Jen Rulon is an inspiring multisport coach in San Antonio, TX, specializing in strength-mind, body and soul. She is the founder of Endurance Fit, a lululemon athletica ambassador and a Pose Method Run Coach.
"All our dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney
Plantar Fasciitis, or "PF" has got to be one of the worse injuries for an athlete...runner, CrossFitter, or any human being. It can make or break your physical aspect and also your mental aspects. You wake up in the morning and the first step off the bed hurts like a "SOB". You attempt to go for a run but those first couple of steps are so painful, that you have to turn around a walk home. It hurts to do a box jump at your CrossFit gym or to even jump rope. Let's look at the meaning of the words with PF:
Plantar: the bottom surface of the foot
Fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia
Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a lot of athletes bring up PF...that they have had it or that they are having heel issues. One of the major reasons why people have PF is due to the tightness in their calves and Achilles tendon. Look at the photo to the right. Look how the Achilles will connect down past the foot. Tightness in your calf muscles and Achilles will hinder an athlete in their running and box jumps over time.
What are the steps to take care of that PF? Here are the few things that I have done to take care of my calves and prevent getting PF:
Foam Roll the Calves
Lacrosse Ball your Calves
Calf Smashing with a bar (See Video)
Calf/Toe Raises...remember the old school calve raises. 3 x 15-20...toes facing front/ toes facing one another, like a pigeon/ heels facing each other, like a duck.
Take a golf ball and roll in on your foot...still need to work on those calves though!!
Three weeks ago, I went to a Mobility Certification Seminar with Kelly Starlett from San Francisco CrossFit. Kelly is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the guy is a genuis. He makes you want to be a better athlete and a better person through being aware of your body, posture, and how to hold yourself, whether you are setting at a desk, blogging or walking through the grocery store. Since my cert, I am more aware of how I stand, walk and sit. Don't watch the K-Star's video about Flip flops...so sad.
Anyway, I have learned so much over the years about PF but Kelly has a great video that sort of wraps all of the things to do for your calves and to prevent PF of an athlete. Check out the video below and hopefully this will take you to the road to recovery.
All you have to do is take 10 minutes out of your day...5 mins on your right calf, 5 mins of your left calf. The next day...work on your gluteus. The day after that work on your quads. The list can go on and on. But that is OK...the human body can handle a lot of stress and pressure but how about doing something for the human body for once and treat it with care!!!
I love that you help my heart and lungs through triathlons, running, cycling and swimming. I love that you do strength training with E-Fit to make muscles nice and strong. I love that you eat healthy stuff to place in my body. But what I do need from you, 10 minutes a day is mobility...foam roll, lacrosse ball and smashing. I have a lot of knots in my fascia...just take care of me, so we don't end up in the hospital together for a knee surgery or a back surgery. I sort of like where I am at!
Swim:So, I get down to the water. The new way of an Ironman start is AWFUL. They are section by your designated swim time. 45 - 60/61-1:10/1:11-1:20, etc. I placed myself in the 61-1:10, since I did a 1:12 there a few years ago. It seemed like everyone else did the same thing. It was a cluster!!!! Ironman really needs to go back to the old way. Fast people in front...slower people in back. #BAM.
I heard the song. "Ceiling Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. 3, 2, 1....Gun goes off. I start screaming with excitement. I couldn't believe it. I knew it was going to be a long day but I knew it was going to be AMAZING.
First loop was seriously try to get through the people. It was a mess. I breast stroke a lot since people honestly didn't know how to sight. It wasn't that people were pushing me down or grabbing my feet. They just were swimming as fast and as hard as they could without knowing where they were going. At one point, I looked up and thought to myself, "Awesome...I am in the middle of the Titanic movie, when the ship went down." Then I told myself to turn off my mind and "Just keep Swimming. Just Keep Swimming." Much better movie. It was great coming in towards the beach. You had a HUGE hotel/condo to sight off off. Just look for that and don't worry about the bouys. Then the fun part began...you got to ride the waves. A lot of people stood up and walked in. I just rode the wave. The earth was carrying me to the ground. It was so fun. First loop was about 35 minutes. I really feel that it can be a vortex at the Ironman FL swim.
Second loop, a bit harder...by myself a lot, which was OK. I wasn't sure how I was going to do for loop 2 but I had to get her done. I was able to swim easier BUT once again...coming back, people were swimming to the floating bouys as their sighting and not the BIG CONDO on the shore. Made no sense to me. Mother Earth guided me back and there I was...I looked at the clock and thought..."Bummer, 1:27. Oh well..." Knock off 10 minutes when the Pros started. I didn't know that. Which is probably a good thing :)
T1: As I was coming out of the water, I saw my Mom and Chris's Mom. It was wonderful to see them. I had the wetsuit strippers take off my wetsuit and I was full of sand. Try to rinse off in the showers but people were sitting under there. "Aint nobody got time for that." I just took off. I felt my T1 went overall well. At IM-FL, it is a bit longer transition than other T1...guess what everyone else has to do it as well! I went into the tent and knew my friend, Lora Lewis, would be in there and I started yelling..."Lora. Lora Lewis." She started running towards me and helped me get my socks, shoes, helmet and glasses on. She threw my nutrition in my back pocket. I gave her a hug and off I went. I headed out towards my bike. I knew exactly where to go, since I figured it ou the night before. I ran to my bike and I was yelling my number. Sure enough, I get to my bike and the AMAZING volunteers had my bike and off I went. I went pass the line to mount my bike and here we go...112 mile bike ride. A walk in the park...