Back to it – Recovering from Plantar Fasciitis

I haven’t mentioned triathlon training here for a while, mainly because I haven’t really been doing any proper training. My plantar fasciitis injury has kept me off my feet as far as running is concerned since April so I had to pull out of all races this year and haven’t therefore had anything to train for. I like to say that I’ve been exercising rather than training. I’ve still been cycling, swimming and going to the gym but most of that has been nice long easy rides and open water swims rather than any formal training.

Recovering from Plantar Fasciitis

I’m pleased to say though that my foot seems to be getting better. I’ve managed to get out running on it a few times over the past few weeks and have been gradually increasing the time of my runs, up to a maximum of 30 minutes the other day. It’s all been easy paced so far and I’m still building up slowly but so far it’s been OK. Although it is very slow!

All of which means it’s time to start some training again and put this plantar fasciitis business behind me. First task is a period of preparation  – training to train. I’m just trying to get back into some sort of routine. It’s not easy to get back into it though after a bit of a break and with nothing specific to aim for – except maybe World Championship Qualification next year!

Calling for Help

My job as a lab technician in the Sports and Exercise Labs at the University means that I’m constantly surrounded by sports and performance testing equipment, and of course people who should know what they are talking about when it comes to training plans, physiology, nutrition and sports psychology, so I decided to send them all an email to see what they could do to help.

Here’s what I said:

Hi Everyone,

Feel free to ignore this if you wish as it’s a personal plea rather than something work related, but I thought I’d be cheeky and see if anyone here has any ideas how they can help. My triathlon training has suffered lately for a number of reasons:

  • I’ve been injured (Plantar Fasciitis – so no running at all since April)
  • Work and life has got in the way
  • I no longer have a coach
  • I’ve been eating rubbish
  • I’ve been a lazy so-and-so!

[OK, I may have changed the wording slightly on the last 2 points so as not to offend my Mum!)

This means that by my standards I’m fat and unfit and it’s time to get back on track. Seeing as I’m surrounded by ‘Sports Scientists’ and Sport Science testing equipment I was wondering if anyone wanted to volunteer some help… In any form that they think could be useful.

I have written training plans myself and I’m quite capable of producing really good, periodised plans that would work, but for some reason if I formulate them myself and I’m not accountable to someone else I just don’t stick to the plan as well as I should. If there was someone looking over what I was doing I’m sure I’d be more motivated and more dedicated to the plan. That was certainly the case when I had a coach writing plans for me and had someone looking over my feedback from sessions etc.

I’m also interested in and quite willing to do any testing / analysis that could be done here that would help tailor the plan to my specific needs better. I’m open to any other ideas the ‘sports scientists’ here have that can help. Training plans, nutrition plans, psychology, testing, strength training, biomechanics, injury prevention, reviewing my sessions etc etc – anything goes really if you think it might help get me back to my winning ways.

Don’t worry, I know you are all research scientists rather than coaches but you might be able to provide something that will help, and I’m not expecting miracles – I just want to qualify for next year’s Age-Group Worlds Champs and get back into my usual shape, which means that I need to optimise my training in any way I can so as to make the most of the time I have available.

I know you’re all busy too, but here’s hoping,



So far I’ve had quite a good response. One of the physiologists has offered to put me through my paces with cycling and running VO2 Max tests and some lactate testing to help tie down training zones a little better. He’ll also look through my training plans and nutrition to a certain extent. I needed to do a few ramp tests anyway to help with the calibration of some of the equipment in the labs so this will be work as well as useful physiological testing for me.

One of the biomechanists has offered to help with a strength training programme.

The Psychologist has also offered to help by ‘psychologising me’!

To be honest it is probably the last ‘psychological help’ that will be the most useful as I just need to get back into the right frame of mind for training. I don’t want to take it quite a s seriously as I was a few years ago, but it would still be good to be a little more focussed whilst still living a normal life too. Lets hope a balance can be struck.

Getting down to it.

I have been training a little better the last couple of weeks – maybe just putting the email down on paper and declaring to a few people that I intend to make a bit of a comeback was all that I needed to do. I’ve just done a VO2 Max test in the labs and will get the results of those soon, and I’ll be having a chat with the sports psychologist next week over coffee as well – At least I’m assuming it’ll be over a coffee whilst at work – unless of course he has a special couch that I’ll need to lie on!

I’m going away for a few days now though so training will be difficult and I’ll be attending lots of buffets lunches and dinners so the nutrition side of things may slip as well, but I am taking my bike and my running kit so hopefully I’ll squeeze in a few sessions here and there so that I can stay on track. It’s all about trying to get into a routine that works.

A Family thing

Better than me getting back on track, Anna seems to be doing so as well. She has started do the odd run here and there to try to get fit. Judging by the amount of black and pink lycra running kit she’s bought today it looks as though she intends to keep it up as well. She’ll be beating me before long if I’m not careful!

1 Response

  1. mum says:

    I’m sure now your foot is improving you’ll soon be back into the swing of things….nice that so many are willing to help you.
    Thank you for changing a few words! 🙂
    Kia also bought some black and pink lycra to get fit, trouble is she just wears it for comfort so it’s not working, so Anna be aware that you apparently need to actually DO exercise not just wear the gear

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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