Sore achilles!

Hi All

Been training for Brighton Marathon. Did a 14 miler last weekend and legs were tired but ok. Then on Monday did a 2 mile recovery run, no probs whilst running but after my achilles was very sore and I had trouble walking. I iced, elevated and took ibruprofen and the next day it was fine. Today I tried a gentle run and after 2 miles I could feel the Achilles triggering so walked home. Walking didn't hurt but running I could definitely feel it. What should I be doing? I know too much rest can make tendonitis worse, should I be running daily but just less miles? Really worried that this is going to scupper marathon plans...


  • I'm managing my tendonitis by carrying on running (but not being daft about the distance, pace or terrain) and after each run, doing loads of eccentric stretches (not just the sore side but both sides) throughout the rest of the day.

    Typically I will do at least 3 lots of 3 sets of the following (the left is the sore side):

     - 15 eccentric drops (left)

     - 15 seconds stretch (left)

     - 30 seconds stretch (right)

    Seems to be doing the trick for me and only takes about 5 minutes to do each time.  15 - 20 minutes well spent.

    Volterol P (only available from the pharmacist) seems to help too.

  • Thanks for the advice  - I am taking a week off and doing the exercises. V irritating but no pain when I'm walking around so hoping it will be ok...

  • Hi Ellen,

    Eccentric hell drop exercises are great and i'd strech your calves alot more and also 'ice on a stretch' after exercise while you still have symptoms.

    The Achilles Tendon should adapt to the forces its subjected to as long as the "too much, too soon" rule isn't broken.  When you’re sitting down, put ball of your foot on a coffee table and drop heel for a GENTLE calf stretch for 5 mins.  Use ice cubes to rub up & down achilles until ice cube melts.  Keep it moving on the skin or risk an ice burn (hold cube in tissue or *use a polystyrene cup full of frozen water and tear down as ice melts*)

    Hang your heel off table - don't be tempted to push heel down - doesn't need it and may only irritate the tendon.  Keep relaxed.  Theory is tendon has quite plastic properties, so needs to be gently & eccentrically stretched to 'mould it' into a lengthened position.  Collagen fibres in a relaxed tendon can contract slightly as cooling down, thereby slightly shortening tendon and increasing risk of tearing (microscopically) again on next run.  You will be cooling it down in a lengthend position.

    Volterol/Deep heat etc will be working on the symptoms - not the actual injury.

  • RT, I am just starting up again after a grade 3 achilles tear suffered in August.  An ultrasound before Xmas showed a lot of scar tissue (collagen) and maybe some neo-vascularisation (inconclusive).  I haven't had it treated, but when I realised it had been pain-free for a while I started running gently again a couple of weeks ago.  So far I have had no problem at all; my longest run has been 3 miles (on a T/M) after a warm-up; I gradually moved it up over the 23 mins to 13.6 kmh, which is not quick for me when fit (which I'm obviously not) but is more than a jog.  What I am wondering is whether I will inevitably hit the buffers without some sort of treatment, or whether the body may sort itself out so long as I take it slowly and carefully.  Do you have any advice?

    Forgive me for asking, but it sounds as though you know what you are talking about!  The physio who did the ultrasound said it would definitely need treatment, but my instinct is against that, I'm not quite sure why, if I'm honest.

  • By the way, Ellen, that is how I noticed my achilles tear - I'd try a couple of days rest and then run again, could get through the run but realised it was gradually getting worse.  It'll take ages to heal if it is a tear, so I would advise proceeding cautiously and not letting the race lead you into doing something you'll regret.

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