I was hoping someone could shed some light on some minor pain I've been experiencing.

I run long distance. I train about half of the year and usually run one marathon each year. The problem started during the last marathon I ran in early May. The pain started at about the 21 mile mark and became pretty excruciating around the 23.5 mile mark but I continued through the rest of it anyway. The pain is coming from the top of my foot, pretty much directly in the middle of the foot, there's actually a visibly small bump at the spot where the pain is emanating from. Here is a link to a picture showing the location:

location of pain on foot diagram

I quit running for 3 months after the marathon. I just started again 2 weeks ago and started pretty hard, after a week and a half the pain from the marathon returned, though not quite as bad as it was then. It started to get worse with each run though, so I stopped because I could tell it was just going to get worse and worse.

I am running the marathon in Under Armour Micro G Stealth running shoes. I trained for the marathon for 5 months but I only trained in these shoes for about 6 weeks before the marathon. The shoes are very light, which is what made them attractive to me.

Other notes: It doesn't hurt to walk, but I can still feel the spot with almost every step. Also, its my left foot.

Any suggestions as to what the problem is or what I can do to heal correctly would be greatly appreciated.


I have had the exact same problem for the last year or so, but I have gotten around the problem by tying my shoes in a slight different manner (see below).

From the various expects I consulted when I encounted the problem, I understand, that it usually is one of two problems for my age-group (47): a stress fracture in the foot or a inflammation of the ligaments that "runs" over the top of the foot.

You usually develop both with too much training (no surprise there) and you also best cure the problems with plenty of rest (hopefully no surprise there either). For the inflammation you might also want to use some sort of Ibuprofen based product as that can help with the inflammation...

I have a slightly different problem, as it is the small "tendon sacks" on the top of my right foot that are extremely sore. It seems to be permanent, but with small adjustments in my footwear, I rarely have any discomfort - but don't step on my foot, please.

You can find other possible explanations in this pretty good article.

I now tie my two running shoes differently. The left shoe - where I (currently) don't experience any problems - is tied as usual, whereas on the right shoes I jump two sets of eyelets over the point on the foot where it hurts.

This is illustrated with video and all in the following article from Runners World.

EDIT I have added a picture from my own shoes from today...

enter image description here

Lastly, you probably should have you GP looking at this... especially if you want proper diagnostics of the problem...

  • Lots of helpful information, thanks for all of the suggestions Tonny. I guess the inflammation would explain the visible bump, I'll try the Ibuprofen. When I start training again, I'll try the new shoe-lace tying too! That's a great idea. For now, I'm going to rest, and try whatever methods I come across to try and heal. If when I start training again, the pain returns, I'll visit a doctor. I'm glad to hear you aren't experiencing anymore problems, hopefully this won't last too much longer for me either! – Andrew Gabriel Aug 27 '12 at 16:32
  • @AndrewGabriel I do have problems - but I can get around them with Ibupropen and the special lace-tying... And as long as nobody step on my foot, I'm good :-) – Tonny Madsen Aug 28 '12 at 7:02
  • Good idea with the lace tying. While I had pressure over the top of my foot I experienced shin splints instead of pain directly on it, but it's definitely a good idea and very easy to implement. – Robin Ashe Aug 29 '12 at 23:19

I had an annoying pain in my foot that was sticking around and wouldn't go away for a long time, not directly caused by running long distances but certainly exacerbated by it.

Of all the stuff I tried, the only thing that helped was lifting weights. I'm not sure if it was the squats, the deadlifts or a combination of them that did it, but shortly after I started, the pain went away.

It would be impossible for me to tell if what you're experiencing is the same as what I experienced, but there's lots of benefits from a good, basic, weight lifting routine, so it's definitely worth trying.

  • Thanks Robin, I could give that a shot. I'll have access to my university's gym again in about 2 weeks. – Andrew Gabriel Aug 27 '12 at 0:43

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