The secret to successfully training for a marathon and half marathon is directly linked to staying motivated, training smart, and maintaining proper nutrition. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, dedication and requires an increased amount of miles on your feet. It is not out of the ordinary for a runner to average 30 -50 miles per week over a six month period of training. With that amount of training, there is an increased risk for sustaining an overuse injury such as plantar fasciitis. Annually, 2 million people in the U.S. are treated for plantar fasciitis and it accounts for approximately 12.8% of all running injuries.
The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous bowstring type sheath tissue on the bottom of the foot that runs from the heel to the base of each toe. The common complaint of plantar fasciitis is typically a sharp pain on the inner part of the heel and arch of the foot with the first few steps in the morning or after long periods of sitting. Symptoms may also include throbbing, a dull ache and a fatigue-like pain in the arch of the foot. The area may also appear slightly swollen with a severe, sharp pain with pressing into the base of the toes or under the heel bone.
There are a number of possible causes of plantar fasciitis such as foot pronation, calf muscle tightness and an inflexible arch. Environmental factors such as hard surfaces could also be linked to causes of plantar fasciitis. Depending on the severity of the injury, you can expect to return back to regular activity with minimal to no pain in 1 to 6 weeks.
When preparing to train for a marathon, it is important to have the proper shoes with functional socks like Zamsts’ HA-1 to prevent and support the plantar fascia by reducing the load on the foot from repetitive impact while running.
Understanding the common injuries that occur in training for a marathon will get you to the end of the 26.2 miles and past any finish line.
Jessica Thomas MS, ATC