Couch to 5K

Achilles Tendon - How long to leave it

I pulled my Achilles Tendon the other week, probably through over stretching after a long run. My next run 3 days later caused it to complain again. So I stopped running, well finished my run, then stopped. Probably not the wisest thing to do.

I have not run for 10 days now (aagh, that is hard). I have been icing it, and taking it easy, and it feels a whole lot better. It is stiff in the morning, but generally loosens up over the day. When I first did it, it was tender to the touch, and I was careful how I walked downstairs (ever careful not to do any lasting damage). Now I don't think about it, and it is not tender to the touch. It just hurts a tiny amount later in the day, and is stiff in the morning as I said.

So, any ideas when I could start to run on it again?

9 Replies

Sorry Nerdio I can't advise but this might help you make the right decision.


That's an interesting article. Thanks. It suggests lots of icing, and rest, so I may resume the icing.

It also suggests not wearing flip flops and high heels. That's my 'stilly's' back in the cupboard for a couple of weeks :-(


Have you tried using a foam roller on it? Gently I mean, cos it can hurt like hell if you're muscles are sensitive. I'd wait for two weeks to go by before running on it. I find the great thing about the human body is how it repairs itself if you rest up enough. Don't rush it.


Sounds like good advice, I have a busy week ahead, so a few more days off running won't be too hard to do, except I just want to go out.

I might have a go at rolling the calves again. When I did it my calves were very tight, and rolling did hurt.

(Planning a 5 mile / 5 pub evening walk with 'The Boys' on Weds. that may be a good tester to see how it goes - when I say 'Boys' I am 8 years younger than the average age! We collectively call ourselves OTHERS -Over The Hill Extreme Rambling Society!)


Yikes, I have no idea, but Achilles tendons are tricky and always best to get checked out before running again. I hope its all better soon......


Maybe a telephone call to my physio might be an idea. So annoying this the HM training was progressing so well. Never mind, 4 months to go, so plenty of time to rest this up. :-)


Kinesio tape is a new one on me. Thanks for the link.

Now that I have seen the website I think I have seen athletes with this on.


Hi Nerdio. I tweaked my left achilles tendon on 6th September and am slowly getting back to running. On the advice of a physio mate, who is not formally treating me, I waited three weeks, until the discomfort was pretty much settled, before I ran again. In the interim I cycled and also did lots of ankle rotating exercises which keep the tendon flexible and mobile. He did suggest a treatment of progressive cooling/ heating to take place over several days, the details of which I have forgotten, since I did not do it, but you may be able to find online. The first runs were only 3.5k with walking intervals and at a very gentle pace. I have done a few non stop 5ks since and today upped it to nearly 8k running at a gentle pace (about 1min/k slower than usual). Ice and use ibuprofen if in pain but just be patient and take it very gently. Even though I was pain free this morning and tempted to do 10k running along the beautiful South West coat path, I forced myself to be sensible and build the distance back slowly. I did Parkrun last week and was delighted to find that I was under 90 seconds off my PB. I still ache a bit after a run and of course first thing in the morning and think that I may have to live with achey ankles.

He did say that every injury is unique and that generalised info about treatment should be taken with caution. I actually found totally contradictory advice on the net, eg. stretch/ don't stretch under any circumstances; go barefoot/ wear orthotics and don't go bare foot. The advice on seemed to coincide with my mate's advice and has given me some confidence in it. I was also told by a former medic that your tendons, like your hair, get more brittle with age and that there is little that can be done about that in terms of exercise or diet. So we have to be careful.

Good luck with your recovery and get back to running soon.......but not too soon.


Thanks for that. It really helps to hear from someone who has just been through it. I am thinking from what people have said here to give it another week. A bit more ice, and some exercises to build it up again.

Then gentle runs to start with....


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