228 July/August 2014 | Bethesda Magazine HEALTH
LEADER By Leah Ariniello
How a local podiatrist and
runner stays on track
A runner since high school,
Lee Firestone of Potomac is well-versed
on the sport’s ability to boost overall
health. And as a podiatrist since 1994, he’s
also an expert on running’s downside.
“Running is one of the toughest
things our feet can take,” says Firestone,
who has offices in Chevy Chase and
downtown Washington, D.C. With each
step, runners pound about two and a
half times their body weight onto their
feet, he says, and as a result, about 80
percent of runners will likely encounter
some kind of injury. In college, Firestone
himself injured tissue supporting the
arch of his foot, a common problem
known as plantar fasciitis, which caused
pain in his heel. And three years ago he
suffered a painful partial tear of one of
his Achilles tendons.
But Firestone says the benefits
of running outweigh the risks, so he
doesn’t plan to give it up. Instead, he
follows a regimen that helps prevent or
minimize injury, including strategies that
aid form and ensure proper recovery.
As a result, the 48-year-old Firestone
continues to run 50 to 70 miles a week.
Since recovering from his last injury in
2011, he has completed six marathons,
for a total of 11 so far, and plans to
complete his 12th in November.
“I want to run as long as possible,”
There are more than 50 million runners
in the U.S., with almost 30 million
people running 50 or more times a
year, according to a 2013 report by the
Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
Podiatrist Lee Firestone of
Potomac relies on chocolate
milk to help repair muscles