When my friend Jenene competed in her very first duathlon (that's like a triathlon, but no swimming) and mentioned that the bottom of her foot started hurting midway through the race and it still burned like fire a week later, I just looked at the unsupportive flip-flops she was wearing and said just two words. "Plantar Fasciitis."
As you know, about a year ago, I gave myself plantar fasciitis. Like Jenene, I'm a fan of the impractical shoe.
I still mourn the demise of my favorite high-heeled strappy sandals. And after my own bout with plantar fasciitis (caused by stupidly dancing all night long wearing really adorable but totally unsupportive ballet flats), I couldn't wear floppy, cute shoes for months, and even after I could walk barefoot without screaming in pain, I still relied on a rotating set of Clarks Privos all summer long, just to be safe. (Our pal Anne found a way to keep her feet pain free--even in strappy high-heels.)
Jenene didn't believe me but she went to the doctor and he confirmed my suspicions. Since Jenene is serious about running, she went down to a good running shoe store and got fitted with a kicky pair of Sauconys that deal with her stride issues. When she showed them to me, she was so happy that she could walk without wincing and she couldn't believe the difference that a pair of good shoes made for her heel pain. Now she's no longer ruling out competing in one more duathlon before the end of the season.
And don't you let an injury get in the way of your goals; we've got nine all-natural ways to help you avoid women's top five injuries.
Nothing sucks more than getting sidelined just when you're starting to get excited about a new atheletic activity, and noticed that quite a few Lazy Waister Triathletes had similarly reported aches and pains were frustrating them and hampering their performance. There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself in the game physically. Dr. Joanna Youner is a leading NYC podiatrist and has lots of tips for people who rely on their fleet feet.
- Stretching - Stretching primes the body for strenuous activity, so be sure to stretch before and after running, paying special attention to the calves, hamstrings, quads and feet
- Shoes - Invest in a good pair of running shoes, as they provide the specific impact support that running demands; if feet sweat heavily try putting talcum powder in your shoes to keep feet dry
- Orthotics - If you have arch or heel pain, you may be a perfect candidate for orthotics, which are now widely available in over-the-counter varieties; visit your doctor to learn what option is best for you
- Socks - Cotton socks absorb moisture and what you don't want during the marathon are wet socks; opt instead for a synthetic sock (containing acrylic) to help keep moisture from your skin, thus reducing the likelihood of a fungal growth. Another secret of the pros is to avoid situating the seams in a place where the shoe is tight -- the pressure can force the seam to dig into the skin causing pain and blistering
[photo credit: Getty Images]
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