Pain Outside Of My Foot After Long Run


I am quite paranoid and worried about a niggling injury I picked up last week.

I am training for my first marathon, VLM and everything is going to plan. As I had a cough last Sunday I decided to do my long run, 13m, indoors on a treadmill.  I had been breaking in a new pair of ASIC GT 2170 and this was my 3rd run in them.

Everything was fine during the run but about 20mins later the outside of my left foot below the ankle and cross the bottom of the foot becoming swollen and painful to walk on.  The pain eased and so did the swelling and I iced it that evening and throughout Tues. On Tues evening I went on the X trainer and did my training, no reaction apart from signs on the same foot, this time at the bottom, that the trainers were to tight.  Did the same thing the day after and the original problem was fine but my toes and side of the foot were getting numb from using the cross trainer so I finished off doing 4 miles on a treadmill with no reaction.

When I took the left shoe off it was quite evident that the shoe was too tight as an imprint had been left in my foot. I relaced the shoe and on Friday went out for a 6 mile run which was OK, a little reaction but nothing to much.

I had a half marathon on Sunday so rather that be safe than sorry I went to a Physio on Friday and he pretty much ruled out Peronial Tendonitis or a Stress Fracture and struggled to find anything wrong.  He put it down to my trainers being too tight and aggrivating my tendon. A warning sign. He told me to get a gait analysis and said see how you get on in the half.

I got a gait and my shoe was wrong and I am a neutral runner. I bought a new shoe. Rather than run in a brand new pair I decided to run the half in an old pair of neutral trainers (Nimbus) that I have ran a few Half's in before. However they are a little bit too small.

The first 7 miles were fine then I started to get a warming sensation in my problematic foot. It was not painful and did not hinder my run. It did become uncomfortable at some stages though.  

After the race it was a different story, very painful to walk on, the pain coming from the bottom of my foot and I iced it straight away and have continued to do so. 

It does not hurt to touch and I can move my foot freely. There is no swelling and I only feel pain when I have footwear on.

Spoke to my physio once more and he still thinks its a reaction to my trainers being too tight and compressing and rubbing the tendon and to see how I get on with my new trainers.

I am going to rest for a few days.  As you have probably gathered I am a little nervous. Has anybody else experienced a similar thing and can pass advice please?

Thanks for reading.


  • Well, if the physio thinks it's not peroneal tendonitis and not a stress fracture, that's good news. It does suggest a pressure problem as the next most likely, particularly since you say "I only feel pain when I have footwear on". Rest is sensible, let it settle. After that.... do you have a ratty old pair of soft, comfortable too-large-if-anything trainers lying around? Not running shoes, just trainers that are NOT too tight? Try runningin those and see how it feels. If that's okay, try you new shoes for a short run,and then if it's STILL okay, build up from there.

    The problem with that sort of pressure thing is that once the nerves are sensitised it can take a little while for them to settle down. I had a similar problem with pain from pressure over my extensor tendons on the top of my foot and I managed by padding them (chiropodists felt with a hole cut in the middle over the painful area, held on with tape) and loosening my laces.

    Good luck, and well done finishing your HM.

  • I had the exact same problem and I was breaking in new asics 2170,s. Had wore them on 3/4 shorter runs and out walking so gave them a try in long run and ended up with pain you describe. It didn't last long and have went back to my asics 2160,s for long runs and continued to break the 2170,s in on shorter runs.

    Think they've made changes to 2170,s and so far I don't think it's for the better.
  • Thanks for the responses. I appreciate the comments.

    The tenderness has eased quite alot this afternoon/evening, a good pilates stretching session, although nothing to do with the foot, has seemed to of helped.

    I am definately taking a week off for it to settle before I start to run on it again and I am reassured, not just by your comments (also other runners and fitness instructors), that I should be OK. It is just a "pain" to suffer this just going into the big milage weeks when, so far the training has gone to plan.

    I have now bought a neutral shoes, Brooks Ghost 5 (I found the Nimbus 14 to be too narrow) and straight laced them. I have never experienced this problem when breaking in a new pair of trainers before and was genuinely concerned I had done so damage that would put me out of the VLM.

    The new trainers have plenty of room and they were tested on the treadmill in the store so, touch wood, I will be OK.  I may feel different tomorrow mind....

    Once again thanks for the comments.

  • Can I jump in here with another foot pain to ask about?  I did a 20 mile race yesterday, and at the end had a horrible pain on the top of my right foot, stretching down the outside towards the sole.  It was a road race, but went round three anti-clockwise laps so I'm wondering whether the camber of the country lanes might have triggered it (the fact that an old ITB injury flared up on the same side made me think that).  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to treat this?  I'm mid-marathon training, and whereas am stretching to contain the ITB issue, don't know how best to look after my foot.  It's very painful to walk on today.  Any suggestions will be gratefully received!

  • Yes, probably stressed something due to the camber.

    RICE to start with (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I'd use ibuprofen as well, but some people prefer not to. My rule is that if I'm taking ibuprofen (or another NSAID- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) I don't run (because (a) if it hurts enough that I'm taking something, then I should be resting it; (b) the NSAID could mask the pain and let me do further injury to myself).

    Don't run again until it's no longer painful to walk, and a day or two longer, preferably. Yes, I know that's going to feel like forever (been there, done that) but a few days - even a week - off won't affect your ftness very much, and may be essential to stop a minor problem becoming a major one. (Pain due to pressure is different - if you think it might be that and can pad the foot in such a way that there's no pressure/pain, then fine.)

  • Many thanks Debra.  I've not run so far this week and it's easing a bit so I'll just be sensible (for once) and rest up.  I made the mistake last time (ITB problem during first marathon training) of trying to fit short runs in to keep the training going, and with hindsight probably did far more harm than good.  This time I'm being very philosophical and trusting that my training so far has been good enough to let me rest until the pain has genuinely gone.  Now, has anyone any tips on how to cut down on the highly pleasurable carb-loading whilst not running.....?

  • I've been trying to break in a pair of Asics GT 2170 as well and having a similar problem. They feel ok up to four miles in but after that I get a burning sensation in the bottom of my right foot and lots of rubbing on the instep. I have tried leaving them alone for a week and coming back to them but the problem still persists. I usually wear Keyanos which have always been fine after two weeks of breaking them in. I'm at the point of giving up on them and just leaving them for any short/easy runs.

  • They have caused me no end of problems and I still have not been able to run properly since and I have the VLM in 5 weeks. Having a deep tissue massage tomorrow and doing all my training at the moment on a cross trainer in socks. Hoping to get out running again soon.
  • I tend to feel that running shoes really shouldn't need "breaking in". Okay, maybe I'd do a few shorter runs before going off on a 20+ miler in a new pair of shoes, just in case there was a problem. but if they really need "breaking in" have you considered that they#re the wrong shoes for your feet?

    Auntie Ninja: you'll naturally be extra hungry for a few days after your race, so keep eating, making sure you have enough protein. After that, your appetite should drop if you're not running. If not... Make sure you have lots of healthy things ready to snack on - fruit and carrots and stuff. Try to fill up with salad and vegetables and make sure you're eating slow-release complex carbs, not quick-release simple starches and sugars.

  • I have a similar problem I think, and I too am paranoid with VLM looming in 5 weeks. I ran 20 miles the saturday before last, and 13 miles last Saturday. The 13 miler was difficult because the weather was so appalling and it was a struggle. However, I did it and it was only about an hour later that I had a bad pain along the outer edge of my left foot underneath and towards my toes.I could hardly put weight on it at all. I have not run all week and have indulged in lots of beer and crisps. I have no idea about what to do. This is my first marathon. Is it worth going to the doctor?  Should I just rest it? I can walk ok now but my foot feels sort of numb. I don't know whether to take another week off or bite the bullet and try a run. I thought it might be my old trainers and I have just bought some Nimbus 14 s off the internet, but they seem narrower than the 13 s I am used to, although I was assured that they were the same apart from a few little tweaks which customers wouldn't notice!! I am a very slow runner and spend hours on my feet.  Heeeeeeelp!!

  • I had a sports massage on my foot on Thursday that really released the compression issue caused by wearing too tight new trainers that endedup being yge wrong type of shoe. This made my foot feel much better and I managed a 5 miler on Friday. The foot was sensitive when wearing footwear on Saturday but I ws able to do 16 miles today. The run itself was fine and no issue from my foot on tge run itself. About an hour or so later wearing footwear was s problem again although I feel absolutely no discomfort when barefoot and it does not hurt to touch.

    It is bloody annoying now so I am going to have to mix up my training and use s X trainer and save my foot for the Long runs.
  • Matsmum - apologies for the long delay in replying (work can really get in the way sometimes, can't it) but I had a similar issue with shoes when I trained for my first marathon.  I'd always worn Mizuno Wave Riders and had had four or five lovely pairs, so bought the next version automatically when getting to the latter stages of training so they'd be comfy for the race.  Big mistake.  They'd "tweaked" the design, just as you found, and the new version was narrower in the toe and caused horrible numbness as soon as I got to about three miles.  I had to rush out three weeks before the race any buy the widest neutral shoe I could find as my old pair had definitely gone to shoe heaven and were no longer available.  Anyway, changing makes was a good idea for me, and I've stuck to New Balance ever since.  I hope you find a good replacement as well. 

    Don't stress too much about the training.  With a 20 miler in the bag you're up there with the distance, and if you're not one of the fast runners out for a PB you can just relax and enjoy the race.  Don't give up completely, but just keep ticking over and maintain your fitness with shorter runs and a few hills/faster sessions to mix it up a bit.  Go easy on the foot though!

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