Plantar Fasciitis and Bicycling Posts

Just the opposite of the two following posts, I've reinjured my fascia during bicycling. If you place the heels of your feet on the pedals, then I can't see how it will do much harm. If you place the balls of your feet on the pedals and go uphill, stay in a low gear, or otherwise pedal hard, I can easily see how it will stretch the fascia.


I have also found that biking is great therapy for plantar fasciitis. I think the stretching of the foot and lower leg that occurs with cycling is beneficial.


For my own anecdotal response to treatment, totally stopping running since May 19, switching to mega bike milage, A.M. in bed foot stretching and massage, and continued ice seems to be working (of course I have orthotics and good shoes). I think the fact that I stopped running completely to stop re-injury is the most important factor (I was doing about 60 mi per week before its onset; then tried to continue training as my milage progressively dropped to about 15 per week). My heel feels almost normal. I planned a month of not running. I am going to stick to it. On June 19, if I feel totally heeled (oops, freudian typo) I will jog a bit and alternate cycling and running days. I think my late 1996 season will just have to mark a return to duathlon for me. Good idea, don't you think?


Fortunantly, cycling of any kind doesn't hurt or seem to inflame it, and it's slowly getting better. I just got a BikeE, and sure don't want to cause more damage, so I'm experimenting with seat position, too. I'm starting with the advice in the little BikeE owner's pamphlet (Knee slightly bent when crank is rotated to most distant position; but how much is the ankle bent?). I'm going to try creeping toward a modified version of Greg Lemond's advice for saddle height; French cycling coach Cyrill Guimard's formula developed in 1978 & 1979 and quoted in Lemond's "Complete Book of Bicycling", Perigee 1990, p. 126: Stockingfoot inseam length from pelvic bone to floor while standing X 0.883 = distance from bottom bracket center to cupped part of the saddle using "normal" thickness cycling shoes and cleats, not that it matters very much. (0.883! My body is too gelatinous for such french precision...) This was before clipless pedals/shoes and their "normal" thicknesses. Too short means wasted power. Too long risks injury.

If anyone knows of other published references on the topic, clue me in. Maybe that mechanism for changing position on the fly...

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