I experiencing something I have not had before. During my rides everything is great. When I stop riding my heels are sore with symptoms similar to plantar fasciitis. I do a few foot stretches and after about 2 hours the pain goes away and does not return until after I ride again. I wear 5.10 shoes, have a dropper post and typically will try and keep my seat in in and extended position when on flat terrain. I have not changed my set up or riding style.
Any ideas as to the cause and remedy of this recent situation or am I just getting old?
PS it is winter time so for now, that is my excuse.
I have had similar heel pain before, not necessarily from riding, but it is usually related to tight calf muscles. Over time your calves can get tight from jumping, even just walking, basically whenever your foot does a lot of flexion (like with your foot on the pedals, when you’re heels are down theres even more flexion). Before you try adjusting anything on your bike, spend some time stretching (think heel drops) and foam rolling your calves and the muscles on the outside of your shin. Not just before and after rides, like every day(!) and hold stretches longer than you think (1-2 minutes), and you should notice a difference. Also, massaging the underside of your foot on a baseball or lacrosse ball will help too. Hope you find some relief!
Certainly sounds like it might be PF but usually you would feel pain in your heel/arch as soon as you get out of bed in the morning as the fascia tightens up overnight. I completely agree with Leah’s advice about stretching your calves as well as the fascia (by pulling back on your toes for 1min+). Rolling a ball under your foot can also be helpful. But having gone through PF (with each foot) I would highly recommend that you go see a physical therapist if you don’t see improvement. The fact is that we all have imbalances and tightness which only gets worse as we get older. If you don’t stay on top of these issues when they first arise they can become fairly limiting and will take that much longer to heal. Keep shreddin’!
I was on the right track with the stretches, just not doing them long enough. I did an easy and relatively short ride today (under and hour) without any after ride pain. I am also going to try a few more energy bars and more water on the long rides to see if that helps.
Ha! Old or not, if you’re out there riding 1-10x a week then you’re an athlete IMO so you should treat your body like you’re an athlete – stretch and take care of it 🙂 I used to take stretching for granted, a few marathons and lots of $$$ in physical therapy later, I now have a daily stretching ritual and do yoga 1-2x a week. Whatever it takes to keep moving!