Optimal Foot Mechanics With Suboptimal Blood Flow?

Optimal foot mechanics
Spreading my toes, to spread my metatarsals, in order to improve blood and tissue fluid flow through my feet has been one of the best ways to improve my run, as I fight peripheral arterial disease, while attempting to continue Ironman training.

Loss of blood supply due to atherosclerosis can lead to life-threatening gangrene. Thank goodness for claudication. I see pain as my teacher and while running as my coach. Pain is my body’s way of saying, “Watch your pace, Kevin. Soften those feet and spread those toes, Kevin. What the hell are you doing, Kevin?”
Here’s a recent example of an intense foot pain that provided me with some running instruction.
As I went through the finish chute of the 2022 NC70.3 Half Ironman race, the ball of my right foot was on fire. I wondered what the hell was going on.
I finished in spite of the pain, which earned me a spot in the 2023 World Half Ironman Championships in Finland. There were only 17 of those coveted slots for a field of 3,000 athletes and I got one by finishing first in my age-group.
” – From: How to Fight The Crippling Pain of Peripheral Arterial Disease

optimal foot mechanics
I was surprised to win one of only 17 slots for a Half Ironman race in a field of 3,000 athletes. I just happened to win my age group, 75-79, and so I’ll be competing in the world Half Ironman championships in Finland, August, 2023.

Luck of the devil, some say.

I finished in spite of the pain, I reply.

The next morning I found several small corns on the ball of my right foot. One near my big toe and two near the little one.

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when the skin tries to protect itself against friction or pressure. They often form on feet and toes or hands and fingers. For most people, simply removing the source of the friction or pressure makes corns and calluses disappear.
― Mayo Clinic

The key phrase: “… simply removing the source of the friction or pressure …”

Those corns are nearly gone, as I’ve been “Sciencing the shit out of the problem,” to quote Mark Watney, in The Martian movie. I’ve been using the methods described in my book, below. Took a while. Anything worth doing usually does take a while.

It’s all laid out in my latest book, which was fun to write, I must admit:

Never give up, just study, analyze and fix as best you can.

And don’t forget, “A life without risk is no life at all.”

-kev aka FitOldDog

optimal foot mechanics
MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.


  1. Tracey Himmel says

    t, “A life without risk is no life at all.”

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.