Running is fantastic for the body. It helps you feel good and the evidence has shown that it is great for your joints (yep…even your knees!), bones, heart and lungs.

Unfortunately, Achilles pain in runners is quite common.

At Torquay Sports Medicine Centre we love seeing our clients getting active, hitting PBs and STAYING active. Here are our 5 top tips for runners to prevent achilles tendon pain/injuries and keep you running!!!

  1. Get the right shoes

The right shoes can be make or break for a runner and an injury waiting to happen. Do away with the tired, old shoes that have worn thin. If your shoes are unevenly worn they can make your running inefficient and put more strain on your tendons. This can lead to

Confused with the huge selection of shoes and don’t know which shoe is right for you? Stress less – your podiatrist is the place to start – they will look at how your foot moves when you are running and point you in the right direction of which shoes are best for you.  

2. Start low and gradually build

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your fitness. If you’re returning to running, give your body time to respond to the new demands. This may mean starting with only one or two smaller runs a week, allowing rest days between runs and gradually build as your body tolerates it.

The ‘couch to 5k’ app is a great free tool for novice runners to build up their running endurance.

3. Try grass running

For those returning to running or increasing your distance, finding a relatively rabbit hole free grassy surface (footy ovals work well) can be a really nice way to ease back into it. The ground reaction force taken through your feet is greatly reduced on grass, meaning reduced stress on your joints and tendons.

4. Strengthen the tendon

If you are serious about avoiding Achilles tendon pain, strengthening your calf muscles and the Achilles tendon are crucial! This will help to increase your body’s running capacity and ability to run the kilometers you’re asking of it. Evidence for leg weights training of 2-3 times per week has also proven to enhance running efficiency …that means faster times, less injuries, and feeling stronger for longer in your runs….winning!! Check out our blog on strength exercises for runners

5 Warm up… properly! (Active warm up)

running warm up

When you start your run, you want your muscles to be performing at their efficiently and your joints to move smoothly. A big warm up is ideal, but let’s face it not all of us have the time. Try this simple 5-minutes warm-up before each run:

Walk briskly for 2 minutes

15 body weight squats

15 calf raises holding on
**take 1 second to get to the top, hold for 2 seconds, then slowly lower over 2 seconds

10 lunges each side

High knee skipping ( 2 x 20m)

Most importantly, enjoy your running!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We are here to help!

Darcy Meesen

Physiotherapist

darcy@torquaysmc.com.au