25 June 2013

Running/Achilles Update

The two-week trip to Germany was fantastic. No running, but all the beer, sausage, and pretzels made up for it (almost).

Since June 1 I've been cleared to run, and I'm running pain free. The Achilles seems to be getting stronger each day and week.  The key to my recovery plan is low miles.  Right now I'm limited to less than 30 per week, with no run longer than 8 miles.  Starting this week I can bump that up a little (10% rule).

So no marathons or ultras in the near future. I'm okay with that as long as I eventually find my way back to 100% recovered. I have a great physical therapist who understands my needs as an endurance runner.  We're treating this recovery like an ultra: slow and steady with a lot of stomach aches along the way.

One thing worth noting is that although I'm on a mile-per-week limit, I'm not on a reduced-pace limit. So I'm not just out there slogging slowly for a few miles a week.

I have been cleared to bike my heart out.  I took advantage of that last weekend by dusting off my mountain bike for a 35-mile ride to scout the 50k course for the Moscow Mountain Madness 50k in September (which I may/may not be ready to run).  My legs certainly weren't ready for that, but it was great - mentally - to have an ultra-like outing.  In the coming months I'll throw in some bike rides here and there to complement my running. But I also want to take advantage of my low mileage weeks to rest my legs as much as possible. I want to come back fresh and strong.

With Annie on Zugspitze in the German Alps
(highest point in Germany)

From the East Peak Lookout on Moscow Mt.
(rare photo of me with a bike helmet on)

Keep running!



  1. Hi Scott,
    I've come upon your blog by chance a while back and loved it.
    I had a similar problem with my Achilles on my right leg a couple years back and found it incredibly frustrating. It took me 5 long months to recover, but I believe it made me more conscious of my health and made me a better runner in the end. Though not anything close to your level of fitness obviously.
    You seem to approach it wisely, much better than I did then. One day you'll go out there and you'll realize it's simply all gone. It's an amazing feeling :)
    Be aware of over-compensating with your other leg though.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Martin. Once I wrapped my mind around the fact that it could take a few/several months to get this thing healed it's been much easier to deal with it.

      And you make a good point about over-compensating. I think I was over-compensating before I got my new PT because I was so worried about it. But when he said all I need to worry about is keeping my miles low and not going slow, that has mentally freed me to relax and not try to over-compensate.

  2. I like your comparison of treating this recovery like an ultra. So glad the Achilles is feeling well.

    1. Hopefully I'll be ready to run some marathons by the time you're ready again. ;)