Running Form Adjustments for Plantar Fasciitis

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At the first signs of Plantar Fasciitis, focus on relaxing your lower legs, especially your ankles and calves, whenever you’re walking, running, sitting or standing. Tension held anywhere in your legs or glutes will pull on the plantar tendon when you move. Relax, relax, relax. ALWAYS keep your lower legs as limp and relaxed as possible…through every phase of every stride.

Never strike on the back of your heels when walking. If you’re a runner, you should always be mindful of landing with a bent knee in a midfoot strike. If you’re a walker you should keep your stride short, and land on the front of your heel… rolling forward onto the balls of your feet.

Keep your knees bent and don’t overreach with your legs when you walk or run. Let your upper body lead and let your legs will follow. This shortens your stride and helps you maintain more of a bent knee and a midfoot strike, allowing you to avoid all that pounding to your heel.…one of the biggest culprits in plantar fasciitis. 

Additional things to do:

  • Shorten your stride length when walking or running
  • Walk and run on softer, flat surfaces as much as possible: dirt, grass, track
  • Avoid hills, trails and uneven surfaces
  • Avoid stairs…treat yourself to an elevator
  • Improve the flexibility of the calf muscles and achilles tendon which pull on the plantar fascia.
  • Get a foot massage…the deeper the better
  • Consciously choose to relax your feet and lower legs, and move in a different way (see the ChiRunning and ChiWalking books and DVD’s to learn how) so that you’ll never create PF again.
  • Wear zero-drop shoes that are flat; with no toe-spring; that are flexible throughout; and are spacious in the toebox.

Get a “pebble path” mat  or find a coarse gravel driveway and walk on it 10 minutes every day… in your stocking feet!

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