Continuing To Cycle With An Achilles Injury
I have suffered an Achilles injury (hurts right where the tendon attaches to the heel) from ramping up my running speedwork very quickly.
Idiot, I know.
However, it does not hurt at all when I bike, and I've done some brutal sets without any pain. The morning after hurts a bit, but just in the morning when waking up.
I assume this is just due to some calf stiffness from my cycling endeavors the previous day.
Can I continue cycling if it does not hurt? Will I ruin my recovery process?
B.t.w I'm now doing all the recommended eccentric exercises with fingers crossed, the stretching itself has already helped. Thanks for your advice.
Intelligent Triathlon Training replies:
If you're sure that the pain in your achilles has been caused by the running only, then cycling should be fine. Achilles injuries are very common in runners, much less so in cyclists.
Obviously it's always worth getting things like this checked out by an experienced sports physio to ensure there isn't a biomechanical issue that might cross over into cycling.
If your achilles pain is purely due to the increase in running speed, ie no mechanical issues, then it is likely that tight calves played a role in the original injury - hence why you are also getting some pain the day after a bike session.
So yes, keep up that mobilisation (foam roller/rolling pin on those calves!) and stretching work as well as the eccentric exercises. Also bear in mind that it's not just tightness in the calves that can have an effect - ensure your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors aren't tight either.
Personally I did a lot of cycling when I had achilles problems, with no negative impact, except when I got tight hip flexors and glutes which then led to tight calves, and pulling on my achilles.
That's one of the beauties of triathlon, if you can't do one discipline you can often continue training well in the others, so look upon this as an opportunity to increase your bike and swim mileage whilst your achilles recovers.