Anyone can run 20 miles. It's the next six that count.
- Barry Magee

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis almost ruins the day.

Revised marathon schedule
5 weeks has passed since my last update and in a normal marathon schedule this should be a good time for me to build up my stamina. Should is the word. Weeks 12 to 8 of my 16 week program have not gone to plan. In summery the last 5 weeks have been a disaster. I have come to the stage that I always expect an injury now and again but I wasn’t ready for an injury called plantar fasciitis.

I got plantar fasciitis due to a number of things I believe. Increase in mileage, worn out runners, (that will teach me) Going out on a hard speed session with a niggling pain in my heel and lastly in the last few races I have been wearing flats. Not enough cushion in them and always felt sore after a race. I cannot blame any one thing but all put together it was an injury waiting to happen.

Now anything I have read about plantar fasciitis says that it usually takes from between 6 weeks to sometimes 6 months to recover. Any runner in the middle of a training program knows how this would go down -Like a sack of spuds! I decided the only thing to do was get physio, get cross training and get ready to get back out running.

Recovery: I started using a physiotherapist in Limerick a few months ago when I had a back injury and found her to be really good so went to her for a couple of sessions. Decided it was time to get the bike onto the road. I have built up my mileage on the bike to a weekly average of 60 miles. One week in particular I did a 50 miler - Hard on the ass but good on the legs. Lastly I ordered a plantar fasciitis foot splint. I wear this all the time while resting and sleeping. An awkward piece of equipment but it really does the trick. I’d recommend it to anybody who gets this injury.

To be honest I am very lucky as 3 weeks after I got the injury I hit the road for a slow 5 mile run. I really wanted to compete in the Chruchtown south 5 mile race the following night so had to test the foot. Churchtown south went better than expected with a 32.59 time and still keeps me close to the top 50 for the series. (Currently in 54)

This week has been a case of building up the mileage again. My week in total is 42 miles with an 18 mile run at 7.55 per mile today. All went well and I am really happy that all the miles were run at a steady pace -all between 7:30 and 8 min.

I have had to modify my schedule to take into account the miles missed due to the injury. No point in trying to pick up at 70 miles a week. So, on to my new program and fingers crossed that I can stick closely to it. I haven’t put in speed sessions or hill work for now but as the foot gets stronger I will add them in.

Over the next 4 weeks I am going to try to continue with the bike for an element of cross training. I also have 3 races ahead. Streets of Galway next Saturday and Ballycotton 5 at the end of August. I am also thinking of running the half marathon in Clonmel in 2 weeks to see where I really am. I need a gauge to know what pace I should try in Berlin.

Talk in a few weeks time.



  1. Good to see that you are back on the road again paudie. Good blog update, very interesting reading as always. Its amazing that there is always something to be learned from these experiences. Keep up the training and stay healthy.
    Niall O'Callaghan

  2. That's tough Paudie. I heard that PF is a tough injury to shake but you are challenging it head on. Not a bad result in Churchtown South considering the injury - obviously you're on the way back. Easy does it.

  3. Hi Paudie, I've just read through your blog - fantastic stuff. I've started my own (with the same mission) although I'm many miles behind you! I have some advice that was given to me for plantar fasciitis... walk on crushed gravel in bare feet (perhaps leave on the socks) for 10-15 minutes. It breaks up the scar tissue and if you don't mind the self inflicted torture, you feel great afterwards. Hope this helps!