I am currently a sophomore at a high school in Massachusetts and running is my passion and God-given gift. Unfortunately my feet don't know that. I've been running for the past 4 years and in the summer of August 2014 I was sidelined with Achilles Tendonitis. I went to see numerous doctors, podiatrists, and physical therapists who all told me the same thing. That I had ran too much and that I needed more supportive shoes with inserts if I was ever going to run pain free again. I met with a physical therapist who was very helpful and helped me to deplete my symptoms but I never fully recovered. Now 9 months later I am still barely able to run one day a week. I recently read the book "Born To Run" and was both intrigued and inspired. What Christopher McDougall said made a lot of sense. Also recently, a friend introduced me to the 100-up drill and I'm have already incorporated it into my recovery regime. I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to help me get back to what I love to do, while still not being 100% recovered.I have a mid-foot stride and would like to think that I have good form. I am wondering if it would be a good idea for me to slowly start incorporating some barefoot running as well as the strength training detailed in your book into my training even with still not being fully recovered. I have been through so much this past year in desperately trying to run cross country next year and pain free for the rest of my life so I would highly appreciate if you could help me. Thank you!
I am no physio but I have been injured a lot. I would be very wary of introducing barefoot running if you have lingering achilles problems. There is a big difference in terms of the stress it puts on your body between the style and foot strike technique Eric's book recommends and full on barefoot running. I found that zero drop shoes (Altra) made a positive difference for me (and then I got a severe IT band injury due to over training...)
I don't think the foot strengthening exercises will stress your achilles. You could easily try them and then back off if they make you sore.
Thanks for the insight.