Having pinged both achilles (again) on Saturday and then more so on Monday – leading to soreness that made running only possible at a slow shuffle – I knew that the best thing to do was take a big step back, look at how I’ve trained recently, what’s missing and what needs to change.
- It was clear that since my adductor muscle went in January I hadn’t had a clear weeks running, at least 5 weeks where I was either unable to finish a session or was injured after a session
- Looking at when I was able to complete a full week, this was post base phase training, all of which had strength once a week. This also when I had been doing regular hamstring bridges as recommended by Dom
- I needed to rest and embrace the pain to help my body heal.
- I needed time off my feet to allow my achilles tendons to heal, whilst still spinning or moving legs so as not to lose too much fitness.
- This rang true of last years training cycles
The solution to this seemed rest, change, recover – a positive mindset in place to help everything move forwards quickly. The first thing I needed was regular achilles rehab exercises to help build these back up. 3 x 15 straight leg heel drops and 3 x 15 bent leg heel drops twice a day. Next was planning in the strength for the rest of my legs, so glutes, hamstrings, calves and core. All the areas that don’t seem to work as effectively at speed, placing too much strain on my achilles and resultant tendonopothy. I accepted running slightly less in place of weekly strength really does make a difference, as it did earlier in the year and I hope that it will now. Getting off the feet on onto my bike was great – I always enjoy cycling and long easy rides really help spin legs, work quads and get everything moving. Resting for a day or two extra, absorbing the achilles exercise and letting the tendon’s rebuild from their place of pain.
Alongside this I’ve started doing a practice called Makka Ho. I found this from an email circular and is a brief morning / evening stretching exercise for daily flexibility. 4 stretches, held from 40 seconds to 1 minute as put together by Japanese old man who wanted to recover form an injury. He swore by it and I found a variety of versions. I’m happy with the one I’ve settled on and have already noticed the difference from within a week. This definitely fits into the little and often cycle. I should add in the hamstring bridges to replace the achilles stretches once they are healed. The idea of finding something simple, effective and regular really appeals and does work.