I was in the middle of week 6 of the TCI training program when I injured my right achilles. I'm still not sure whether it is tendonitis or whether I strained it while running on a trail pocked by horse hoof prints. I am assuming that it is a strain since I had not noticed any issues with it prior to that particular run and that I have never had problems with my achilles before. Anyway, I rested it for a few days before doing an easy run last night. By the end of the 3 mile easy run, it was sore. It has not been what I would call painful, but it feels a little tight when fully extended and become more tender with use.  

 

If I end up having to take a couple of weeks off, should I start the program over or pick up where I left off?

 

Thanks.

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Patrick - did you know exactly when you hurt it, like an acute pain, or did it just start hurting after your run?

Any swelling?  I would to think weeks, but take it day to day.  So depending when you do feel near 100%, maybe going back to week 4 to start, with is recovery week, which could help you ease back into it.

Thanks a bunch for the reply, Eric.

 

I noticed the pain during my run, which was an easy run of about 5 miles, but I did not notice a sudden sharp pain or a pop or anything. I have not noticed any significant swelling. It only hurts when I stand all the way on my tip toes or raise my toes all of the way and stretch the tendon. When I stretch it fully, it feels a little tight and sore in the midpoint between the top of my heel and the bottom of my calf muscle. I don't notice it at all during normal walking, just a little when going down steps. I was able to complete a short easy run, but the soreness got progressively worse throughout the run. It was never so painful that I couldn't continue running, but I got worried that I might injure it worse.

 

As you suggested, week 4 seems like a good place to resume since it is a recovery week. It definitely beats starting all over too. When I do resume my training, should I aim for the number of miles I did previously during week 4 and likewise for week 5?

 

I don't THINK that it is a serious injury, just a minor sprain, but I also don't want to risk rupturing it or causing a chronic issue with it as a result of denial or over optimism. I can bear full weight on the injured leg with no problem, so I think that I can continue with the strength exercises as usual.

 

I agree, this just sounds like something that just needs to calm down.  I would try to do some self-massaging of that area with your hands.  Get as deep as you can based on comfort level and this might make it a little more sore, but will be really good for it.

I would take it day to day, opposed to taking a long term, predeterimined break, which might be unnecessary.  With something like this, activity is good for it and sometimes complete rest is not best.

 

Great advice, Eric. I think I will plan on massaging, strengthening, and doing some walking on it this weekend, then shoot for testing it out with an easy run on Monday or Tuesday. I was so frustrated and bumbed when this happened last week, but I feel much more optimistic about it after receiving your feedback and advice. I really appreciate it!

A quick update here for any additional insights Eric might have and as a reference for anyone with similar issues now or in the future.

 

I completed my first easy run after 5 days of no running. My rest time was active. I did yard work and continued my usual strength routine, including the slant board and balance board exercises. I iced the area and massaged periodiclly. My achiles felt good throughout the run. I made sure to stretch both achilles some after the run and to ice the injured one despite there being little to no pain. This morning, the injured achiles was a little stiff and there was a bit of a dull ache in the same area as before but nothing significant. I plan on returning to week 4 of my training and proceeding from there. I'm still not sure if it was a strain or whether it is tendonitis, but it seems that the management is the same at this point. Here is to hoping that it holds up going forward.

Really massage that calf and find any tender spots and knead them out. Best wishes to active recovery!  

Thanks, Lori. Will do. My calf has definitely been tight and sore.

Great news! After resuming my training at week 4, my achilles feels 100% better. Thanks a bunch for the advice and encouragement! Now, my only concern is whether I should resume week 5 at the same mileage as I originally did (which would be 8.5 miles moree than week 4),conrtinue at week 5 with lower mileage, or repeat week 4 at higher mileage to bridge?

Awesome news!! I would def err on the side of caution and go lower mileage. Unless Eric has a specific recommendation, I would visualize yourself trying different approaches and see what "feels" right or what you might advise another running mate to do. I am working with my R heel/achilles/calf and am gradually improving. One tip I did not consider is to be sure to CONTINUE to massage that calf and work out soreness, even if it feels better. 

Forgot to mention you might want to back off on the slant board work until things calm down.  But once you can place full body weight on that leg, I think it would be very good to resume and help with getting back the strength.

Well, more great news. I am in my second week back to full training and completed my first workout involving a faster than easy pace since my injury, and my achilles felt great. It seems that the strain has heeled, and I ended up only missing a little over a week of training. Thanks for all for all of the advice and support, Eric and Lori. Still massaging my achilles and calf muscles well on both legs and doing suggested stretching and strength exercises in addition to the slant and balance boards.

Good good!!! Yes, keep at it. I am working through some similar issues...Easy to drop the ball when things start feeling better, keep up the preventative work and so will I!

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