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Wearing high heels for The year-old Blacksburg, Virginia native first got the idea when she heard about a London woman who attempted a Guinness World Record by running a marathon in heels a few years ago.

Unfortunately, that woman was disqualified when she took off her shoes less than halfway through the course and finished the race barefoot. Sewell was inspired to start running when she volunteered at Chattanooga's first Ironman three years ago, and she has evidently caught the bug: She already completed two marathons before finishing her third on Sunday.

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Heel striking – is it really the enemy of good running form?

The combination of her running stamina and other special skills led her to believe she could conquer the distance in heels. But Sewell immediately hit a learning curve while figuring out how to train for this crazy feat. At first, she reasoned every run should be done in heels in preparation for her big day. After the ligaments in her feet started to succumb to the pressure, Sewell sought help from a podiatrist, who basically discouraged her from only running in pumps.

The pain in her feet and hips definitely took a toll along the course Sunday, but Sewell said the most stressful part was filming the entire race.

Which Part of Your Foot You Should Land on When Running

Since Guinness notified Sewell that a representative was unable to attend, her friends and other witnesses had to prove her record by filming every step of the event, along with other requirements. We know how tedious it can be to set a Guinness World Record , but Sewell believes she checked every box on the list. Since no one has held the record before, Guinness gave Sewell a standard time of 7 hours, 30 minutes to complete her marathon. She ran the Chattanooga race in Now all she has to do is wait to for the Guinness team to confirm that victory is truly hers. Unfortunately, the 7 Bridges Marathon organizers miscalculated the race distances again.

The half marathon was 0.

How to Run (SAFER, FASTER, WITHOUT PAIN!)

Fortunately, her friends were able to grab the race director and members of the timing crew to document the exact spot she at which finished her Often, a few influences combine to cause pain, muscular imbalances, and other symptoms. You may have more risk for these issues if you have a higher weight or injuries that affect your alignment and movement patterns.

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People who have fallen arches flat feet or very high arches are more prone to heel pain after running since these foot shapes may put excess strain on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the thick ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot. Pain, inflammation, and tearing of the plantar fascia is known as plantar fasciitis. There are several ways you can treat heel pain on your own. Home treatments are more effective if you treat symptoms early, so care for symptoms as soon as they arise. Give yourself a break and rest your feet during flare-ups. Take time off from running and any other activities that cause pain.


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To relieve pain and increase flexibility, do gentle feet and calf stretching and strengthening exercises two to three times per day for at least 5 minutes each session. To reduce pain and inflammation, use an ice pack on your heels and surrounding areas for 20 minutes a few times per day. Also consider natural pain relievers , such as:. Acupuncture treatments and self-massage may bring relief, too. Use heel pads, wedges, or lifts in your shoes for added comfort.

An over-the-counter or custom orthotic device can improve stability and correct muscle imbalances. It can also prevent your foot from moving too much or incorrectly. If you need to completely stay off your foot, you can use a removable walking cast for a few weeks to support your foot and ankle.

Night splints are also available. They stretch your foot and hold it in the correct position while you sleep. They can diagnose the correct cause and recommend a treatment plan. This may include corticosteroid injections into the heel area to reduce inflammation and pain. Call your doctor right away if you have any severe pain in your heel that limits your ability to walk or is accompanied by redness and swelling.

Pay attention to where your foot strikes when it first hits the ground while running.

Heel Striker: Woman Sets Marathon Record in 3-Inch Stilettos | Runner's World

Most people run with a rearfoot strike pattern, which is thought to contribute to heel pain. Consider changing to a midfoot or forefoot contact point to see whether this reduces the impact or eases any of your heel pain.


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  5. This may not work for everyone, though. Keep in mind that changing your strike pattern may cause you to put more stress on your knee or other parts of your foot, leading to additional strain. When possible, run on grass, dirt paths, or a synthetic track, and gradually incorporate hills into your routine.

    What You Can Do

    Avoid running on hard, flat surfaces, such as concrete or tile floors. If you have no choice but to run on a hard surface, find a pair of shoes that will help absorb the shock. Do simple stretches to loosen up your feet, ankles, and calves twice a day, plus before and after you run. Some simple exercises to loosen up your muscles include:. Having a higher weight may cause you to bear too much pressure on your lower body, especially your knees, ankles, and heels, when running.

    Losing excess weight will help you feel lighter on your feet. Plus, you may be more balanced overall, which helps maintain healthy movement patterns. Invest in a pair of shoes that support the structure of your feet and are made especially for running. To put less stress on the plantar fascia, look for shoes that have good arch support and an elevated heel.

    You can also tape or strap your foot.