FitOldDog Decoded His Running Injury, Plantar Fasciitis (#2); In Time For Mont-Tremblant Ironman?

FitOldDog having tea in his tent in Mont-Tremblant

FitOldDog enjoying an early morning cup of tea in his tent in Mont-Tremblant (Raining, chilly, and perfect for camping), wondering if Rebecca and FitOldDog fixed his plantar fasciitis in time for  the Sunday Ironman. Selfie by FitOldDog.

When undertaking training for an endurance race, especially when it comes to running injury, it rarely pays to change anything at the last minute.

FitOldDog's friend Steph at the Mont-Tremblant Ironman

Steph, great athlete and a supportive friend at Ironman races. I’m sure Steph will come by me on the swim, but I’m fin with that. Photo by FitOldDog at Mont-Tremblant 2014.

Sometimes you are forced to adjust, such as when struggling with a tight calf, so work it through carefully, and pull out if you have to – live to fight another day. But, you might say, “Wait a minute, endurance races are 50-90% mental, so how can I avoid being psyched out by my issue so as to make the right decision (onward or stop?).” -> best of luck with that decision.

Extract from my training diary for the 2014 Mont-Tremblant Ironman

Day 216 (about 3 weeks ago) – Fascinating. Those arch supports sure helped my right calf, and in spite of going easy at first they triggered plantar fasciitis in my left heel (never had it on the left side before), so I better fix that using our own ideas (see Had a short session with Rebecca, and we tracked it down to a small region of my left gluts, yanking on my pelvis and throwing off my stride – let’s see if we can fix it, as I’m running out of time for Mont-Tremblant. There is always something in the Ironman game.”

FitOldDog's e-book Treatment for Plantar FasciitisWhen you undertake Ironman training, especially in your 70s, you’ll be dealing with stuff, especially when it comes to running injury. For me, over the last year or so, it was a chronically tight right calf (I still suspect claudication due to my progressive vascular disease) that came out of nowhere. I then tried my arch supports, as a last ditch effort, and the calf problem dissolved away, to be rapidly followed by my second case of plantar fasciitis, in 1000s of miles of running.

My first case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot (side of my body, really) resulted in our product, FitOldDog’s Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis.

When I told Rebecca, my dance and Continuum teacher, and business associate, her first reaction was to laugh. Yes! Laugh, at my morning heel pain, more like a knife in your heel. Then she said, “Now we have a chance to really prove to ourselves that our method works.” I agreed, with a worried expression on my face; Mont-Tremblant Ironman was only weeks away.

Third edition of anatomy trains by Tom Myers.

Got to love this guys work, which is why I just bought the 3rd edition. Photo by FitOldDog.

A little research along the fascial planes (trains, lines) of my left leg rapidly revealed to b0th 0f us that the problem in my heel was derived from a small section of my left glut (butt) muscles. It was really tight, and I hadn’t noticed. Time for the tennis ball, fascial work, massage, and all the rest, which is the subject of  our next plantar fasciitis video product, though it is addressed briefly in our book (see figure).

Plantar fasciitis is an odd beast, and each case seems to be slightly different.

It is now a few weeks later, no heel pain in the mornings, but running will aggravate it, though less and less each day as I do the roller and other work that I need to get my fascia flowing again – yes, flowing. Fascia is a bit like mucus, so when working on your connective tissue think about this short extract from my old movie, “The Mucociliary Apparatus.” First you see mucus flowing normally, then you see the effect of formaldehyde, probably cross-linking the glycoproteins and preventing the normal visco-elastic behavior of this important material for your survival. The fluid of fascia (connective tissue) is almost certainly viscoelastic in nature); just watch, it is very brief and the effect of formaldehyde is obvious (for full movie go to FitOldDog.Com, lower right.

Combine this observation with the work of Tom Myers, and if necessary instruction from a good body movement teacher, such as Feldenkrais or Continuum, and you will be back running again in no time.

FitOldDog's food.

Ironman is really about food, for FitOldDog – eat well and eat plenty. What could be better? Photo by FitOldDog on the way to the 2014 Mont-Tremblant Ironman. I included tea, naturally.

My first case of plantar fasciitis, as a running injury, took me nearly a year to fix. This time it was just weeks. It would probably be quicker if I wasn’t so set on my next Ironman race. But if it plays up, I pull out!

Happy Trails,

FitOldDog from beautiful Mont-Tremblant.

PS Here is my plan for the race, extracted from my comment on Team Triathlon 2014 (supportive friends):

My strategy: as I’m undertrained due to sorting out that calf issue along with plantar fasciitis, and I’m signed up for the Maryland IM, September 20th (with my son, Nigel, YES!), will be three main options: 1) trouble with bike or run and I’ll pull out, and see it as another Sunday long workout and camping trip, 2) if things go well, which is my intent, I’ll push steadily all day, working to film what it’s like at the back of the pack, with my new GoPro, and 3) if Deb tells me I have a chance of qualifying, I’ll gently bust a gut to actually run the last 10 miles.



  1. Interesting to learn that fascia ‘flows’, and the tight gluteus muscles led to the heel pain. All things have to work together. If only somebody would invent a ‘roller’ in which I could get into and have it roll my whole body.

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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.