>Health and Nutrition>Achilles Issues 1-2 Weeks Before Goal Race
About a week or so ago, my Achilles tendon started acting up...at the time I thought it was because the surface of my regular route had finally degraded to the point that it was causing me injury, so I stopped running that one and went to another, smoother surface.
It was better for a few days and even through a hard effort or two, and then, toward the end of last week, it fired up again. I can still run and hit my paces, but there's pain involved, pain enough that I know it needs to be dealt with.
I pushed through the last of my hard efforts this past Wednesday (I know, probably shouldn't have), and now it's taper time (though with Hansons, the taper isn't as taper-ey as it is with other plans). Easy runs from here on in. Yesterday's runs (5 in the morning, 6 on the track in the evening) were basically pain free (I "felt" it, but no pain). No pain afterwards last night, but this morning it smarts, just a little. Cut the run to seven very slow miles.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 10 and Sunday is 10, but I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off completely, and maybe shortening Sunday's run. The "completionist" in me is having a hard time with the idea of just quitting entirely for a few days, mainly due to the fact that my weight is starting to creep back up, just when I had it down to about where I wanted to be for the race next weekend. And of course, I know with the taper, it will creep a little anyway.
So, I'm mainly posting so that I feel like I'm "doing something" about it, but any thoughts? Think the plan I outlined above will help, or is the idea of running between now and the race completely stupid? And I am going to race, unless the thing snaps completely. I think I could finish the race tomorrow if I had to, just not at goal pace and in a lot of pain.
MTA: it's unilateral - the left one only
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people
There are quite a few people that have as much or more expereince with achilles problems but here is my history and view on your situation.
I had my achilles problems after a a race and lingered for about 1 and 1/2 years until i took some real time off this summer and started back slowly. I was able to do short breaks then get back to training (with soreness/pain) and "hold on" for another race but it usually required taping for the event. Now that i truely took the proper rest and exercises i am back to being pain free and running fairly well.
My advice is be very diligent with icing and other care to promote whatever healing that you can. It would be impossible to take complete rest but I would schedule as much as rest as you can and also run as easy as you can. Allow speed and tempo paces after really good warm up time, even then try to keep it below full effort and on level ground or the track to avoid hills. Since you are coming into the taper this all points to going as easy as possible without feeling you are loosing too much. If you are inside the last 10 days you will see no benefit from training anyway. Onced the race is over plan on a visit to the Dr. or PT along with some real rest.
Interval Junkie --Nobby
Kinda new to this running thing, but I had an AT issue in the Spring. I got it looked at by a sports doc. He took pictures to make sure it wasn't a result of an oncoming stress fracture (negative). He recommended heel inserts to take the pressure off for a while. He also sent me to a PT for some exercises that I did as well as flossing. I left with a script for naproxin (NSAID).
His advice on running was this: I could train as hard as I wanted, even though it hurt as long as it didn't affect my gait. If it did, then I was compensating and would have a compensation injury eventually.
My recommendation to you would be to RICE several times a day. Do some loosening up stretches (ankle rotations etc) before runs. And I'd consider doing a traditional taper instead of a Hanson taper.
If it's really bothering you, taking two days off completely from running isn't going to affect your performance, but I doubt it'll heal your AT either.
People are of different minds on this, but I would not take any pain medication the day of the race; if you can't take the pain w/o meds, you shouldn't be running on it. No race is worth sitting out next season . . . or surgery.
2014 Goals: sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)
Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon
Everything above, and in my limited experience stretching/rolling/sticking my calves and hamstrings has helped to relieve stress on my Achilles.
I had some AT issues a couple years ago and had a friend recommend Graston treatment. It worked wonders! After two treatments I was back to running pain free! The therapist uses metal tools to release the muscles and soft tissue and break up any scar tissue that has formed in the area. It's not always the most comfortable treatment, but the results were amazing. I would recommend going to grastontechnique.com/LocateaProvider.html and find a physical therapist or chiropractic physician in your area that provides this treatment technique.
i've had some form of Achilles knack since the start of October. as well as the already mentioned calf-rolling and ankle dorsiflexions (with resistance), eccentric heel drops are the future; do them 3x15 (twice a day) & when you can do without without pain/discomfort, add weight in the form of a plate or kettlebell in a rucksack.
it's not a short term fix tho, recommendation is to keep them up for at least 12 weeks (i reckon i'll keep them in my daily routine after that time). hope they help.
I bought my nephew an elephant for his room. He said, "Thanks". I said, "Don't mention it".
Thanks for the comments, everyone! Update:
At last night's football game (I'm a band director), I talked to the team PT specialist about it while the team was warming up. She gave me a quick examination on the sideline, and couldn't feel any of the telltale signs of Achilles tendonitis. After poking and squeezing around for a bit on it and me pointing to exactly where it hurts, her opinion is that it's not my Achilles so much as a minor soleus strain. And looking at some anatomy diagrams on the interwebs, that does indeed look more like where it hurts.
So anyway, she showed me a few ice message tricks and a stretch or two, and encouraged me to continue my regular training schedule, which of course at this point is all slow, short, easy running anyway. As much as I respect her expertise, though, I'm still taking at least today off, maybe tomorrow, and icing it down while sitting on my butt. Feels weird.