Couch to 5K

Back to running and it hurts!

I've been resting a sore Achilles for the past two weeks, it hasn't got much better and not running has driven me mad, so last night I decided to go out for a run figuring that it couldn't get worse! I was going to do 10 mins, walk for 3 then another 10.

My leg felt a bit sore at the start but not too bad, I was feeling ok at 15 mins but thought I shouldn't do too much on the first run, so I walked for three mins then did another 8 mins of running, my leg didn't feel too bad and I was pleased that my fitness hadn't dropped off too much.

I finished with some good stretches but oh my goodness my leg hurt last night! It was still very sore this morning, I was wondering if I had made a big mistake. I hobbled taking the dog out this morning but it has got better during the day, not too bad now. All set for the next run tomorrow evening now.

2 Replies

Hi Tessietwo,

I've had achilles problems in both ankles for several months now and you do have to be really careful with them - they are harder to repair than other injuries. Things that I found help are gel heel-lifts to pop in your shoes (running shoes and everyday shoes) - I use two in each shoe, they take some of the strain off you tendon but because they raise your foot a little, I think they also lessen any rubbing effect from the heel tab on the shoe. Some people make cuts in the tab at the back of the shoe to relieve any pressure but I haven't been able to bring myself to do that. Avoid running up hills while they are sore, or I found that taking shorter steps was a helpful compromise when the hills couldn't be avoided. If the hill hurts, don't be ashamed to do the sensible thing and walk it, to save your ankles. Or if you have to run up a steep hill, try a sort of sideways step up the hill (I read about it in the chi-running book and it does take the strain off your achilles). Intense training sessions can aggravate them so be careful with speed/hill sessions too.

It is typical for the achilles tendon to feel worst in the morning when you get up but it will improve through the day, with use. Sometimes, I've struggled to hobble to the bathroom first thing in the morning but they do loosen up, you have to be gentle with them to start with. The same goes for running, it will feel better once it is warmed up, but you still need to be careful with it or it will get worse. I've used Deep Heat on mine before a run and ice afterwards. Mine are slowly improving but I make sure I back off if they seem worse than usual and cancelled a couple of runs when I really wasn't sure it was a good idea. I found cycling before a run helped - it seemed to warm them up without subjecting them to any stress. Heel-lift exercises are recommended (you should find details of you Google for achilles tendon injuries) but start off gently and build up - I tried to do too many first time round and just made matters worse.

If you can talk to a sports physio, then do so (should be about £30 for a half hour session). I've been skint for a few months so I've just relied on internet research and making my own judgments - but if I had a spare £30 I would be straight down to the physiotherapist.

I hope your achilles tendon improves soon but do be gentle and patient with it - good luck !

1 like

Thanks, really helpful advice. I was putting off visiting the physio, but you are right I should get there. It's good to know that it starts off worse in the day with others too. I'll take it easy and keep up with the stretching.


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