The pain was excruciating when I started to take running seriously again a few months ago. My left feet sore with the feeling of many needles prickling it with every step. It got so serious I was walking with a limp every day.
I conclude that I have Plantar Fasciitis due to the concentrated pain in my feet’s arch. Despite the torture, I continue to run further and faster… but unfortunately, the pain escalates until I have to visit a Chinese doctor for treatment.
I must not stop running! It is the only thing keeping me sane. The first few kilometres were mostly pain during every run, but when the adrenaline after that helped to make the run manageable. The true pain was after the run when I have to endure the agony after the runner’s high was over.
Instead of stopping, I ran longer and longer… ignoring all the physical pain I have to endure.
The doctor only helped to provide temporary relief but the pain persists. That is when I decide to take things into my own hands.
After weeks of online research in an attempt to cure my pain, I did the following:
1. Roll My Feet Every Day
Lots of online sites and videos recommend rolling my feet’s arch with round items like tennis or golf balls. I manage to find a massage ball from my store ball and start this daily routine of rolling the ball under my feet.
I will do this religiously for at least 15 minutes every single day, sometimes 2-3 times a day. I did most of the rolling while watching TV or working on the computer. This method undoubtedly releases the tension in my arch and provides lots of relief to my aching feet.
2. Ice My Feet After Every Run
In the past, I rarely ice my feet, finding it troublesome. This is the number one thing that most running experts out there highly recommend. To overcome my laziness of having to wrap ice creams with a cloth, I manage to purchase an ice bag for $2 at Daiso.
This ice bag is easy to use, and prevent your feet from getting froze bites. I never expect something this cheap to be so useful and straightforward to use. Just take it out from the fridge when I need to use and put it back after use. As simple as that!
3. Got A New Pair Of Shoes
I had been a fan of the Asics Kayano series for a number of years now. They provide good stability for flat feet runners like me and did not give me any problems over the years.
I got the feeling that my feet had evolved and I might require shoes that are lighter, with additional cushioning to minimise the impact runs have on my feet. Online running forums point me to a shoe brand I had never heard before, call Hoka One One.
I realise they are a major brand in the line of running shoes but most shops in Singapore do not carry them. I found out Running Lab carries the brand and quickly made my way there.
I tried the Hoka Arahi 3 and instantly fell in love with it. I had never experienced a pair of shoes with so much cushioning, yet felt so light. Although it is quite expensive, the thought of not being able to run outweighs the cost. I was sad to retire my Asics Kayano but it’s time for a change. Hoka One One unexpectedly turns out to be my saviour.
4. Bought Gel Foot Insoles
Got a pair of decent Gel Foot Insole designed to absorb the impact of the feet’s arch from running and walking. Replaced the original Hoka insoles with this and this decision proved to be one of the turning points of my running journey.
The new shoe, combined with the Gel Insoles seemed to make the pain from Plantar Fasciitis much more bearable with each run. It was really exciting the even though I ran more and more, the pain is getting lesser and lesser!
5. Soak My Feet In Epsom Salt
I first heard about the wonderful benefits of Epsom Salt from a Robert Downey Junior‘s news! Ironman himself has pain from time to time and one of his daily go-to at Epsom salts!
This is one of the last things I did in an attempt to remedy my feet and it proves to be one of the factors why I recovered so quickly. After any hard runs, I will quickly mix some Epsom Salt with warm water and soak my feet in it. I did this routine almost every other day and it seemed to work wonders.
I manage to recover even faster from my runs, especially the tough ones.
6. Ditch Static Stretching
In the past, I tend to do some static stretching as part of my warm-up routines before a run. Then I remember many recent online researches warning the harmful effects of doing static stretches before exercises and advice people to do dynamic stretches instead.
I cannot conclude if this has helped me but since I manage to run pain-free now, I will never go back to static stretching again.
I Did Arch Stretching Too But It Did Not Work For Me
During the beginning of my pain from Plantar Fasciitis, I stretch my arch every day, following various Youtube videos in an attempt to cure it. However, it seemed to increase my pain rather than reducing it.
After weeks of arch stretching, I decided to ditch it to focus on my other self-care methods and it seemed to work like a charm. I do not dismiss this method as it might work for others, but definitely not for me.
I am proud to say that despite increasing my weekly mileage from 20km to around 70km now, my feet are getting stronger than ever! I even manage to set new personal best for my 5k and 10k after so many years.
I had been pain-free for a number of months now and love my runs more than ever. If you come across this article, I cannot conclude what I did can help you too, but if it does, I will be so happy for you too.
Running is so crucial for a lot of folks that the fear of not being able to run gives us nightmares. Everyone’s situation is different. It is also best to seek Doctor’s advice if needed.