than a flexible one. Working out knots and increasing blood flow by foam rolling will help prevent this strain. Don’t rush it. You can’t benefit from rolling if you don’t do it consistently, so pick a time of day that works best for you and make this a habit.


Hydrate Regularly

Dehydration can also contribute to PF because muscles must be hydrated to move and function properly. If the muscles in your feet or calves are dehydrated, you may overwork the plantar. When hydrating it is important to sip, not gulp, water throughout the day. This will help prevent you from overhydration. It’s also wise to add electrolytes to your hydration routine because only drinking water may not be enough to prevent cramps.

Sadly, however, injuries can and do occur. But rather than dealing with an injury as as it shows up, why not take a preventative approach to them altogether? While not all injuries are avoidable, there are various techniques you can implement in your training to avoid injuries in the first place.

One common running injury, known as plantar fasciitis (PF), is a result of the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament that stretches from your toes to your heel bone. In this blog, I will introduce you to several methods you can use to prevent PF.


Avoid Overtraining

Many amateur and veteran runners who are excited for a new running season do too much too soon resulting in PF, and other injuries. In general, the best way to prevent such overtraining is to create and stick to a long-term and tailored training plan. A knowledgeable coach, or a veteran runner you trust, will understand how to properly build mileage, so that you safely reach your running and fitness goals. 

The last thing you want as a runner to is to fall victim to an injury that halts your training completely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Coach Patrick Hammond

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