A life of mild pain?

My pain in the achilles just won’t go away.

Since beginning of summer I’ve had 3-5 different types of shoes which I alternate, but it shows no difference. I’ve also tried to use the same pair of shoes for a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t change anything neither.
It’s so strange, because I can’t see any swelling and no redness and most often I can’t make myself feel the pain. It comes and goes as it wishes. Every step can be a lottery.

But when I run I never feel it. Only when I walk, and most often when I’ve been still for a while (driving car, sitting, sleeping) And not every day. It’s all very strange. Only it gets a little, but just a little worse when I run more. But now when I’m at my most (70 km / week) I haven’t felt it for some days.

Yesterday’s values
The HR didn’t kick in in the beginning. Might need new battery.

26 Jan 2012 – easy run
1:00.16
11.31 km
5:20 min/km
1082 steps
155 hr
180 cadence

First race since the injury, tomorrow evening

The last weeks I haven’t been too active here on the blog, to express myself mildly.. Summer holiday with the family and I’ve been trying to catch up as much as possible with them from being apart for two months. But on Monday I’m back to work and that will also mean that I will be more active here on the blog πŸ™‚

My running the past weeks have been a little increase in distance and workload. I’ve either been running a long run, or a tempo run every week. All together is has been two long runs and two tempo runs of 3x2km. I didn’t want to work myself too hard, thus only 3x2km intervals. I’ve tried to keep them at around 4:00 pace, but it is hard even for only 3 intervals. So it’s obvious I’m not in as great shape as I was before the injury. The past three months has really made an impact on my fitness.

Well, tomorrow it’s about to get proved. I’m doing Midnattsloppet, Gothenburg. A big 10k event that starts 10 p.m. Last year I ran it on 39:56. Hopefully I will be able to beat that.. But I’m not very sure of it. I will do my best. Try to start at around 3:50 pace and get the feel for it. I don’t think I’ll be able to maintain that pace, but one never knows. Sometimes it’s all about the fight! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, it will be nice to get into those racing shoes again. After this I will try to increase my workload and mileage even more. It’s time to get back. My Achilles tendon seem to be up to it. It doesn’t get worse.

More tomorrow..

The orthopedics ordination

So.. After my visit to the orthopedic today who by the way was the same as last time, I will now continue my every 2nd day running but add a long run every week. I told him I did a 1 h 30 Β min run last Saturday, and he thought it to be good for me to go on with that. And even increase a little on the long run every week. Sadly my Achilles tendonitis – which he is sure it is – didn’t show the whole past week – have felt stable as ever. He did tell me that it might show up again, but that these injuries is nothing peculiar to someone running as much as I do. It’s only a matter of what injury it will be next time and when. And also that it’s nothing to worry about – and that for most injuries the worst thing I could do is quit running. Then it might heal faster, but the time to get back to the same workload will be much longer.

Why he did want me to increase is that I told him that it hasn’t gotten worse in these months and that I still have increased my running – I increased my pace from 5:25 min/km to just below 5:00. He thought that it hadn’t gotten worse was a very good sign.

I also told him about the race 27/8 and he thought that should be no problem and that I probably haven’t lost much of my fitness during these months of injury. I find it a little hard to believe, but that he believes makes me a little more positive about the whole thing.

After two more weeks with one long run he thought I would be able to also add one tempo or interval run every week.

Today I put on my lightweight Adidas Adios for the first time in a few weeks. I have been running in my Adidas adistar Ride with more cushion for a while just to tend to my achilles. What a difference! Today it felt like I had no weight at all on the feet – and like I flew forward. I usually run in lightweight shoes during summertime and never swap between runs, so this was my first wow-experience when it comes to lightweight shoes πŸ™‚

Thu 4 August – Easy run in AlingsΓ₯s

1:00 – 12.25 km – 4:54 min/km – 153 in avg hr

Sat 6 August – long run in AlingsΓ₯s

1:30 – 17.82 km – 5:03 min/km – 152 in avg hr

Mon 8 August – Easy run in AlingsΓ₯s

1:00 – 12.11 km – 4:57 min/km – 149 in avg hr

Back home in the a little more bearable climate

I’ve been home now since last saturday. I’ve run two times and it feels so much better considering fatigue and exhaustion. The climate in Sweden is a lot easier to run in during these months.

My injury though is no better. No worse either. I’ve booked a time for the same orthopedic next monday. Then we’ll see how we proceed next. I do feel stable enough to increase a little. So today I will run a 20 min run just to get the feel for it. And it seems most of my niggles comes (when they come at all) in the middle of the day – and all by chance. Sometimes it’s when I just stand still and don’t move at all.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with the family. Every day I’m not with them it feels like something is missing.

Tue 26 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 11.65 km – 5:14 min/km – 155 in avg hr

Thu 28 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 12.05 km – 4:59 min/km – 161 in avg hr

Fri 29 July – Easy run on threadmill at hotel in Shanghai – late evening

1:00 – 12.26 km – 4:54 min/km – 147 in avg hr

Sun 31 July – Easy run in AlingsΓ₯s

1:00 – 12.11 km – 4:57 min/km – 160 in avg hr

Sun 2 August – Easy run in AlingsΓ₯s

1:00:24 – 12.21 km – 4:57 min/km – 146 in avg hr

Still can’t get the flow right

During the Friday’s run I became really exhausted. It was fine for a while though, but after 30 minutes it became worse. The last 10 minutes were unbearable. I tried my best not to force myself to maintain a certain speed. I never looked at the watch, but afterwards it was obvious that I had went pretty hard. I never seem to become adapted to the climate either. On the other hand July is the hottest month around here, but the past two or three weeks have been surprisingly cool. The past week though has been awful.

Today I went out late in the afternoon, the last hour of sunshine. It was extremely hot. The asphalt radiated a lot of heat. The temperature was still only 32 degrees C and humidity 70%, but since the asphalt was that hot it was just too much. I breaked after the big lap, after 42 minutes of running. After the run I couldn’t stand still for at least five minutes just breathing heavily. That quite much describes how affected I had become.’

I think also the development of today’s run was because of too bad hydration and too little nutrition. Because of my past problems with the digestion I seldom eat closer than 4-6 hours due to a run. Sometimes I’m very hungry when I go out…

When it comes to the achilles I’m not sure about anything anylonger. Is it the achilles tendonitis or is it plantar fasciitis? The orthopedic never told. What I do know is that it comes and goes at will. It doesn’t matter how I treat it or how much I rest, it seems. Some days it comes when I just walk around in the apartment and I have done nothing to provoke it. Well, the orthopedic said it would probably take only 2 weeks of easier running, then I’d be back. Now I’m up at two and a half months – maybe it’s time to pay him another visit πŸ™‚

I know that these things can take time to heal, but I want an exact diagnosis to work against, or to know if I need to do anything differently or don’t do at all.

Fri 22 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 12.36 km – 4:51 min/km – 164 in avg hr

 

Sun 24 July – Easy run in fuzhou

42:26 – 8.25 km – 5:08 min/km – 168 in avg hr

Exhausting running

The evening day before yesterday Β I did some strength exercises (Quadraceps, calves, abdomen, back etc.). It probably wasn’t such a good idea to do them so close to a running. Especially not now when I’m increasing my mileage. It’s tough as it is. So yesterday morning my 1 hour run was VERY exhausting. It usually is – well, all running here in this climate is very tough – but this was worse than usual. My breathing isn’t very heavy, but still my pulse is high and my legs get easily tired. It’s hard to even keep the speed up at the recovery runs. Maybe it had much to do with the strenth workout this time. I hope so.. I will have to see tomorrow if my body has managed to recover properly.

Wed 20 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 12.00 km – 5:00 min/km – 160 in avg hr

First 1 hour run in a while

So, after a chat with Coach in the time-to-run forum I agreed to instead running every 2nd day and for a whole hour instead of every day. This to still let the body recover sufficiently. On the morning to Monday, when I came home from work, there were heavy rain, so I went to sleep instead and went out running around 2:30 p.m. instead. Unfortunately that wasn’t much better, since it was a quite hot day. But I did my hour. I felt a little sore in the thighs even before – maybe because of the two runs in a row the past two days. It was tough, both that and the heat, but I made it through and only followed my body – never looking at the watch. That’s why it was a little slower than before too. But it felt good. And, I just remembered, I used heel pads I bought on Taobao (Chinese ebay) for 12 yuan (approx 2 USD). Very good investment. I don’t know if they helped, but I didn’t have any niggles today either. They were comfortable to run with at least πŸ™‚

Mon 18 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 11.40 km – 5:16 min/km – 161 in avg hr

Everyday run – first attempt

This morning I tried a shorter run just to see how my achilles coped with everyday running. It felt good. I was a little stiff in it in the morning, though, but no niggles. The run went very good. Ran for 27 minutes. It’s evident that the most load now have moved to my quadraceps. When I stretch now, they are much tighter than the calfs.

I really hope it will hold this time
Sun 17 July – Easy run in fuzhou

27:07 – 5.49 km – 4:56 min/km – 150 in avg hr

Trying to duplicate

Earlier today I ran and tried to duplicate the run two days ago. Going down with the heel and still a high cadence. It didn’t feel any different today. And I haven’t had any problems these past days with the achilles. I’m really hoping this will help. It do seem logic.

Tomorrow I will do a short run, just to get me going on every day run. Haven’t had any trouble whatsoever during the whole week now and I feel ready.
I forgot to put on the footpod on today’s run though, so no distance or pace, but I ran exactly the same course as two days ago, meaning I was a little slower today.

Sat 16 July – Easy run in fuzhou

44:04 – 162 in avg hr

Can a midfoot strike cause Achilles tendonitis?

A few days ago I read an article at Science of sport about whether heel-, midfoot- or forefoot-strike were most efficient in running.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2008/04/running-technique-footstrike.html

It was very interesting and made me think of my present situation with injury and everything. Since 2009 I’ve believed that a midfoot strike is the best, no matter what speed. Now I guess some of you will go “I can’t believe this guy! Hey honey, have you heard?…” But since I haven’t had any injuries until recently I haven’t thought it to be bad at least.

But it makes sense – I have pressed myself Β hard in very short time. I did that during the spring when I ran races with short time in between and at the same time Β increased my speed. midfoot strike would make the calfs work hard making them tight. If I always run like that even on the easy runs maybe the calfs never get to rest enough. At least it could be an explanation to my injured achilles.

Anyway, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to adjust my strike a little. So on my last run I forced myself to land on the heel. Just slightly, hardly noticable. Though I did feel a great difference. For the first time I felt the cushion in my very flat Adidas Adizero CS πŸ™‚ And also, I didn’t get a single niggle. Afterwards my calfs weren’t one tenth as tight as they usually are. It was even hard to get anything out of stretching them. I also noticed that my cadence still didn’t change. I were at 90 strides / min. The thing is, I’ve read that at a stride of 90 you force yourself to land on the midfoot. Well, according to the article above I guess that is only applicable if you run fast enough. It would be very interesting if they would film one of the elites running slowly (like I do) to examine how they land.

Since my little experiment worked so fine I will try it again on Saturday πŸ˜‰

Tue 12 July – Easy run in fuzhou

41:04 – 8.12 km – 5:04 min/km – 150 in avg hr