It’s all about the feet

the heels that sprained my ankle

I think everyone gets injured during training and if you’re like me you run through pain just to finish the route. stupid really. Proper athletes will stop at the first sign of pain they won’t risk it. I’ve learned the hard way.

I’m just back from physio on my left ankle. I went over on it in high heels last July. Good shoes though eh.  It was right in the middle of training so of course I iced it and ran on it. I even did the Warrington half when I couldn’t walk on it…. Got my pb then too knocked 5 mins off my time (1.50)

But nearly 5 months later I’m still in pain, I should have let it heal. Mind you that might have been the difference between a sub 4 hour marathon or not right?

One left foot

Anyway this left foot is the reason behind my 5 years of itb pain too. Believe it or not one session with a sports therapist showed my left foot didn’t load properly. It practically hit the floor flat. Why?

ORTHOTICS! Far from making things better they stopped my feet moving and pronating, particularly my left foot. So my opposite knee started to shout. Apparently pain on one side of the body means there’s something wrong on the other.

So two weeks before the Leeds half I threw away orthotics that I’d been using for 5 years. I did my first half in 1.55 with near zero itb pain. I then went and bought some Brooks pure cadence.

So I went from loads of support to barely anything. And do you know what? I haven’t had an injury in 12 months (apart from spraining my ankle in those platform heels) nothing else. Amazing!

Less is more

So the less support the better the foot moves. It allows your body to work the way it was built too. No fancy supportive trainers, no orthotics. If you think about it, the more stuff you add to your feet the more your body is working against itself.

Barefoot running is really interesting. There’s loads of stuff out there telling horror stories of torn hamstrings but there are some great advocates too. I’m not quite into vibrams yet, mainly because i think they’ll stink pretty quick but the pure cadence are the next best thing for me.

Here’s an interesting video I was sent the other week. Apart from it sounding like a film trailer it shows the impact of barefoot running.

So if you suffer from itb pain and a physio just massages without looking at your whole body from foot to back, find someone else. I have seen about 8 different physios in 5 years in London and up north, all but one looked at my foot in terms of how it operated when I ran.  He was the only one that fixed me.

This leads me onto form but I’ll write about that next time.

Don’t forget when training, heels are bad. One fall off them will set you back weeks. That’s coming from a person who wears them in the snow!


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