Looks like I have a case of Achilles Tendonitis, which is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It is on my left side and although I felt some mild discomfort in the area about a month ago, I just ran through it and it would disappear after a mile or two into a run. However, earlier this week, it got to a point where I could no longer ignore it as it was getting progressively worse with each run. I have a suspicion it was primarily brought on by overtraining, not allowing enough recovery time after the Carlsbad Marathon, and the new shoes I bought about a month ago. I had the same injury a few years ago that I was able to work through, but it took some time.
This time it seems to be a relatively mild case so I don’t think it will completely derail my training plan, but I’ll need to make some adjustments over the next couple of weeks then reassess. There is no debilitating pain until I get a couple miles into my run, so I think it is just a matter of backing off on the running volume for a little while.
Rest is the key to healing Achilles tendon problems, so I’ve decided not to run for five days, although I plan to cross-train instead. In lieu of running, I’ll use my bike trainer and cycle 1 to 2 hours daily. Next week I’ll cut my mileage by 50% and just run my key workouts (intervals on Tuesday, tempo on Thursday, long run on Sunday) and use the bike trainer 1 to 2 hours daily to make up for the other miles. After my long run next week, I’ll reassess and determine if I can begin adding more running miles.
In addition to rest, I’ll do some conservative stretching of the tendon and some exercises to strengthen my lower leg muscles. Hopefully, this will do the trick and the pain will go completely away within a few weeks. It is very frustrating when a injury presents itself, but luckily I still have 8 weeks until Boston and I think, if I’m smart about it, I’ll be able to manage around it and get to the starting line healthy.
Below are the adjustments to my training plan for weeks 3 and 4. Weeks 5 – 11 will most likely be adjusted as well, but the adjustments will all depend upon how my Achilles tendon feels after my long run next week.