My usual form of physical exercise is running – I generally run three times a week up to a distance of 25 miles in total, usually broken into two 7 milers and a long 10-12 miler at the weekend. So you can imagine that having to stop because of a recurrent achilles injury caused quite a radical change in my routine. Attempts to get back to running after periods of rest resulted in failure as the tendonitis problem refused to go away.
What to do? Well – something else! I wanted to keep a level of fitness and to keep the tendon flexible and working, albeit more mildly than running. So I have been out walking around South Cambs, building up the time spent on feet and distance travelled. This seems to have helped recovery since my achilles is no longer aching after activity, although it can be a bit stiff. I have tried a couple of short runs of 30 minutes and a little longer, mainly off road, without any major mishaps. Also the amount of walking I have done has kept my leg muscles in good working order, making the return to running much easier than I anticipated. The next thing to do is to resist the temptation to run further and faster. I will start to run more often albeit at a lower pace and very gradually increase the distance depending on how the achilles responds. With this in mind I will plan routes which allow for an early ‘bale out’ if things go wrong.