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Foot problem

Hi all

First post on here.

Having had a very frustrating year where I aimed to complete my first triathlon and only managed to go through an abundance of injuries since January (after previously being fairly injury free) I wondered if anyone here had ever had foot problems such as plantar fasciitus or over pronation

Basically every time I run now I seem to pull my calf muscles on both legs which I am told is due to over pronation and the shape of my feet. I have been recommended to see a foot specialist and try to get some orthotic in soles but just wondered if this was a common problem on the board and if so how well you responded to treatment



  • iadamaiadama Posts: 60
    I've got similar issues - suspected plantar fasciitus, over pronation, high arches and rigid feet. A great combination! This has been my first season training and first time I've got into doing any regular exercise. When I started running I would be in a lot of pain with my heels & calves but the following helps me control it;

    * wobble cushion - great for use daily for strengthening my ankles, and also for after a run
    * sit with a tennis ball under my foot and roll it backwards and forwards for 5 minutes each day (unfortunately the dog often mistakes this for playtime and tries to steal it!)
    * standing on the edge of some stairs and lowering my heels, and holding that position for 30 seconds or so.
    * walking for 10 minutes before and after running, and doing numerous different calf stretches towards the end of the pre- and post-run walk
    * I've just started wearing some compression socks after reading the glowing reports on here which seem to help as well.

    Touch wood I've been injury free for about 5 months now, although I've just started upping my running distance as I've signed up for my first OD, and I'm feeling a bit of a twinge so need to be careful. Hopefully this thread will offer up some further useful advice.
  • iadamaiadama Posts: 60
    Oh, and as my heels are tight first thing in the morning, I've got into the habit of stretching each calf with my leg in the air for 20 seconds whilst lying in bed and then doing 20 foot rotations clockwise and anti clockwise - that's stopped the first few steps of the morning being painful.
  • Thanks mate, sounds like we're in the same boat.

    Will definityely take some tips from this
  • dont even turn to science guys, i found the solution to all our problems. http://www.higherconnections.org/
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    I over pronate massively, and as a result had some very tight calves and achillies too. I have found that getting my gait analysed and a correct pair of trainers (I now wear Brooks GTS 9's) i don't need orthotics etc for running - my weekly milage is back up to about 30 or 40 m and will increase over the winter as i train for a marathon. You would be surprised how much difference the 'right' trainers will make if you need them.
    I do however have some othotics for my work shoes and a pair of fashion trainers. I found the best stretch for the calf/achillies is to hang the heel of my foot off the edge of a step and gently lower the heel down, hold then bend my knee forward - that will target the different muscles in the calf. And as said above doing some foot rolls helps loosen it too. Oh i also wear compression socks and really stretch out after a run. Hope that helps
  • iadamaiadama Posts: 60
    where did you go for gait analysis? I had mine done for free at a running shop but the bloke who did it seemed disinterested, didn't seem to be paying much attention, and my physio's suggested that I might have been sold the wrong shoes. Of course, they do gait analysis as well, at an eye watering 90 quid. However, if there's a big difference in the quality of the analysis, and it means running injury free I'd probably consider paying it. I'd rather go to a recommended shop though, where they know what they're talking about, get a free analysis and buy shoes from them.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    @sjb: Welcome. I feel your pain. I've had a frustrating year - last injury free run was back in January... a few thousand pounds worth of surgery later... I just had my first pain free run - one mile on a treadmill - on Saturday.

    Last year I had calf problems. I got over those (only to move the problems 6 inches upwards), but, what worked for me:

    1) Getting in the gym for a programme of strengthening - working on calves, ligaments (I had very tight hamstrings). I worked with a strength/conditioning coach for this - it was well worth the money, as I'd never really done this kind of programme before - i.e. one aimed at injury recovery/prevention.

    2) Getting some compression socks. Not only did these hold every thing together, preventing setback, and buying me the time to get stronger/healed, they also had a noticeable effect on my run times. It could have been psychological - i.e. I felt safe enough to go faster - or it could have been the promised physiological effects - but I think they made about 30 seconds difference on a 5K. Best £10 I spent.

    The downside was that I just ended up with knee problems - I think the calves were failing before it got to the knee, but once I'd got the calves out of the way, then I was able to go hard enough to murder the knee. There is a cautionary tale there...

    So, I've now been working my way through the ChiRunning book. This holds out the promise of injury free running. While I a lot of it annoys me, the magic of the book is encapsulated in:

    1) Develop good form
    2) Focus on the development of running economy, not on hard sessions.

    There is specific advice and exercises to do to cure things like over-pronation. But, if you want to be injury free, you'll probably have to ease up a bit, given that you have been struggling with this for a while, - i.e. make being injury free a higher priority than smashing PBs.

    How old are you? One thing that I've really noticed, is that, returning to racing (running) after some 25 years, the body has changed significantly - injuries are more likely, are more severe, and take far longer to recover from. I really have to work hard on making sure that I have sufficient rest days, and spend a lot more time in the gym working on things like stretches and relatively light load bearing exercises (i.e. not trying to build muscle specifically), core work etc.

    Good luck, and I do hope you can work through it!
  • Thanks for all replies on this - most helpful!
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