Help with some queries about walking, jogging and recovery please…..

I’ve recently started walking briskley (as if you’re late for an appointment not power walking) for 30mins each day, part way through I start to ‘run’ for 30mtrs (100feet) or so and try to do that twice per walk.

Sadly for me, I’d let my fitness slip long before the ATR occured, my ATR leg (right) was my ’stronger’ leg, the left has just a slither of cartiledge remaining as well as a cruciate reconstruction 12years ago, I think since that surgery I’ve always favoured leaning on my right leg but (over time) I started to exercise less regularly and badminton once a week was my only real exercise (no excuses because we can all choose to exercise if we so wish and I chose other things and work).

My body is adjusting to this new exercise regime and the weight has started to come down over the past 2 weeks (which pleases me a lot but there’s a good 25kg/56lbs to go) but this is just the beginning of making my lifestyle a more active one.

However, what happens is that my ATR foot has little (if any) spring in it and the foot can really slams on the floor unless I absolutley focus on the movement (even then it’s not great)….I think that it’s improving slowly, but I never thought getting back to a jog would be so challenging, I certainly can’t sustain a jog for any distance at all.

Also - I’ve started getting some discomfort in the left ‘good’ leg - specifically at the junction between calf and ATR, or equal position to where the right ATR snapped before as well as general muscle ache (feels like lactic acid build up) in the non atr calf during and after each walk….. so I’d be lying if I said I am not worried, because it concerns me a lot.

I would love to hear of how other people re-adjusted to running/brisk walking - what (if any) discomfort do you discover and how did u manage to get back to running?

Tips/tricks/Pitfalls, good/bad experiences I’d love to read about them all so please post or link me to your recovery blogs :)

10 Comments so far

  1. kkirk on November 4th, 2012

    I wish I could be more of help, but I just started my recovery process, but I just as curious as you are to get back to running, hiking, golf, and maybe even basketball again (the last one scares me).

    Im only 3 weeks out from surgery, which happened playing basketball, but there was a large time lapse between my injury and surgery (see my blog), and I’m worried how that will affect my recovery. Anyway, happy healing

  2. kkirk on November 4th, 2012

    Here is a link to my recovery blog

    http://achillesblog.com/kkirk/

  3. ryanb on November 5th, 2012

    My advice would be to separate your Achilles recovery from getting in shape. Don’t let your compromised Achilles keep you from working out… and (more importantly now) don’t let your efforts to get back in shape compromise your Achilles recovery.

    So, when working out, select exercises that are easy on the Achilles. Swim. Ride a bike. Elliptical. At this point, you should be able to find lots of things to do that stress your cardio system, without causing undue pain/stress/problems with your Achilles.

    Also, be sure to spend time doing dedicated Achilles rehab. Concentrate on improving your walking form. At 22 weeks, you should be (I think) rebuilding your calf muscle in the gym. Lots of dorsi-flexion stretches.

    Maybe alternate days? Achilles one day, (strength, flexibility, stride); hard cardio workout the next?

    At some point, the two paths will (hopefully) converge- and you’ll find yourself ready to run. But, everything you’ve said tells me you’re not there yet. Trying to force it to happen too soon could easily lead to a setback.

  4. starshep on November 6th, 2012

    Andrew:
    At 37 weeks, I find that I am still making daily progress towards eliminating the limp while walking fast. When you start concentrating on the details of a walk, it is amazing how complex it is. As I am walking, I try to notice the subtleties of the way I move with by non ruptured leg and try to duplicate them with my ruptured leg. I’ve been jogging on the treadmill but have not had a reason to try it outside of the treadmill yet. Truth is, I’m not in a big hurry to do so.

  5. Hala on November 6th, 2012

    Hi Andrew, I’ve been having similar thoughts and spoke to my physio about walking. Like you, I rely on fast walking to keep the weight down, especially as I am working in London at the moment. What really helps me is a very good pair of running shoes, which are really well cushioned and help the spring. My physio said the same as Ryan though - bike, cross training etc are all much better than walking at this stage, so I try and do this at the weekends when I can get to the gym. I’m keeping with the walking in the week though, I enjoy it too much and the shoes really help. Good luck!

  6. arielvit on November 8th, 2012

    I may not be in the best condition yet after 18 weeks but this is how I started running. I would walk 1 hour every night, trying to concentrate on the proper gait not on the speed. Weeks later, I would jog for 30 steps after walking for at least 15 minutes, then jog 30 steps again after another 5 mminutes of walking. Then it became 50 steps after a few weeks. From there it became a 1 minute run- 1 minute walk exercise. and so on. I relied a lot on how my leg felt and of course the go signal from my doctor before I moved to the next level.

  7. arielvit on November 8th, 2012

    Also, stretch the good leg as much as you would the ATR leg. Only when I experienced pain at the sole of my good foot did I realize I wasn’t giving enough care for it.

  8. pauls on November 8th, 2012

    Just about to post about my progress. Keep it going it will come

  9. andrew1971 on November 11th, 2012

    Thank all for sharing.

    The gym for cross trainer and cycle planned for Monday, probably going to break in gentle for now.

    I took a break from the brisk walking for 5 days, both calf muscles feel fine again now so ready to give it another go, but as you guys have said, mixing the exercises (might try alternate days) up using other apparatus and am going to try some new running shoes.

  10. Ketully on November 27th, 2012

    That’s a slick answer to a challenging question

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