Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pain in the top of the foot.

Saturday I logged my first ever Vibram clad marathon.  It was a training run and I kept my effort easy throughout.  I rested for 15 minutes in Samaipata and walked a good bit in the last quarter of my run.  I wouldn't call it an easy marathon; it was by no means flat, and there were no aid stations (except for the corner store where I took my break).

Cuevas-Samaipata-Cuevas elevation profile.
Anyway, I woke up Sunday morning with pain and swelling in the soft tissue on the top of my foot. I've whined about top of foot pain before, but it's been some time since I've been bothered by it, and this is different than previous manifestations.  The pain I've previously experienced has seemed to resonate more from the bones of my feet than the soft tissue.

If you google pain in the top of the foot, you're bound to find a bunch of information, but one site seems to describe my condition fairly well.  The author attributes the condition to an imbalance in musculature in the calves and top of the foot, resulting in inflammation and pain.

Why would musculature balance in the top of the foot and calves matter?  I'm thinking out loud here, and don't really know the answer, but if I were guessing...

The calves are much larger muscles and therefore more easily adapt to when new loads are applied.  The nature of running in Five Fingers (in my case) results in me curling my toes back through my initial foot strike.  Try curling your toes back 10 times, think about how it feels, then consider doing that 20000 times per foot: an entire marathon.  In my case, my calves were ready to handle the load of the marathon, but the little muscles and tendons on top of my foot needed a couple more long runs to get ready.

Oh well.

Today the pain is better, but not gone.  I'm taking another whiny day off.  Tomorrow I'll be back at it though with an hour in my Cascadias.  2 days off isn't going to make a difference in my finish time at the Blues Cruise.  I just can't really afford to miss my long run this weekend.

Thanks for reading, and consider the math (it's actually more than 20000)...

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article about how to eliminate foot pain. This is very useful! Thanks so much for sharing.


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