Plantar fasciitis... London marathon in 3 week- need advice

A quick timescale to start

19th April - did a 20 mile run (slowed down a lot at the end, but OK)

26th April - got a PB for 10km in training (46mins)

28th April - did a 5 mile fartlek run, all good

29th April - went to do final big long run (20 miles) before marathon. After 5 miles my achilles started to hurt a bit, kept going. After 7 miles had to stop. Had heel pain, went to the physio and she confirmed it is plantar fasciitis and told me to rest for 7-10 days.

30th April - had to walk with a crutch.

Now OK-ish but a have a bit of a limo and cannot fully weight bear on the affected foot.


My question is does anyone have experience of managing this kind of injury this close (3 weeks) to a marathon, and how would you manage the recovery/ exercise/ taper aspect?


I can do a bit of swimming this week, but that is really it.

Then I have 2 weeks until the marathon. In the last week I would normally only do a couple of very short runs, hill sprints etc... I don't want to aggrivate the injury, but also want to have the fitness/ strength/ stamina to get a good time.

What workout/ runs would you suuggest in the last 2 weeks?





  • PS. meant 'limp', not 'limo'!

  • If you cannot fully weight bear now .... my advice is to not run

    Plenty more marathons out there and you only have 2 feet  image

  • I would not run at all between now and the marathon - your foot needs complete rest. PF takes a notoriously long time to heal. My husband had it for several months. He found that taping his foot really helped though - there are plenty of videos on youtube showing you how to tape for PF - maybe give it a try? Good luck anyway. I can sympathise, having been out of action for 6 weeks now with a heel bone stress fracture. Have missed several races so far and VLM looks very unlikely.

  • as others have said, you're going to find it difficult to overcome the worst of PF between now and VLM day as it's pretty acute pain in the early stages.  (and I'm assuming that you mean March in your post not April!).

    PF is usually worse post running not during so you might get away with being able to run VLM but at some pain cost after - but that's your call!   rest is the key thing and taping up might help as well.

    I've had PF for over a year and although I'm over the worst now I still need to be cautious.  changing shoe brands has helped and I always tape before a long run - I have Brighton marathon coming up on the 14th so let's see how that goes....

  • Thanks for the tips.

    I can walk about OK on it now. I can stand on one leg no problem, but can't really push up on to my toes, as I can on my other foot.

    It really doesn't feel as painful as everyone says that PF is.... are there varying degrees of PF?

    My plan was to leave it for this week, then next week mon/tues try a short treadmill run. If that goes OK maybe a 6 mile run later next week. And if that goes well then maybe a 10 miler at the weekend.

    Then a proper taper the week before VLM.

    Does that sound like too much? It sounds like a lot, but I run normally run 6 miles twice a week and 10 miles with no problems

  • it's too much as anything you do now will only inflame the problem - believe me, I was there last year!  you seem to be fine, do a run, and bingo it's back again.

    the best you can do now is a combination of a break from running (no impact), stretching (loads of info on PF stretches online), and keep fit doing non-impact like biking or swimming.   you've done the heavy workload for VLM now and a complete break from running will be beneficial for the PF - the rest won't impact too much.  perhaps if you were going for a PB it maybe an issue but reassess your target.

    pain is relative - what you may find not too bad, others may find excruciating!  

    and don't forget to tape up for VLM!

  • Hi there,

    The question I would ask is what is the root cause of your plantar fasciitis? Why do some people get it and some not?

    It seems to have come on because of you running but many people run long distances and don't have any problems so to remove this we need to work out what is going on specifically in your body which is causing you these problems.

    Remember, pain is the body's way of telling us that something is not right. Often when people have plantar fasciitis it's because there is some imbalance in the posture of your knees or foot, meaning you strike the ground in an unnatural way when you walk or run. Stand in front of the mirror and see if your feet and also your knee caps point straight ahead or do they face in or outwards at an angle. 

    They should point straight ahead. Them being at an angle is often the cause of foot pain as it means the joint is not opening and closing naturally when running and can strain the surrounding ligaments, muscles and meniscus in the knee, which will in turn effect the foot. And if the foot is striking the ground in an unnatural all of the surrounding tissues in the foot will be working overtime and become overused and hypersensitive.

    Another likely cause could that your foot arches have fallen. Arches are so important as they provide the spring and so many nervous tissue runs under them. If they drop, these tissues become compressed and inflamed leading to plantar fasciitis.

    I'm a Postural Alignment Specialist in the Egoscue Method. Its a form of Postural Alignment Therapy which uses targeting streching and strengthening exercises to get your body back to it's natural alignment so it can function pain free. 

    I'd be more than happy to give you a free half hour postural assessment and tell you what i think is going on with you. No strings attached. If at the end of the assessment i run through my findings and what i suggest and you agree, feel free to book a session with me, and i can run through a series of exercises that i think would help solve the problem permanently. If you didn't agree with my findings and suggestions, or even if you did but you don't fancy continuing then that would be fine too, no questions asked.

    It's worth remembering that yes massage, and rest, and stretching will help short-term, but you want to find a permanent solution to the problem. I have a great deal of respect for physios too, but are they looking at the root cause or just the showing symptom. Lots of people run everyday and have no problems, so is it really an overuse issue and if so, why? Or is it that because of some imbalances within your body, certain muscles or tissues are working harder than they should, and so in effect are being overused and the body is telling you to back off using pain.

    You can find out more on my website

    Take care and if you have any questions feel free to ask.



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