Run Marathon Training -> Plantar Fasciitis -> Accessary Navicular Bone Syndrome

In week 12 of a 16 week running marathon training program, with 4 weeks remaining to my race (MCM, October 27). For reference, 1st marathon and training for a sub 4hr time. Training has been good and dropped 12 minutes from my half marathon PR 4 weeks ago (1:51).

2 weeks ago, I start feeling a strain in my plantar fasciitis, impacting my run as well as just walking. I was advised to lay off the running until I recover so I have a good chance at having a recovered foot for the race. Any suggestions on how to substitute my run training with bike training to maintain fitness?

I would recommend aqua-running, not cycling, as an alternative. If doing shallow-water running (i.e. you are pushing off the bottom of the pool) still aggravates it, then get a flotation belt and do deep-water “running” (i.e. you are fully floating and not touching the bottom).

As for therapy, get a can of beans, freeze it and roll your foot over it. MUCH better than a frozen waterbottle that many recommend. The metal feels much colder against your skin, stays frozen longer and you can really dig in.

Get a night split and sleep in it religiously…preferably one that looks like a lite-version of a walking boot. Keeping the fascia stretched at night will significantly help getting out of bed in the AM. It will suck at first, but you’ll get used to it after a few days. But you gotta gut through those first few nights where you will be tempted to rip it off just so you can sleep.

If it is bothering you walking, and you won’t mind the visuals, get one of those one-legged scooters. The best thing for getting over PF is rest, IMO…and even walking can delay that process. I suffered from it in 2013 and it wasn’t until I got on crutches that it finally disappeared. Took me over 6 months, but once on crutches, it was gone in a few weeks.

I gotta be honest though…the chances of it healing in 4 weeks is likely pretty slim. PF is a bugger of an injury and it takes a lot of time to resolve.

I hope the above suggestions help and you are able to hit your marathon and accomplish your goals!!

(ETA - forgot to mention using waterproof bluetooth headphones and listening to podcasts while aqua-running. It is a mind-numbing activity. Even listening to music just turns into “OK, that was another 3 minute song gone”. Listen to podcasts and just get engrossed in it. The TR pods are obviously great because theya re 1.5 - 2 hours long. I also listened to pods like Serial that would engage me in a story. Check out The Dropout and Dear John as similar options.)

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Ice & roll a lot. Doesn’t really matter how or what you use, just find whatever works. Personally I use a lacrosse ball to roll and ice seperately. You should also focus on rolling our your calves as plantar issues can impact the muscles in your lower leg, as well as derive from them.

With respect to cross training, high(er) cadence cycling does a decent job if you want to be on a bike. Nothing crazy but if you can push 95+ rpm it will become more aerobic which is useful for running. If you’re in the pool, aqua jogging in the deep end WITH a belt. Don’t skip the belt because without it you’re likely sacrificing form which is more important for using the correct muscles to mimic running.

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Buy a Strasbourg stock to sleep in… makes a huge difference.
Freeze water in a plastic bottle and use as a roller.

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Thanks for drawing my attention to this. Small correction: Strassburg sock. I ordered one from, since doesn’t seem to be able to show European resellers.

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It made a huge difference to me.I got mine from
I had to train for 2 of the Ironman races I’ve done with PF and it helped a lot.

I also use these to provide suport

Thanks all for your help and suggestion on this! Went to see my PT and looks like I was smarter about it by stopping any training before it got bad (I didn’t know there was a range to the severity). Suggested that I do some low impact workouts with constant stretching and rolling with a “Rubz” ball (aka. torture device). Waiting on the sock to help me through the night.

The stretches shown in this video along with the explanation he gives about the plantar fascia were what’s helped my plantar fasciitis go away. Golf ball rolling helped some and got me through my marathon training, but it wasn’t until finding this video post-marathon that things really got better.


Same. These stretches helped me so much.

Thanks again for the assistance everyone! Looks like my pain isn’t coming from the plantar fascia rather the navicular bone in my foot (according to a physician friend). :frowning: Anyone have any experience with this?