I really mean attention cyclists, runners, and triathletes. The last few athletes I have seen with foot or leg problems all come down to over training, or in many cases, not checking their equipment. Some common complaints from this group of people include: plantar fascia, leg pain, knee pain, back pain, ingrown nails, and ankle issues. Fortunately, some of these problems are easily taken care of. Let me give you an idea of what could be going on.
First of all, running shoes come in all styles (see my blog, “History of Running Shoes”). Some peoples’ feet fit in certain “brand” shoes better than others. Always try on several brands to see what fits best. Make an effort to go to stores where runners go, or where the store employees are also athletes. Department store shoes are not the “A” rated shoes found in running shoe stores like New Balance, Fit to Run, or Fleet Feet, for example. A running shoe typically has 500 miles of wear in them. If you have some foot problems, sometimes just looking at the shoes will make all the difference. If your shoe cannot sit up straight and leans over, get a new pair. If the shoe is very soft and the sole is wearing through the tread, get a new pair. If you see holes or the stitching holding the last thread, get new shoes. Just these things alone can account for ankle and foot pain, as well as ingrown nails. Your small foot muscles are meant to propel you forward, not to straighten out a worn shoe. So, a new shoe can actually help in these regards.
For cyclists, I cannot emphasize how important a good bike fit is. If you are uncomfortable on your bike, whether it is a road, tri, or mountain, you won’t ride. However, if the bike fits great, well then you will want to ride your bike like you stole it! (Jens Voight) Improper cleat position will hurt your knees and give you hot spots on your feet. If your seat is not adjusted correctly, it can cause knee pain. If you are too stretched out or too upright, you can have back pain. Try to go to a good bike shop and get a proper fit – it is worth the money.
Now, triathletes are interesting. You guys should check your equipment after training, but especially after an event. Sweat and sea water can really mess up shifting, and cause excessive wear which could translate to body pain. An example of foot pain was when I looked at someone’s cycling shoes: the shoe was worn, but the big red flag was that her cleats, bolts, and attachments were rusted. The sole was a mess. Putting a good pair of orthotics into proper cycling and running shoes made all the difference. Be sure to allow your shoes to dry, and disinfect them with anti-fungal spray. Check your seat bolts. Also, check the bolts on your shoes. If they are loose, you may not be riding in your original foot position, which could also affect your running. Just some things to think about…I’m just saying…
To discuss this further, or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Posted on September 17, 2014