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Jonathan is an experienced physiotherapist specialising in rehabilitation and performance of individuals of all levels. He has over 20 years’ experience in performance strength and conditioning, including time as a Royal Marine Commando, and over a decade in advanced physiotherapy rehabilitation. Jonathan works on treating and improving individuals to prevent problems through high quality rehabilitation and developing a flow of athletic movement

PLANTAR FASCIITIS is considered a chronic injury. It develops over time rather than having a sudden cause, and is especially common in runners due to the repetitive push-off movement of the toes. The plantar fascia (a broad, dense, ligament-like structure extending from the heel bone to the base of the toes) provides support for the medial arch, and is stretched as the arch flattens to absorb the impact each time the heel strikes the ground. The fascia is not very flexible and repetitive stretching from impact can result in small tears. Heel pain during the first steps in the morning is a classic sign of plantar fasciitis. This is the result of the foot resting overnight in a relaxed position and allowing the fascia to shorten. When you stand up in the morning the shortened fascia is stretched, resulting in pain. Other signs include pain at the start of a run. Pain continues when the inflammation becomes chronic and small tears in the fascia don’t heal. There are several factors that may predispose someone to developing plantar fasciitis: flat feet, sudden changes in running intensity, time or distance; high arches, tight calf muscles and excessive pronation. Plantar fasciitis can be managed in several ways: avoid painful activities such as walking barefoot on hard surfaces; calf stretches, massage (in the fascia and calves) and calf strengthening exercises; non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can be used for two to four weeks (check with your doctor); taping the arch can reduce the strain through the fascia, as can wearing medial arch supports if recommended by a bio-mechanical podiatrist. Ideally though you want to prevent plantar fasciitis

developing. This can be done by allowing your body to recover and regenerate after exercise, and by developing resilience through a graded exercise program and musculoskeletal maintenance. Consider the condition of your running shoes, your muscles and tissue, and after exercising ensure your body gets enough hydration and nutrition to recover. Don’t make sudden changes to your training; your body requires time to allow tissues to adapt to their increased load. Engage in regular muscle maintenance with a comprehensive stretching program and sports massage, or use of Trigger Point therapy. Trigger Point tools and myofascial compression techniques can enhance performance by creating strong, elastic muscles that can produce, reduce, and stabilise force in multiple planes of motion, preventing chronic problems like plantar fasciitis developing.

Balance Performance Physiotherapy 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6LE, Tel: 020 76272308 Web: Online shop: Facebook: BalancePerformanceLondon Twitter:

44 ■ RUNNING FREE a Meditation on the Move

Julia Armstrong is a lifelong runner and all-round running philosopher. She’s run a 2:36 marathon and ranks in the top 10 for her age. Every month she shares her thoughts. Catch up at

reach totally astounding! I was interviewing Louise Collins today, who finished her


Ironman in Lanzarote with a 3:10 marathon, having been swimming and cycling for seven hours already. The levels of fitness they reach seem almost impossible, yet they do it, pushing boundaries and digging deep within.

The spirit is the source! ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ does not seem to apply to these incredible souls. Instead, they seem to demonstrate that the spirit can access inner strengths and latent talents that allow for supreme performances. The discipline to train day after day for hour after hour is something that few people achieve. I have been training hard and consistently most of my life, but never reached the sort of hours these multi-sport people put in: 20 to 40 hours a week, and they have to fit in eating and sleeping, and in some cases work too! You can read my interview with Scott Neyedli in full on page 42. Though he’s already a winner, he reminds me that it’s an experience open to all, and to reach the end of an Ironman is something that you’ll cherish, whatever time it takes to do it.

Mastering Body and Mind What makes the achievement of getting from A to B under your own steam so special? I believe it is the mastering of the body and mind. Many people spend their lives oblivious to any connection, never really accessing what is within them. Multi-sport, in particular, asks for body and mind

mastery, and a measure of planning and application that means the training develops a person in ways they may not have done before. Opening up this mastery should mean the awareness and personal development that comes with training and reaching a goal will enhance your life. And developing a greater personal understanding and greater self-knowledge allows for better relationships with yourself, with others, and with the universe.

Meet Julia at the Running Free Workshop, held in South Kensington on June 25th and September 17th with The Running Inn, visit for more information

have been inspired recently by talking with triathletes, who I have been interviewing for my podcasts. Their commitment is awesome and the levels of fitness they


to train day after day is something few people achieve


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