Jen Rulon

Plantar Fasciitis, or “PF,” has got to be one of the worst injuries for an athlete, runner, CrossFitter, or any human being. It can make or break your physical aspect and also your mental aspects, (click here to know more about plantar fasciitis). You wake up in the morning and the first step off the bed hurts like an “SOB”. You attempt to go for a run but those first couple of steps are so painful that you have to turn around and walk home. It hurts to do a box jump at your CrossFit gym or even to jump rope. Let’s look at the meaning of the words composing PF:

Plantar: the bottom surface of the foot

Fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a lot of athletes bring up PF: That they have had it, or that they are having heel issues. One of the major reasons why people have PF is due to the tightness in their calves and Achilles tendon. Look at the photo to the right. Look how the Achilles connects down past the foot. Tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles will hinder an athlete in their running and box jumps over time.

What are the steps to take care of that PF? Here are a few things that I have done to take care of my calves and prevent getting PF:

  1. Foam Roll the Calves
  2. Lacrosse Ball your Calves
  3. Calf Smashing with a bar (See Video)
  4. Calf/Toe Raises: Remember the old school calf raises. 3 x 15-20, toes facing front/ toes facing one another, like a pigeon/ heels facing each other, like a duck.
  5. Take a golf ball and roll in on your foot; still, need to work on those calves though!!

Three weeks ago, I went to a Mobility Certification Seminar with Kelly Starlett from San Francisco CrossFit. Kelly is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the guy is a genius. He makes you want to be a better athlete and a better person through being aware of your body, posture, and how to hold yourself, whether you are sitting at a desk, blogging, or walking through the grocery store. Since my cert, I am more aware of how I stand, walk, and sit. Don’t watch the K-Star’s video about Flip flops. So sad.

Anyway, I have learned so much over the years about PF, but Kelly has a great video that brings together all of the things to do for your calves and to prevent PF for an athlete. Check out the video below, and hopefully, this will take you on the road to recovery.

All you have to do is take 10 minutes out of your day: 5 mins on your right calf, 5 mins of your left calf. The next day, work on your gluteus. The day after that, work on your quads. The list goes on and on. But that is OK. The human body can handle a lot of stress and pressure, but how about doing something for that human body for once, and treating it with care!!!

Dear __________,

I love that you help my heart and lungs through triathlons, running, cycling, and swimming. I love that you do strength training with E-Fit to make my muscles nice and strong. I love that you eat healthy stuff for my body. But what I do need from you, 10 minutes a day, is mobility work: Foam roll, lacrosse ball, and smashing. I have a lot of knots in my fascia; just take care of me, so we don’t end up in the hospital together for knee surgery or a back surgery. I sort of like where I am!


Your Body 

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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