Personal Record then Plantar Fasciitis: Focusing on Form in 2017

Contributed by Scott Benbow, an Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon

From PR (Personal Record) to PF (Plantar Fasciitis)

One year ago, I registered for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and the California International Marathon (CIM), with the intention to run both. I ran The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon in July, setting a new PR for that distance and beating – by 33 seconds – my time in the New York City Marathon way back in 1979, while I was still in high school.

Unfortunately, as CIM approached in December, a nagging case of plantar fasciitis (PF) sidelined me. It’s happened before. Each time I believe I’ve tackled PF, it returns again to slow me down.

For 2017, I’m registering again for the San Francisco Marathon and CIM. I have mapped a 16-week running schedule beginning in early April for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. Between now and April, I am focusing on improving my running form to prevent (or at least alleviate) my chronic PF.

As a runner, I have always struggled with form. When I was younger, I could power through my workouts and races because I was more limber and recovered quickly from any setback. But now, my setbacks are last a lot longer and are much harder to recover from. The past few years have been aggravating.

I am working with a physical therapist this winter to address the bad running habits I’ve maintained for years. First, we worked on hip flexibility and glute strength. Second, we worked on ankle flexibility and foot strength. Now, in January, we are working on form. I am attempting to replace some of my bad habits with good habits, borrowing some of the precepts of Chi Running and Natural Running to relieve some of the stress on my hips, legs, and ankles.

My goals are to perfect my running form in 2017, get back to running 4-5 days each week, and to have fun in both marathons.

Tell us: what are your running and fitness goals for 2017?

2 Replies to "Personal Record then Plantar Fasciitis: Focusing on Form in 2017"

  • comment-avatar
    January 8, 2017 (10:09 am)

    I am inspired by your post. Twenty years running and I struggled with PF for over a year and was extremely depressed. 2016 was my comeback year at 54 years old, and I truly kept ahead of the PF returning. It takes work, but that’s life. I don’t have a trainer or pt, but everything you mentioned, I’m working on too. Thanks for this.

  • comment-avatar
    Joanna Riddell
    January 11, 2017 (10:05 am)

    As an acupuncturist, have you tried acupuncture? Also rolling your foot over a golf ball can help immensely as well as soaking your feet in Epsom salts and unfiltered apple cider vinegar.