Achilles injured, thinking of taking up swimming.

Well, I started running again this spring after taking a year off. It felt so good that I upped my mileage pretty quickly to around 5, and hurt my Achilles tendon. I have a Dr. appt tomorrow so I don’t know the extent of the injury, but I know that I may very well be out of commission for weeks or months.

So since I want to stay in shape, I was thinking about taking up swimming. I know how to swim, having learned when I was a kid and in the military, but I don’t know how to do the ol’ lap swim that you see dedicated swimmers doing (especially the neato kick-off-the-wall-to-turn-around trick).

Has anyone else dealt with this sort of injury? What was your experience?

What about swimming? I know it’s a great workout (look at Michael Phelps), is it hard to learn? Can one teach themselves without looking like a fool, or is it a good idea to find a coach at least for a couple sessions to get the basics right?

Off to fetch the ice-pack!

Make sure you get wet all over. Especially the heel.

Groan. Groan. Groan.

Nice one :slight_smile:

Sorry. Could not resist. :smiley:

I have had some success with these.

When I was running I occasionally had Achilles problems. Most serious ended up being due to a new pair of shoes. I was a big fan of the Asics 12x series (121, 122, etc.) - the 125s were my favourite pair ever. When they wore out I bought a pair of 126s and soon after one Achilles was injured. I went to a sports medicine specialist and had some fairly expensive treatment, but it worked really well.

Went back to training (didn’t realize it was a shoe problem yet) and very soon after the other Achilles went. More expensive treatment and a new pair of shoes and everything was fine thereafter.

Best advice is to find a good sports medicine person. Ask other runners - it doesn’t take many before you find someone who has had major problems :wink:

I can’t advise on swimming. I did a lot when I was younger, but have never tried it as a primary means of fitness.

There’s no way for me to know how serious your condition it. I tore y Achilles once and the doctor said, “OK, if you keep running on it, I’ll just fix it with surgery when it completes the tear.” Of course, the doctor could have known how compulsive I was to run regardless. What I did was tape the ankle and Achilles each day like I would for a plantar Fasciatis injury and try to run as flat as possible. It took 18 months to fully go away. Just walking around a store was very painful. As runners know, you can start off a run and have the pain level go way down from the pain killers that kick in so a 10 mile run was possible for me. This is not the way for everybody to go. If you are happy to switch exercises, swimming would be great too, and a bit smarter.

Swimming is great even if you do still run. Don’t worry about not knowing those cool turns (they’re called flip turns). I don’t do them either. Nobody look at me funny. (They’re probably laughing at my poor stroke instead!)

Hope the achilles heals up well. It could be nothing more than crazy tight calves. They all connect together.

My reaction upon seeing the thread title: If Achilles had been swimming, he wouldn’t have gotten injured.

In other news: Odysseus Proposes Wooden Horse Construction Plan.

So sexy I’ll have to get two! In all seriousness, I will try these.

My shoes might be a little old. They have more time on them than miles at this point, but I might have pushed them a bit far. I have also decided that I might need to check out some special insoles 'cuz of my pronation.

Well, let’s say that while I love an hour or so out on the road, I am not obsessed enough to risk more serious/permanent injury!

The prognosis is good after the Dr. today, but I’ve been thinking about swimming so much I think I’ll just add it one way or the other. And I will just have to learn flip turns, if nothing else.

Sooooooo glad everyone had a good time…I realized belatedly just HOW misleading the title was :slight_smile:
Thanks everyone for the input!

I don’t really know if it’s hard to learn or not as I’ve been swimming my entire life and don’t remember learning. I don’t really think you can teach yourself to learn as an adult. I’ve seen a lot of people come to swimming as an adult and it doesn’t work without a coach.

You can try and see if there is a Masters Team near you. It is just a group of people who enjoy swimming and not a team as most people think. They have people who will help you and see lots of people who don’t have much swimming experience.

I developed achilles tendonitis (inflammation, no tear) from running a few years back. I was unable to bear weight on that foot for a week or so, then could not walk without a limp for at least a month. I did physical therapy 3x/week for a couple of months (I think), which consisted mostly of light weight training of the affected hoof.

I ended up going maybe four months without running. I did take up swimming, too - found out it’s a very tough workout if you’re not used to it. Anyway, I’m back to running now, though nearly not as much as I did (this due to being out of shape rather than any after-effects). I do stretch the tendons before running, though.

I know how painful that is; best of luck.