Running Injury: Arch Pain, Hubris and Back to Basics

Arch PainI noticed my arch pain after the Mt. Diablo Trail Adventure Half Marathon last month. I thought I had stepped on a rock on the monster downhill run, but it kinda stayed. The pain wasn’t exactly under the arch, but a little to the side on the inside of my right foot. Yup, this is my weak foot that has a partially torn not-fully-healed ligament and one that was diagnosed of acute achilles tendonitis many years ago. I skimped on the training runs during November and the arch pain was back again after the Berkeley Half Marathon. Every article on google related to Plantar FasciitisĀ or arch pain talks about going barefoot as a way to strengthen the arch. I am obviously running barefoot. So what gives?

Running Injury – Arch Pain

Running injuries, to me, is like motorcycle maintenance (yeah, that zen one). Forces me think through cause and effect and really take the time to figure out why something’s hurting and how I got that injury in the first place. As I kept looking back to see what I was doing differently to cause the arch pain, there were a few things that struck me.

  • I used to do strengthening exercises religiously and I was completely slacking off
  • I wasn’t doing enough warmups (especially in cold weather!) before a run
  • With the colder months, I was barefooting less throughout the day
  • I was skimping out on post-run recovery

I’ve one word for that. Hubris. Getting too cocky and not paying attention taking care of the body. Turns out my right calf has gotten pretty tight and this in turn is affecting my arch. Sad part is I felt the tight calf on a run a few weeks ago and ignored it. So I’m going back to the basics to get through this arch pain. This includes deep, focused calf and foot massages, heel drops, deep squats, ballet stretches for the toes/ankles and just good old staying barefoot as much as I can throughout the day. A week into it, I’m already feeling the difference. Also, if you are a minimalist or run barefoot, check out the Huaraches Google Group, started by none other than Barefoot Ted. Lots of experienced (and friendly!) runners here.

Did you have arch pain? What caused it and how did you get through it?

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