Friday, 16 May 2008

Building stretches into daily routine

As you know, The Fat Runner has been advised to do much more stretching to treat his plantar fasciitis. While he wasn't sure how he would have the time to do this, he has started to build stretching into his daily routine so it takes up almost no additional time at all.

1) Calf stretches (both gastro and soleus) when he's brushing his teeth - 2x15secs each muscle, each side gives 2 minutes - good to make sure he's brushing his teeth long enough!

2) hamstring stretch when he's drying his legs coming out of the shower each morning - foot on edge of bath and lean into it

3) quads - additional stretch which he hasn't yet built into anything else...

But, in the words of the immortal Meatloaf, two out of three ain't bad.

TFR is interested in hearing how you build stretches into your daily routine - let him know by commenting on this post!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Fat burning pill buzz


The Fat Runner was probably a little too eager on the diet pills... It's now 8pm, and his pulse has been up at about 90bpm since he came back from the gym. Not sure if it's the hangover from the gym (probably not)...

I guess he'll follow the instructions tomorrow!!

Gym at last

The Fat Runner got to the gym today - and feels soooooo good!

It has been a long time since he has done any exercise given his plantar fasciitis. But the pain seems to be subsiding so he decided to risk going to the gym - and everything went really well!

30 minutes on the bike
20 minutes on the elliptical trainer

Total of 630 calories burned if you believe the readouts on the machines.

And then 3x10 hamstring curls, 3x10 glute extensions (are they called donkey kicks, can't remember) and 3x10 quad extensions - all designed to build up his lower legs after so many weeks off running. Also to build up his strength because he was told that he was weak in his hamstrings and glutes by his podiatrist...

Also, the venom hyperdrive diet pills came in today. You're meant to take 1 a day initially, and then increase to 2 per day. TFR had read lots of reviews saying that people felt 'wired' on these things, but this hasn't happened, even though he took 2 the first day. Well perhaps he won't sleep tonight - we'll find out!

Finally, he's also taking green tea extract. So unfortunately it may be hard to disentangle the different effects of these things - let's just hope that there is an effect!

For those who want to keep tabs, TFR weighed in at exactly 99.0kg this morning...

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Fat loss pills

As regular readers will know, The Fat Runner has not been able to run for some time. He has had plantar fasciitis and has been advised by his podiatrist and physiotherapist not to run for at least another week. By the way, if you're in London and looking for a very good sports physiotherapy service, TFR can highly recommend Pure Sports - not only do they have all of the normal medical knowledge, they also have a very good understanding of sports, how they cause injuries, and how to fix injuries as soon as possible so that people can get out and about again.

Unfortunately, however, in the time that TFR has been unable to run due to this injury, his weight has increased to over 99kg, and he feels that drastic action is required.

So, he is going to try a weight loss pill - Venom Hyperdrive 3 - from Discount Supplements.

Apparently, not only does it 'mobilise fat', whatever that means, but it also has hoodia to act as an appetite suppressant, and various other 'thermogenic' aids to raise metabolism.

Reading some of the reviews on the web suggests that this is quite powerful stuff - many users complain of sleeplessness as well as feeling 'jittery' throughout the day - there's quite a lot of caffeine in this. It can also cause headaches through dehydration.

But the results seem positive, with people taking off between 3 and 7 pounds a week.

TFR will try this out and he'll let you know how he gets on, once it arrives (hopefully tomorrow)...

Desperate times are calling for desperate measures...

Friday, 2 May 2008

Plantar fasciitis treatment

The Fat Runner's foot is feeling much better after three weeks of rest and quite a lot of care. If you also have the same kind of heel pain he has, then here are a few things you can do.

The first thing to bear in mind is that these ways of treating plantar fasciitis were recommended to him by a physiotherapist and a podiatrist who did in depth analysis of what was going wrong. Both said that plantar fasciitis is normally caused by a range of different issues which together work to stretch the plantar fascia more than it is designed to stretch.

In TFR's case, these issues included:

- Foot mechanics - overpronation throughout the stride
- Running style - midfoot foot strike rather than a heel strike (which is better for heavier runners, even though most magazines seem to say not to heel strike...)
- Weight - obviously
- Lack of flexibility in calves
- Lack of flexibility in hamstrings
- Poor core strength

What was interesting is how they both identified issues way away from the foot which were contributing to The Fat Runner's plantar fasciitis.

So what is the treatment?

Four core pillars (for now at least)

- stretching
- strengthening
- ice
- massage

And this is all underpinned by rest - no running or even cycling for a while...


A number of key stretches were suggested - all basically to loosen up the calf and the hamstring. Calf stretches are being used to target both main muscles in the calf. Up until now, TFR didn't know you had to do two different calf stretches - one to target each muscle. Because the plantar fascia is attached to the heel, and the heel is attached to the calf and so on, loosening up the back of the leg will reduce the stress on the plantar fascia.


Two key strengthening exercises. Firstly, heel raises (isolated on one foot at a time to increase the pressure - the other foot in the air). Secondly, using a large rubber exercise band to strenghten the rotational strength in the foot (turning the toes of one foot in towards the other foot. These exercises should stabilise the foot more so that it collapses less on impact, again reducing the stress on the plantar fascia.


Used to reduce inflammation more quickly. The plantar fascia has very little blood supply so takes much longer to heal than a muscle - hence icing should be done for as long as possible (weeks) rather than the couple of days you normally ice muscles for.


Useful to increase bloodflow to the area around the plantar fascia and break down scar tissue in the area.

On top of this, TFR has to rest.. A lot... So no running or even cycling for now. So he is keeping up with weight training.

In a few weeks, the recovery regime is likely to move from stretching towards core strength work, something TFR has done very little of in his time. And if he's honest, he has done very little stretching as well (until now).

Looks like his oversight is now catching up with him...