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Coming Back From Achilles Tear/Strain (Read 568 times)

    I sustained a partial tear in my left Achilles in mid-February.  (Probably from golfing, although I don't doubt there was some stress in it from running.)  Anyway, I've been slowly inching back into running after getting the doctor's approval back on April 5th.  So far, my outings have all been of the run-walk persuasion, with the workouts having evolved from their initial [1min/4min walk] to the current [4min run/2min walk].  I've had no pain or sharp twinges in the tendon, during the runs or in everyday activity -- which is a nice change from the OMG-I-can't-walk-without-limping state I "enjoyed" back in March.

     

    Stuff that helped (in no particular order):

    1. Heel drops -- I've been doing these by lowering slowly (over a 3- or 4-count) from flat-footed to heels dropped, then back to flat-footed.  I'm NOT doing the toe raise opposite end, just coming back to feet parallel to the floor.  I've always had fairly strong calves, so I've focused on just the eccentric part of the exercise, since that's where everyone says the greatest benefit is.
    2. Self-massage -- I have The Stick and a Trigger Point Therapy lower-body kit, and both seem to help.
    3. Run-walk workouts -- limiting sustained stress on the healing tendon while still giving it some work, and reminding myself how out of shape I've gotten.  Awesome.
    4. Flat terrain -- I've tried to route myself to not have loads of uphills.  Until I get a bead on where my tendon is and what it can take, I want careful control over the stress I apply to it.  (Whether control is an illusion can be the subject of another post.)
    5. Frustratingly conservative return -- The doctor and a few people who've suffered tendon tears/ruptures all advised me to take it slow, but I feel like I could be doing so much more!  This advice is really hard to follow.
    6. Doing something every day (or trying to) -- if you love running, it's easy to run frequently.  If you love running but can't run, it's surprisingly easy to fall out of a routine.  I've never cycled and I don't like to swim, but having something scheduled for each day has kept me from falling totally off the wagon.

    Hopefully, some of that will help a fellow runner.

     

     

    And now for my needs: Cool

    Picking a race: The doc didn't seem to think I'd be back to normal in time to go through a training cycle for a marathon in early October, but he did think a December event would be more likely.  I'm kind of trolling for marathons in the11/15-12/31 time range.  I'd like a little topologic interest -- nothing pancake-flat, but I'm not quite ready for Grandfather Mountain-style racing.  I'm in NC but don't mind traveling.  I ran TCM last fall by myself (I'm not a social racer), so I don't need a crowded race or throngs of spectator support.  (But I'll admit the screaming tunnel of humanity over the final ~600m was incredibly energizing!)  I place a high priority on excellent race logistics.  Thoughts?

    “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

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      Come run Tucson or Dallas White Rock with me.  Logistics of both are not-bad.  Neither race is my top 5 favs, but it is december and they are good.

       

      Tucson has a lot of downhill, which my achilles appreciate more than lots of uphill (aka Grandfather).

       

      Rocket City is another fun well organized race, but scenery-wise, it is pretty boring.

       

      If you want to consider traily trails, maybe Huff 50k.  Or Tecumseh.

       

      Cough.  Monkey.  Cough.