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M.. TRI - That's OK, I've only just written it.
Careful with ladders! Can you avoid them?
No recurrence of this injury in the latter part of 2012, despite some gruelling races including Lakeland 50 and North Downs Way 100!
No new comments on this, but I'm bringing it forward ...
... for paul b 3
I'm wrestling with an achilles problem and have been for about 6 months. I had a broken bone in my foot last year and such was my excitement at that finally healing that I went out and ran 12 miles and did the achilles in.
It's not really bad - nothing like what has been descibed on here. It's sore for about 10 steps in the morning and that's about it. Doesn't really hurt when I run. The achilles itself has a lump on the back of it which varies in size seemingly randomly and although it's more sensitive than the other achilles, i would say that it is "sore".
I'm not 100% sure what to do - I don't really like hobbling about the morning after a decent run though. My strategy currently is lots of heel drops and stretches and regular 4 - 6 mile gentle paced runs so at least I can get out there and retain some fitness. Blimmin pain though.
Elstead - you're doing right what you are doing. If you can bring yourself to do it you could deepen the notch in the heel tab of your running shoes with a knife. This will help prevent irritation. Try to keep active and avoid sitting for long periods.
Thank you very much for this thread - its come as a good warning for me.
I'm starting to have concerns that I am at the very beginning of a problem and keenly wish to nip it in the bud. My achillies on my left foot has started feeling tender and stiff. To look at and touch there is no change. It feels better when I used deep ice (but not deep heat). I very rarely wear heels. My running schedule has increased but at a steady pace over a year.
One thing I am attibuting to the cause is the way I sit at work. I think my chair is too high so dont have my feet flat so as of tomorrow this will change. But always the crutial question - can I carry on with my training program. Approx 37 miles a week with a long run of 20miles plus (reduce every three weeks).
Thanks again for this thread.
Thread's a year old now but reading it all again I feel it all still makes sense.
Long periods of sitting are bad for knees and ankles. VY - ensure your heels are on the ground and you could try resting your forefoot up on something when you're at your desk.
Yes keep training, but I'd avoid speedwork and hard downhill efforts for the time being.
Only just come across this thread. I've been battling with mild AT since the sdw100 last year. Training for grandslam this year but the AT still isn't 100%. Good to read you still ran whilst getting your injury sorted. Going to have to cut the heel tab down on my trainer's then by the looks of it I had read this could help now where is the knife.........
Lingster - most AT clears up in about 6 weeks but for a few unlucky ones like me and others it can take 15 months. Keep up your running, just cut down on intensity. Don't write off your 100-milers!
It takes courage to cut your shoes like that and it does shorten their life span but I've found it helps a lot. Also choose new shoes on the basis of low heel tabs, e.g. some Mizuno shoes.
That's good. I was thinking the bike might not be a good idea. Pedalling contracts the achilles quite a lot.
To be on the safe side to cover you for your race I'd put heel raises in your shoes e.g. Sorbothane and be prepared to revise any expected time downwards. You wouldn't want the injury getting any worse.
The long term strategy is the opposite, though. Take the heel raises out, keep the heels low all the time and do those stretches. Come down the stairs heel first.
Although the left achilles that had the injury is now absolutely fine I get twinges in the right one from time to time and I have to say I get a nagging worry it might turn into tendonitis, but hasn't happened so far.
In my experience AT is an injury you can - and I would suggest should - keep running with, even 'racing', but with the following safeguards:
Although you will have pain in the area you should find it will ease off after a number of miles. If the pain becomes very sharp, acute, as if you're being pinched in that area, stop immediately.
So, no, I wouldn't rest.
The heel raises will make you foot more unstable which is why you shouldn't use them in the long term. If you can bear to do it you might like to consider deepening the notch in the heel tab in your shoe with a knife.
How many runs a week do you normally do?
You're welcome, John. I've received no end of inspiration and advice from this forum myself.
OK, cut your Thursday session out, move the Tuesday run to Wednesday, and concentrate on your long run, which I presume is up to about 10-11 miles? Over this length you should find any achilles tightness loosening at some point - either in the middle or towards the end of the run - when you might be able to up the pace a bit.
See how you go. On race day you may surprise yourself. I managed to complete enormous ultra events with my AT which by rights I shouldn't have been able to.
That's good news. Personally, ultrasound did nothing for me. I endured multiple sessions of very painful massage instead.
Keep up the calf stretches, and I would consider extending the notch in the heel tab of your shoes. I've cut all my shoes now.
I ran my first half marathon back in 2011 and got through it injury free. However, shortly afterwards I developed a searing pain in the ball of my foot (possibly sesamoiditis) after doing a set of hill sprints. I had to stop running and switched to barefoot shoes (Merrell Pace Gloves) to keep the weight off the ball of my foot when I taught PE at the primary school where I work three days a week. Even though I use Vibrams in the gym and like them, going to zero heel all the time resulted in an angry achilles tendon. After a year of achilles pain (during which time the sesamoiditis had calmed down) I got frustrated with not being able to run and talked to a friend of mine who is a top physio in the north of England. Whilst he lived too far to treat me personally, he recommend laser treatment and eccentric training. I had a few laser and acupuncture sessions with a local physio and did my eccentric (heel drop) training religiously. I am now back running and did a 10K two weeks ago and ran 9 miles last weekend. I have gone back to wearing Nike Frees at school and also run in Frees (although I still wear my Vibrams at the gym). I absolutely recommend laser treatment if you can find someone who does it.
Just thought I'd pop in and say hello. Been reading this thread with interest, thanks T-Rex!
I've been suffering with achilles tendonitis for a few months now. Being the stubborn sod I am I just ran through it to start with, which I'm sure made it a whole lot worse. Now paying the price. After realising it wasn't going to go away I stopped running completely and shelled out the cash to see a proper (excellent) physio. Since then I've been doing semi-regular stretching, eccentric calf raises, lunges, leg squats etc plus seeing physio and sport masseur regularly. Basically it appears to be due to a stiff lower back and right hand side, and poor calf strength, so it's all about sorting that out really.
It's definitely improving. Currenly running 20mins every other day, which is better than nothing but still very frustrating. Just going to take time I guess!
Good to see others getting through this. Good luck to fellow sufferers, I hope it doesn't persist too long!
Hi Boingy. it is frustrating but you will emerge at the other side with patience and care. Looks like you're doing all the right things. AT is often due to inflexible calves, so stretch them out continuously! Come down stairs heel first, raise your toes when sitting at desk, etc. Eccentric and straight heel lowers off a step are very good. I'd go steady on heel raises.
Hi 2oldnever - yes I keep a paternal eye on this thread. I'm not an expert medically but I have had immense experience of this injury. The worst case of it my sports injury therapist had ever seen. Sounds like you've overdone your training, sadly, but don't despair!
If you are in an acute phase of pain with the achilles continuously inflamed and spongy, stop running. You'll need to ice that, and the best way is to submerge you foot in a bucket of icy water for 15 minutes every few hours. If the pain is continuously very sharp, say about 8/10, you're looking at the possibility of a partial rupture of the tendon which is serious.
Apart from when icing keep the tendon warm. As soon as you can do light stretching. When you come up from heel drops favour the good leg. Do eccentric ones as well with the affected foot at an angle. When sitting lift your toes up on something 2-3 inches high.
Try walking properly to start with, forcing yourself to do a proper gait cycle putting the heel down first and not limping. Come downstairs heel first. Avoid standing on tip toes (if you can in fact do that on the bad leg - I couldn't).
As to running start as soon as you can but very slowly. Make sure the surface is level and no downhills. You'll find it will be very uncomfortable when you first set out to start with, but if the pain isn't too acute - say up to about 4-5/10 - persevere carefully. I found the pain eased after about 4 miles and I was able to do a few more miles after that at only about 2/10 pain level before it started increasing again which was the time to stop.