Advice on when to run with dodgy Achilles heel

Hello all you lovely helpful people, just wondering if you can help. I first tried doing the C25k a couple of years ago but only got a few runs in when I damaged my Achilles' tendon(s) badly so it was painful to walk anywhere and had to have physio. Having sworn off running as a result I finally gave in and started again, got as far as week 4, was quite enjoying it, esp with the encouragement on here, and had even done a park run. But now my Achilles are really hurting again and I don't know what to do! I'm keen to keep running but don't want to cripple myself, as being able to walk is more important to me! Any advice? Should I go back a few weeks and build up again? Just rest?

Apologies for long post but any advice gratefully received!!

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11 Replies

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  • I suggest going back to your physio for a professional opinion and targetted treatment.

  • Thanks, good advice (although I know my physio will tell me to stop running and swim or cycle instead!)

  • Slightly tongue in cheek, but if you know that to be the advice, then maybe save your thirty quid and go for a swim? At least until the immediate pain has gone away and you can walk normally.

    Once the pain is gone, the standard recommendation is eccentric heel drops, building up to 180 a day for 12 weeks. Sometimes calf raises are needed as well. This is where internet advice can be dangerous - you really do need someone who can understand what the root cause is to tailor the exercises for you.

  • I agree with Tomas above. Also it is very important to stick with the programme. It is set up to build stamina and strength gradually to guard against over-use injuries. Perhaps therefore dont attempt a further Parkrun (5k) until you graduate and have actually built some running legs.

  • Thanks - I did wonder if I had just gone too far too soon! I did do the park run as 1 min walk/1 min run so hoped that would be ok but maybe best wait a bit longer.

  • First off, rest until the pain has gone.

    Can you advise what shoes you are currently wearing (make/model)? Often the degree of the 'drop' between the heel and the toe of a shoe can be unsuitable for your running style which causes undue strain on the Achilles area.

  • Hi, yes should have added that when I went back to running this time I went and got a gait analysis done as I though pronation might be part of the problem. I've got some Brooks Ravenna 7 which I do find very comfortable.

  • Hmmm, I have those shoes too, I really like them but I've had Plantar Fasciitis after wearing them a few times... very hard to blame the shoes, but maybe go back to the shop you got them from?

    Other than that, rest until the pain has gone, heel drops and calf raises, warm up properly and stretch well afterwards. I found picking my heels up a little when running helped, and not over doing it... best of luck.

  • Thanks - interesting to hear your experience with the shoes although disappointing as I really like them!

    Sounds like I'll need to employ some patience and discipline - not my strongest qualities!! 😉

  • Best rest up...I tore my Achilles tendon and it was a very, very long time before I was able to walk let alone run, ( if I had been running then).

    I did have loads of exercises, after the last of the plasters came off... and they helped a great deal. maybe your GP could be useful there?

  • Ouch! That sounds very painful - thankfully mine haven't reached that stage, but I want to keep it that way! I'm encouraged that you've come out the other side though! Thanks for the good advice, sounds like rest, exercises and good advice are the way to go.

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