Tapering with a niggle, advice begged for.

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Mar 2014
9:14am, 24 Mar 2014
4,422 posts
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Hi guys,

Some of you probably know, but I developed an Achilles injury three weeks ago during London training. It's basically meant missing out on the two longest runs so I have completed the following:

3 x 13m
2 x 14m
1 x 15m
1 x 18m
1 x 19m

I did my 19 mile on 23rd Feb. Since then I have managed two 13 milers (one yesterday), one 8 miler and a couple of 5ks. That's it.

In theory yesterday was the last long run. Was due to be 19/20m but I managed 13 before needing to rest the Achilles. I am limping today but it's nowhere near as bad as it was after the 13 miler on 2nd March (basically two weeks no running after that).

Given the above, how would you taper? Would you shut it down completely? Leave it until next Sunday, do another 13 miler (is on the plan)? Try and go for some 5 miles say twice a week for the next three weeks to keep things ticking over but no damage the Achilles further?

Lots of possible routes to take on this, just wondering if people had had a similar experience.
Mar 2014
9:28am, 24 Mar 2014
10,003 posts
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My gut feeling is in effect you've done your training now. Getting to the start-line ( and finish!) is where your focus needs to lie. 3 x 5 miles per week should keep you ticking over
Mar 2014
9:44am, 24 Mar 2014
17,353 posts
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What DT said. Better to recover than risk it.

You'll get round on what you have done. Worsening the injury means you wont.
Mar 2014
9:53am, 24 Mar 2014
4,377 posts
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I don't think there is much to be gained this close in with trying to do too much on an injury, take it easy as stated above and get to the start line, give yourself the best opportunity of finishing and enjoying the race.
Mar 2014
9:56am, 24 Mar 2014
3,015 posts
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Pompey Paul
Having had similar achilles issues last year I would ditch any long runs. You have enough base miles to get you round. In fact I would consider ditching all runs until the achilles feels 100% OK. Can you swim/cycle/cross train without loading the achilles?

:-)G has an exercise he recommends for the achilles as follows:

"I fixed my achilles by doing a single exercise (having tried foam roller and calf stretching etc for a couple months, to no avail). I was seeing GP about something else - tennis elbow, of all things! and cos he's a runner, he asked about training and achilles came up and he got me a referral for NHS physio. It was 12 weeks before I got the appointment, but still, a nice thought!). Anyway, he said google, "Escentric contraction exercise for achilles".

It's basically a reverse of calf raises. Or similar to heel drop (stretches) but with load. So, stand on edge of a step, on toes (don't raise yourself onto your toes. Start there. If necessary, use a bar to lift yourself up. This is not a calf exercise). Lower your heels down to beyond the step, to full extension, but sloooowwwlllyyy (10-15 seconds). You don't need to hold it at the bottom. This isn't the calf stretch either (though you will feel your calf lengthening).

Repeat as much as you can e.g. 15 or 20 repeats on each leg. Maybe 2 sets. Build up the number of reps, the number of sets and if it's still too easy, do it with weight (go carefully) or other resistance (I was able to use a ballet bar at gym, to lift myself up to start position and add resistance on the way down). I could feel the fatigue after 10 or 15 repeats. 2 sets and I was tired. I increased resistance and numbers over the weeks.

I did this c. 3-4 times per week (whenever in gym) and it took as little as 4-6 weeks to feel better (started December, having had probs since June, and now I don't feel it at all and I'm up to full mileage in training and races). I think (touch wood) it is now fully sorted. I do the exercise occasionally (once a week or maybe once a fortnight) as a preventative."

Best of luck and hope you have a blast at VLM.
Mar 2014
1:48pm, 24 Mar 2014
4,426 posts
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Ok thanks guys. Leaning towards nothing until the weekend, then a five mile run ever three days or something like that until race day. I will also give that exercise a go PP in a few days (want to let this thing calm down a bit first).
Mar 2014
1:59pm, 24 Mar 2014
10,009 posts
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Good luck. Icing a niggly Achilles can be a massive help after a run

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About This Thread

Maintained by HermanBloom
Hi guys,

Some of you probably know, but I developed an Achilles injury three weeks ago during Lon...

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