Injured - again

Talk about frustration. Decided earlier this year to have a 2nd go at a marathon. Had 2 months off shortly after deciding this due to plantar fasciitis. No problems with that since then.

Started running again about 5 months ago, taking it easy (have just built up to 45-50 min runs again) and alas my achilles are now playing up. The left one started a few days ago and the right one after yesterdays run. Have finally decided to stop being stupid and keep running, hoping it will go away by itself. So as of today its enforced rest. Have just read in my trusty RW/Pro Sport guide that in 6-8 weeks I may be able to start running again. Great news - not.

What happens to my marathon training now? How on earth am I going to be ready to start the hard training in January?



  • Pepsi, what exactly is wrong with your Achilles tendons? Are you sure it needs that time off? For example, today my tendons on both legs are very sore. This is because I ran 13 miles yesterday. I will have a rest day today, then a gentle run tomorrow, then a harder session Wednesday.

    Of course only you know whether this is something serious or not, but some soreness in these tendons is a normal part of the hard session/recovery cycle. Specialist advice may be advisable.
  • Glenn, I'm hopeful I won't need that amount of time off. Have problems with them on and off since I've been running (about 10 years). In the past I've just needed a week or 2 rest and they've been ok again. The right one has come on rather suddenly this time though.

    Yesterday was my long run. After the time off earlier in the year, the long run is only up to about 12k at this stage so its not really that long at all.

    Now onto what is wrong with them - very sore in the mornings on getting out of bed. Mostly ok to walk on but if I need to do something simple like run across the road (to avoid being hit by a car of course) I can definitely feel them. Also sore to touch. I stretch after every run using a step.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    How are your shoes? Maybe the cushioning is starting to go and they need repalced. It just seems odd that both of your achilles have started to play up at the same time, especially as you have been doing a gradual build up.
  • As discussed with Nessie once before, my problems are much worse walking than running. Basically I have the same symptoms as you - I'm just trying to take more rest days (at least two a week). To be honest, longer breaks have never done anything for me at all - I *think* there is some research evidence that long breaks without running and stretching can lead to a shortening of the tendons.
  • Nessie,

    Shoes were my first thought. Went and bought some new ones on Friday. Yesterday was my first run with them and they felt great.


    In the past a couple of weeks rest has been enough to fix the problem. Hopefully it will be again this time. I needed to vent more than anything as my running has been going great guns recently and I've been feeling really good about it. It is so hard to stick to the gradual build up program some days!
  • Hello Pepsi,

    I can't help noticing posts about achilles problems. I developed an achilles problem literally overnight, a few months ago. Prior to that I'd never had any sort of twinge at all in either of my tendons, even during (and leading up to) my first marathon in May. Actually, I think it was precipitated by doing too much speedwork too fast on a treadmill, when I joined the local gym after the marathon. In any event, I tried taking bits and pieces of time off but that didn't really help, and my heart wasn't really in resting as I'd just begun training for the Venice marathon.

    Cutting a long story short, I went to a physio who pointed out that I have a bio-mechanical problem in both feet. (My achilles tendons are too short, and my heels have a tendency to point in the wrong direction. Maybe it's because I'm a piglet??...) The physio sent me to a podiatrist, who measured me for custom orthotics. They were made by a firm in the US, and I've been wearing them since the back end of August.

    I wondered whether to be cynical, but I was desperate to get back to pain free running and so I went with what I was advised. Since I began to wear the orthotics (and I have them in my work shoes too) my tendonitis has significantly improved. It's not gone - I still get around on tiptoe for the first couple of minutes out of bed each morning, and the day after a long run I have some stiffness - but it's very much better than it was.

    However... it hung around untreated long enough, when it first started, to interfere with the start of my Venice marathon training, and then it got worse when I did the Coast to Coast walk. The bottom line is that I didn't recover in time to really get over it in time to catch up with my schedule, and so I've finally had to recognise that I've just not trained properly for Venice (next weekend) and I won't be running. I wish I'd got it sorted out sooner.

    If I were you I'd make an appointment with an experienced sports physio and ask him/her to take a look at your feet. If you have a problem (and presumably you do, or you wouldn't have pain) then it's best to try to nip it in the bud rather than allow it to become chronic, and interfere with your running on a long term basis. Everything I've read about achilles tendonitis suggests that it's something that should be taken seriously, as to neglect it can lead to major problems.

    Sorry to waffle on for so long, but it's now my mission in life to try to warn other people to avoid the achilles problems I've had! :-)
  • Wee Piglet,

    I am off to search the net for a suitable sports physio right now (well almost). Something I should have done before, but I I've been to lazy to get off my butt. Also being an optimist, I just hope that things will turn out right in the end without any extra help.

  • Glenn, Nessie, Wee Piglet,

    Ok, finally taken the bit between the teeth and made an appointment for a professional opinion. Thursday 1440.

    Fingers crossed for future pain free running and getting out of bed.
  • Wee Piglet,

    I empathise with you about the Venice marathon. I have my heart set on the Canberra marathon next April. Its my present to myself for returning to Oz. A marathon for a present - what strange people we are:)
  • Pepsi,

    I'm very glad to hear that you've got an appointment for Thursday! Very best of luck with it :-) I hope you'll let us know how you got on?

    Very best of luck with the Canberra marathon, which sounds extremely exciting! You're right - a marathon as a prezzy to self is a little unusual, but hey! Who wants to be boring? :-) Missing Venice is a disappointment, but I'm setting my sights on London for next April, so I'm just crossing my fingers that I get in.

    Best of luck again with the feet. I'll look forward to reading about how you got on.
  • Hi Wee Piglet,

    Should have gone to the physio years ago! I wonder how many people say that.

    Anyway, the good news is that the achilles problem is not serious and I should be back running in a couple of weeks. In the meantime I can use the exercise bike to keep up the cardio fitness.

    The bad news is that the root of the problem is serious (and to my mind rather amusing). I have the laziest butt muscles known to man. They are not doing there job hence the calves and the achilles are doing a tonne more support work than they should be. The physio gave me isotonic (or some such word) exercises for the achilles and claves and three different exercises to get those lazy butt muscles doing what they should be doing. At elast I should get a fab butt out of it:)

    The good thing with missing an event is that there is always another one around the corner.

    Hope you get in to the FLM. I don't know if they will telecast it in Oz. Much to Mr P's chagrin (he is not a runner) I watched the whole several hour telecast and enjoyed it immensely.

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