Q: I have been plagued by plantar fasciitis the last few months. I miss running, or even walking without pain for that matter. How do you deal with this and heal it? Resting and stretching is not cutting it.
A: I, too, have been dealing with plantar fasciitis lately (since March), and there are several things that have helped me. First, rolling your foot on a tennis ball or golf ball will help massage and loosen the muscles on the bottom of your foot. Also be sure to massage or foam roll your calf muscles. Second, strength exercises are important! Put a towel on the ground in front of your foot and pull the towel in with your toes. Do this twice a day. Standing on one foot and balancing will also help strengthen the foot. I also found that a Strassburg Sock helped tremendously. And finally, you can see a doctor who does shockwave therapy. While painful, it is very effective!
Q: I live in Phoenix, where as you know, it is extremely hot during the summer. Even at 5:00 am I find myself struggling. I feel like I’m cruising along and then I look at my Garmin to see that I’m going A LOT slower than I thought I was going. Is this normal, and should I worry about being slower in the summer?
A: The hot AZ summer months are not the time to worry about pace. Studies have actually shown that running in hot weather at an x-minute pace takes the same effort as running 1-2 minutes faster in colder weather. The heat slows you down significantly even though you are running at the same effort. What this means is that if you try to run faster than feels comfortable right now, you risk injury because it’s essentially like doing speed work every single day. This also means that when the weather cools off in a few months, you will naturally run faster at the same effort. It might even help mentally to not run with a GPS watch. If you know your route ahead of time, leave the Garmin at home and just run by feel.
Q: I want to make running and fitness a priority, but I’m just so busy between work and family and various obligations. Do you have any advice on how to make running more of a regular priority?
A: Something that I believe 10000% is that if you want it bad enough, you will make time for it. Seriously…if you have an excuse, I will find a solution. I don’t mean to sound crass, but people who constantly make excuses as to why they cannot exercise simply don’t want to exercise. It is a little pet-peeve of mine. If I can find the time between a full-time job, a part-time side business, 2 small kids, and some non-profit work, so can you.
No time? Wake up 45 minutes earlier. Oh, but then you don’t get the amount of sleep you need? Go to bed 45 minutes earlier. Wait, that cuts into your favorite television show? DVR it and watch it later. Don’t have a DVR? Watch in online.
Have a spouse that’s gone a lot, or are a single parent? Invest in a treadmill. No room for it? Buy the folding kind that you can store in a closet or under the bed. Too expensive? You can often find good and cheap ones on Craigslist.
Too hot outside? Go early in the morning. Not a morning person? After a week, your body will adjust.
Too cold outside? Wear layers. Oh but there’s ice and snow on the ground? Either invest in some clips for your shoes or find a cheap gym close by that has a treadmill. There are a lot of gym options these days that are as low as $10 a month and are often month-to-month. Don’t believe me? I work (in my full-time job) with fitness centers across the country – I know this to be true. Cheap, minimalist gyms (equipment only) are a huge trend right now.
Seriously, though…. If you have a real situation that needs a solution so you can make running or fitness more of a priority, e-mail me and I will help you come up with a plan! I truly believe that anything is possible and look forward to a good challenge.
Q: Are you running again?
A: Yes, I am running again (though very slowly and low mileage)! I had a lot of aches and pains after initially coming back, including shin splints. But I’ve been working with Dr. Ball on my running form, which has helped a lot! It’s like I forgot how to run after taking so much time off. But yesterday I got confirmation from him that I’m finally doing it right and looking much better! I’m also working on fixing my many structural imbalances, which includes me wearing a shoe lift in only my left shoe (because of a leg length discrepancy) and new custom orthotics. So now I’ve got some new aches and pains to work through as I get used to those things and am hoping everything will work itself out sooner rather than later. But thankfully I have the entire summer to take it easy and build up my base very slowly. My next round of training won’t start until mid-September.