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Old 04-17-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
Daniel Olmstead
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Pain in heel/ankle after running

I'm in fairly good cardio shape after a couple years intensive cycling, but I've only just started running as part of Crossfit. So my form is pretty noobish, and I don't have any tolerances built up to the impact. I've noticed a pain in my heel/ankle after running lately, and it seems to be getting more intense after every session of running, and then fading away after a couple days. It's progressed from an annoyance to a source of concern.

I did "Kelly" yesterday, and could barely walk this morning. After some ibuprofen and walking around on it, it's dulled down to a manageable throb, but I'm getting concerned.

It's most prominent in my left foot, but is also present in my right.

The location is pretty specific. It's about an inch up from my sole and an inch in from the base of my achilles tendon, on the inside of my foot, taking up an area about the size of the pad of my thumb. It feels almost exactly like a bad bruise - if I poke it it's tender - but there's no discoloration (I do not bruise easily, however). There is no tingling or numbness.

My shoes admittedly suck. They're YEARS old and very ratty. I'm getting new ones tomorrow. I don't know whether to get the super-supportive cushiony ones or the minimalist ones that people here seem to advocate. Maybe I'll get a pair of each.

I'm working on learning POSE technique, but it isn't intuitive and when I get tired or am sprinting I find myself going back to heel-strike. I expect this is the problem.

What I'm wondering is essentially this: Is this just my body breaking itself into the new demands of running, and this will go away as my feet toughen up? Or is this a genuine source of concern that I should see a doctor about, or at least stop running?

My CF trainer dropped a hint that he has Murph planned for Saturday, and I'm afraid of those two miles.

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
Scott R Martin
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Re: Pain in heel/ankle after running

Sounds like plantar fasciitis. Decent description at that great medical resource Wikipedia (wfs)

I would recommend rest and stretching. I would go with the cushioned/supportive shoes but I'm sure others will differ.

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Old 04-17-2008, 12:23 PM   #3
Lisbeth Darsh
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Re: Pain in heel/ankle after running

Diagnosis on the internet is a sketchy game but, if it is plantar fasciitis, check out our article on the subject: (wfs)

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #4
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Pain in heel/ankle after running

I think plantar fasciitis is usually more on the bottom of the foot than on the back of the heel like that. Unless I've misunderstood your description of the location.

It really could be a number of things, as you've kind of set yourself up for a little pain, no matter what you do.

The bad shoes, the heel-strike, and the lack of conditioning could all be causing the same, or different problems, at this point.

It could be something as simple as a bone bruise in the heel, if you are heel-striking without any padding, this can be pretty common. It could also be plantar fasciitis, however I think that's usually associated with ball of foot striking rather than heel striking (I may be mistaken though).

Or it could be tendinitis at the base of the Achilles.

For all of the above, you need to rest, ice and stretch. Don't aggravate the problem. Search the forum for "foot drills" for some decent foot exercises that you can do very quickly, and may help the recovery process.


If you stop and really think about it, there's nothing about POSE that isn't intuitive. Your body is actually designed to run in POSE form, as opposed to heel-striking. If you try to go into a full-out sprint, you'll find that you come up onto the balls of your feet naturally. Just gotta learn to apply that to your standard run.

Practicing barefoot in soft grass will give you a good idea of how it should feel. Trying to POSE/Ball of Foot strike in heavy running shoes is pretty difficult because the heels are so much bigger.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #5
Scott R Martin
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Re: Pain in heel/ankle after running

Re-reading the post, I think I misunderstood where the pain was. Ignore my reply and listen to Elliot
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:22 AM   #6
Cal Jones
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Re: Pain in heel/ankle after running

It's very common to start getting achilles and ankle problems after switching to POSE because the body is just not used to it. Main reason is doing too much too soon - if you're used to running 5-10k on your heels and then start running 5-10k on your forefoot without building up, you're asking for trouble. I'll put my hand up and say my achilles is grumbling like hell for the same reason (though my problem knee is much happier with forefoot striking...swings and roundabouts I guess) - though it sounds like it's affected you in a slightly different part of the foot.

Aside from the usual ice, rest, ibuprofen, you should try and incorporate some foot drills. If you search on "foot drills" then you should find some relevant threads and links. Once your muscles are stronger and more accustomed to forefoot striking, you'll find you get fewer problems.

As for Murph, if you have a C2 rower, you can sub rows for the runs (for me I can row 2000m in about the same time as I can run a mile, so you may want to do that rather than a straight swap).

Best of luck.
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