How I Cured My Plantar Fasciitis & IT Band Issues… [Running Series: 2]

My Running story began in elementary school when I was a little hyper and my dad told me to go run around the block. If I came home still too hyper I would go do another lap. My dad and I would do some races together as I was growing up and I found running continued to calm my mind down.

So I’ve always loved running and have run injury free until my late 20’s and a few marathons.  That is when the injuries started… I had IT Band syndrome and plantar fasciitis which I blamed on my super cushion, low stability shoes. I got a custom orthotic but had to wear it all the time and would still have pain. 😞 Then I read Born to Run which did cause me to ask the question,

Why do we have a higher incidence of  injuries since we started wearing ‘high tech’ shoes?

I did an experiment with myself and started a few short intervals of barefoot running on soft grass or turf. Gradually the intervals were lengthened and I bought cheap aqua shoes at Academy to go with this minimalist running craze without spending $100 to do it.

Amazingly, my plantar fasciitis went away!

I could point my toes for 30 seconds without cramping (something I could not do for over 7 seconds). I bought some running sandals and started running in those all the time. No IT Band issues or plantar fasciitis!

Getting stronger feet has cured the plantar fasciitis and IT Band syndrome for me. It took a year of gradually increasing the strength by running longer distances without support, going barefoot at home, and scrubbing/ rubbing my feet, to now running in sandals (unless it is too cold). I do not recommend everyone starts running barefoot! Start to do a few barefoot strides after a workout twice per week or go barefoot more at home and see how much foot strength you can gain… 👣

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Allyson Marshall
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