Barefoot Running: sorting the problems Part 1. Achilles Tendinosis

14 Jun

Well, I’m finally back on the running trail,  and am barefoot running around Stratford and Bethnal Green

Three elements got me back on my feet.

1) effective stretch and strengthening regime for my achilles tendon.

2) An understanding of the POSE running technique

3) Going barefoot.

This article is how to sort your Tendinosis in 8 weeks

I began  using ice and , stretching,

Here are my two favourite stretches

the world famous tree pushing stretch
the not so world famous.. hold the top of your foot keep your knee straight and feel your calf being ripped off the bone, stretch

but I  also employed  “eccentric loading exercises” ( the lowering part of  a calf raise, for you body building type)

  • Get the balls of your foot on a block or a step
  • and use  both feet  (handsupport) to get you above the block.
  • then lower down with the weight on the injured side.
  • I found being on a staircase with a handrail helped me control the load.

Here is a handy “You Tube” clip


After that, it was  3 sets of 10 reps . How awful the pain is suggests the amount of load you can work with in the early stages.

This was inspired by some ideas from crossfitter Philip Holbrook ( and his physio) and this report….

Eccentric calf muscle training for the treatment of chronic achilles tendinosis

by Toros Tsermakian, Ioannis Mitsakis, Christos Lyrtzis, Ioannis Tsartsapakis,  Menelaos Mitsakis, Christos Papadopoulos,  and Georgios Nousios,  who sort of observed/discovered the following

  • Overuse injuries involving the Achilles tendon are common, especially among runners.
  • The majority of Achilles tendon overuse injuries occur in men,
  • higher rate in middle-aged athletes than do most other overuse injuries.

So,  they studied the effect of eccentric calf muscle training in 18 athletes with chronic Achilles Tendinosis with a long duration of symptoms despite conventional nonsurgical treatment. Calf strength and the amount of pain during running was  measured before and after the study.

At the start of the trail,  all patients had Achilles tendon pain so sever that they could  not run. There was also   significantly lower  calf muscle strength on the injured side.

At the end of the study. Almost everyone was cured. It bloody well worked for me.

for a fuller report visit here

  • In the early stages i used ice after the exercise to help with the swelling.

coming soon,the magic of Barefoot and POSE

6 thoughts on “Barefoot Running: sorting the problems Part 1. Achilles Tendinosis

  1. Andrew – I am also plagued by achilles pain (in one leg only – thank goodness) and found that eccentric and concentric exercises were the only thing that worked. Question – will you still do the stretches and the concentric exercises when the pain has gone? I do but just wondering your thoughts.

  2. The temptation is not to, but i try and keep it up. I don’t think this would have stopped me getting it, but it seems to control the condition.

    View yourself as an achilles alcoholic… always vulnerable, always take one step at a time.

    I tend to run some ice ( or commercial freeze spray as a poor 2nd choice) over my achilles when ever i finish running. But Im still in my building up phase, gone from 1k, to 4k pain free ( when 200m was enough to make me cry.. I mean grown man sobbing…pain).

    nowhere near your 145 mile races but

  3. Andrew – thought you might find the following interesting…

    Clinical Sports Medicine by Peter Brukner and Karim Khan. Khan did some pioneering work with eccentric Tendoachilles loading – but he suggests to continue the loading with weight on your back.
    Read anything by Professor Nicola Maffulli (male!) – he’s an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in tendinopathies.
    And Dr Peter Malliaras – Consultant Physiotherapist – has also done much research in the treatment of achilles and patella tendinopathies.

    Happy reading!
    One point – stretch the triceps surae with a bent knee and a straight one. Gastrocs covers 2 joints, whilst soleus only crosses one. Both muscles blend into the musculotendinous junction with the tendoachilles :)) So do your eccentric loading programme with bent knees as well as straight too.

    From Physio Geek.
    Obviously you’re cured by now, since the article was written in June last year!!

  4. the truth was, it didnt cure it. made it better, but relapsed quickly. today we are playing with voodoo bands!

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