Hello,

I am currently a sophomore at a high school in Massachusetts and running is my passion and God-given gift.  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 definitely planning on incorporating 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. I have a mid-foot stride and would like to think that I have good form. Would it be a good idea for me to slowly start incorporating some barefoot running into my training as well as the strength training detailed in The Cool Impossible even with the injuries to my Achilles. I have been through so much this past year and I am desperately trying to return to the sport we all love. Thank you!

Timothy Holmes


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Hey Tim,

Just want to share what worked for me. I had lower calf pain, took some time off, then started my recovery 2 weeks ago. My workouts are rather simple but have been very effective for me - I do the entire workout barefoot and on grass. I start with simple slow runs back and forth. Then high knees, butt kicks, etc. I like to do tuck jumps and body squats after this, repeating all exercises several times if I feel good. Then I do Eric's calf strength training exercises with a piece of wood and two poles. Repeat if I feel good, and maybe throw my shoes on for a slow short run around town after this.

The key is starting slow, simple and safe. Barefoot running on grass, incorporated with Eric's calf strength training, has really helped me.

Hope this helps and good luck!

-Ryan

Ryan, Thanks so much for the reply. I will definitely incorporate some of your

Hey Tim - I echo Ryan's comments.  Many times achilles issues start/originate from the calf(s).  So I would definitely introduce the strength training from the cool impossible. (New boards coming very soon!).  I would also focus on massaging the calves, especially if you find some painful trigger point areas.

If you are running a lot of volume on the track and in track spikes, you might look to reduce this volume for a while until things calm down as lots of volume on track corners can also contribute to achilles, esp with an elevated heel.

Let us know if any of this helps - E

Eric,

Thank you for taking the time to get back to me! I'm definitely going to get the strength training equipment. I have been muscle rolling a lot if that counts as massaging. Overall I have been improving in both my feet and overall fitness. I have been doing the fitball exercises detailed in the cool impossible as well as the 100 up exercise to work on my form. Thanks again!

-Tim

I would use your fingers when massaging your calf, as they provide more pinpoint work where as the rolling is too general.  Any thoughts on if the track can be part of this issue?

As for strength equipment, I will have new boards available very very soon. New plastic ones made in USA!  Stay tuned.  Should have an announcement very soon.

Eric,

The track is no issue, however I do run in the brooks Adrenaline Gts 14 which have a 12 mm heel to toe. I was recommended these by my PT before I read your book. I do however have a pair of saucony kinvaras which are a lot more minimal and are a 4 mm heel to toe. Should I get switch shoes yet? I was planning on waiting until I could run pain free. I dont think my heels are off the ground too much while running but Im not positive.

One other thing to consider is if you are keeping your heels elevated/off the ground too much when running?

And with this, cumulative run intensity should always be evaluated during long term injury issues.

I am only running once per week with the highest run being 30 minutes.

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