Please help! I am a lover of running and decided to read The Cool Impossible (which I LOVED) to better my running prior to beginning training for my first full marathon.

Upon reading the book, I learned that heal striking was causing me lower back pain and preventing me from being as efficient of a runner as I'd like. I decided to fully commit to the form, strength training, and schedule outlined in The Cool Impossible. I've spent the past month studying and striving to master the running form outlined by Eric while also working on strength training (utilizing the slant board and stability disk on a regular basis). My original plan was to start the training plan on July 20th to prepare for my full marathon on December 13th.


Unfortunately I have been experiencing extreme pain in my left heel for the past several weeks. At first I was certain that it was planters fasciitis brought on by changing my foot strike from heel to forefoot and that ice and rest would take care of the problem. While the pain has decreased during normal daily activities, every time I attempt to run I experience severe pain in my left heel and am left limping for days while trying to reduce inflammation and pain.


I have been seeing a chiropractor who believes that my calcaneus (heel) bone is not wanting to stay in the proper place. He has been treating me with ultrasound and adjustments but I still can't run for more than a few minutes without extreme pain. What do I do? I don't want to give up on running but it is causing me so much pain.


Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated!



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When you changed to a forefoot strike, we're you still bringing your heel down? I have struggled with heel pain/plantar fasciitis before. It can be very painful. Do you notice when you run, it hurts more at first but eases some if you continue after 5-10 minutes? From personal experience, a couple key things....when you run, while you are no longer heel striking, you still want that heel to come down after the forefoot. Many keep heel elevated and that will cause problems. To get the feel for this, run in place. You will have perfect foot strike when you do this...forefoot first them heel down. That's the feel you want to mimic. Next, really massage those calves...dig in amd find knots or really tender spots and really work them out and get that calf soft and mushy with no knots. Do this several times a day if you can. Roll the feet on a hard ball or golf ball and dig into the tender part of the heel...this will help break up adhesions that start to form. And last but not least be patient....once the plantar fascia gets pissed off it is very very slow to resolve, even when you are doing everything 12 weeks easy. There is very limited blood flow to the tendons and connective tissue, so healing is a long slow process. Once I corrected issues that triggered my plantar fasciitis it took at least 3 months to completely resolve. While very painful at times, I was still able to run and train through it, focusing on good form and being patient with the insanely slow resolutuion. My experience makes me recommend. .If you can still run, I would, especially if you notice it eases longer into your run. Guage how it goes overall week by week. Correct the form issues that triggered it and it should gradually resolve...over 6-12 weeks is a minimum amount of time. If pain gets worse as you run, or is just not possible, I would suggest a week or two off, but, if it is really flared uo, it will still likely take 6-12 weeks to when you start running again, you may still have some pain. This has just been my personal experience and is BY NO MEANS expert advise ;).

Thank you so much!!!! I don't think I've been dropping my heel adequately and that is probably causing the issue. I will definitely take all of your advice and just knowing that someone else has been there before makes me feel a lot better! Thanks again!

You are welcome! Yes, unfortunately I know that pain all too well!


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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton

The Cool Impossible: Run Beyond Limits

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