Running Dialogue: Ask the Experts

New York Daily News—October 1, 2010

COREY: What is the typical recovery for someone who has plantar faciitis and a fractured heel? Is it realistic to aim for a marathon nine months away?

Dr. Marci Goolsby, Women's Sports Medicine Center, on heel fracture: I’m assuming this is a stress fracture and everyone is very individual in terms of recovery from a stress fracture.

Typically with stress fractures, impact activity should be limited for 3 to 6 weeks and when they do go back to activity, it’s a very slow progression.

It’s good to start with pool work and maybe elliptical, then walking on a treadmill and finally a build up to running.

You don’t want to increase mileage or duration more than 10% a week.

If [Corey] had a marathon in a month, I would say, that’s tough, but 9 months seems reasonable as long as he addresses the underlying issues that may have caused his injuries to being with.

@arunshanbhag: If torn meniscus prevents me from running, can I just jog/walk and somehow complete the marathon course in 6 hours?

Dr. Marci Goolsby: It’s a little tough to answer because it can be very individual. Some people have what we call a lot of mechanical symptoms; they get catching or locking and it feels like things are floating around and getting stuck inside. With that, jogging would not be realistic. With a meniscus tear, if the knee gets swollen after jogging or walking it would probably not be a good idea to continue. If it’s swollen, that’s a good time to talk about getting it fixed.

If you have a tear and can modify so it doesn’t bother you, then you can do what you can do, but it’s important to stress, if you are having symptoms, it’s not something to push through.

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