Injured, Now What?

180achilles_inflammationLooks 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.


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4 Responses to Injured, Now What?

  1. Juan Diego Toriello says:

    Hi. I’ve been following your blog for many months now, and I fully identify my overall running philosophy with yours. I truly regret to hear this news; nobody wishes to undergo through an injury, especially at a bad timing like this one, with Boston down the hill, the qualification of which you had so thoroughly prepared for. I will be very attentive and hopeful for your quick recovery. I’ve had repetitive cases of tendinitis in different parts of my lower legs and knees myself, none of which have been recurrent (thank God!). Usually rest and cross training will be fine, especially for mild discomforts (which apparently is your case). For more serious cases (without getting to the nasty ones, of course), I’ve found that Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, and in some cases combined with ultrasound, has done miracles on my injured limbs, really speeding up the healing process (ESWT dissolves the calcium formations in swollen tendons, through cavitation, which in turn allows them to recover more hastily, pretty much in the same way that occurs to patients that submit themselves to kidney ESWT treatments and then report diminished ailments on other joint pains). Just thought it might be helpful, if needed. Keep up the good work!

    • Juan, thanks for the comment and information. I think I’ll still be able to put in some decent training, I’m not overly concerned it is very serious. Most likely, a few days rest, cutting back on the mileage volume, and nursing the injury a bit should get me back out there running hard in no time. Haven’t had an injury that has kept me from running for so long, it just feel odd not getting out there. Best wishes on your training!

  2. supernorts says:

    Hi there sorry to hear about your injury, Achilles are the worst as well as its an area that doesnt get much blood flow so if it is properly injured it can take a very long time to heal.
    sounds like yours is just a mile case at the moment, personally i would as you say cut it back for the time being maybe do some cross training, spinning bike or what have you as you still want to run a quick time at Boston. after every run i would ice the immediate area to reduce swelling after that i would heat it as much as possible to promote healing as there arent as many red blood cells in that area as other areas. so as well put some red heat rub on the area before bed and wear socks when asleep as most of the healing process is done when asleep, so try and promote heat in that area when asleep. all the best 🙂

    • Thanks for the advice, supernorts! After a couple days of rest, I don’t feel pain in the area anymore, but who knows if it will flare up when I start running. Plan to give it a couple more days rest before I run and will try to do some biking in the meantime. Although the planned 70 mile weeks probably won’t happen now, I think if I can still get my key workouts in along with a good dose of cross-training to make up for the other miles, I should be in decent shape to run a decent marathon.

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