Achilles Tendonitis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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The Achilles tendon — a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your lower leg (gastrocnemius and soleus) to the back of your heel (calcaneus).This large tendon helps you point your foot downward, elevate on your toes and push off your foot as you ambulate. Every time you move your foot, chances are you are utilizing your Achilles tendon. Under too much stress, the tendon can become overworked. This generally leads to inflammation of the tendon or tendonitis. If not addressed, this inflammation can produce scar tissue thus decreasing the range of motion in the tendon. This could potentially lead to more problems. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture). A rupture can be partial or complete. Usually the rupture occurs just above your heel bone, but it can happen anywhere along the tendon. Another common problem that can occur at the Achilles tendon includes Bursitis. The bursa is a fluid filled sac that secretes lubricant to enables movement at the joints to be smooth and frictionless. Think of it as WD–40 for the body. Inflammation can occur in the bursa between your heel bone and your Achilles tendon. This type of bursitis is called Retrocalcaneal Bursitis. Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of your Achilles tendon. Symptoms for this may include:

* Pain along the back of the tendon, frequently closest to the heel
* Decreased R.O.M. (Range of Motion) at the ankle
* Heat or redness over the painful area
* Bump or build up of scar tissue that can be palpated at the tendon
* Snapping noise from scar tissue when movement at the ankle occurs.

Common Causes of Achilles Tendinitis are:

* Tight, weak or fatigued gastroc muscles
* Too much, too soon with hill runs o

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r speed workouts
* Worn out or inflexible running shoes
* Individuals who overpronate
* Flat feet.

In addition, injuries can often result from taking part in an activity involving quick directional changes for which you’re not conditioned or for which you haven’t stretched properly. Playing tennis, racquetball or basketball for the middle–aged weekend warrior is very common for this particular injury. Treatments include:

* Apply cold therapy 15 minutes several times a day until inflammation subsides with compression and rest.
* Stop running (if you are a runner)
* Continue use of cold after exercise to prevent re–occurring injury
* Consider short term usage of aspirin or ibuprofen for inflammation and pain only if approved by M.D.
* Massage the knotted area several times a day
* Stretch the gastroc /soleus area
*Work your way back slowly.

Do not begin running until strength and flexibility have returned to the area. This is the hardest part for the avid runner and most athletes to fathom. The good news is that the cardiovascular or aerobic component of exercise can still be addressed in a more protected temporary environment. Consider swimming or aquatic running/exercise in deep water progressing to shallow water as well as doing calf stretches and raises in the pool. Balance training and directional hops can be added with increased weight bearing as tolerated. Consult your local physical therapist for a complete exercise program. Last but not least, a gait analysis is a vital piece of the rehabilitation puzzle with foot injuries. Along with the initial pain treatment listed above, the use of custom orthotics and/or motion controlling shoes should be evaluated. This can prevent your injury from returning to haunt you in the future.

Article by Shawn J Hickling B.S. P.T.A, ActiveWrap.com SoCalRunning.com Member

Trail Running and Yoga for Runners – Starts This Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 PM


Scenes From Last Year's Thursday Nights

It’s back one of the best Summer group workouts in the area – Thursdays Trail Running at 6:30 PM and Yoga for Runners at 7:15 PM.

We meet at the Picnic Area just South of the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, Click here for directions

5 years ago I started the now famous PTC Brick and now I am doing something like it again. Join us on Thursdays for this great combination workout that will benefit all athletes. The trail run is a 4 mile loop on the Arroyo trail down to South Pasadena, over the bridge, back up the other side to the archery range, then back to the grassy area. We’ll finish with my special Yoga for Runners class.

This workout is appropriate for all levels of athletes, from beginners to advanced. The trail run is 4 miles or 40 minutes whichever comes first meaning, slower runners head back after running 20 minutes out, no matter where they are on the course. This trail is downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back. You’ll get a good run in and can focus on your second half strength since it is uphill. Yoga for Runners is a non-traditional yoga class that combines strength and flexibility. We focus on core strength along with flexibility. This part of the training is 45 minutes and we are usually done by 8 PM.

My Thursday Workout Purpose: I am a believer in understanding the purpose of each workout. In fact, I am surprised how few people talk about workout intensity because every workout is just about getting it done. You need to vary the intensity of your weekly training to make your greatest gains. With that said, I created this workout as a high intensity workout. Many of your high intensity workouts will be shorter. I use the 4 mile loop as an above race pace tempo run or sometimes as an all-out 30 minute effort. I’ll be wearing my Heart Rate Monitor too. We follow this with a Yoga for Runners class emphasizing strength building.

I ask all the athletes I work with to really learn to listen to their bodies. This is a primary tenant of yoga.

When you increase intensity, you increase the chance for injury. Pay close attention, find your edge and know when you need to back-off.

If you already have a bunch of high-intensity workouts take it easy with us on Thursdays. Every workout is your own, do what's right for you.

If you are new to yoga, Yoga for Runners was created with beginners in mind. I will discuss form in detail and how it can improve your running, biking and swimming. You go according to your ability level.

What do you need to bring? Running clothes, sweats (in case it cools down) and a yoga mat or a towel. We do the yoga on grass so I just use a towel for our seated poses. I like to be barefoot on the grass.

I recommend you do the entire workout yet many just show up for the yoga, while some just join us for the run.

Cost: As many of you know I’ve been coaching free workouts for years. This year I am asking that you consider making a donation after the training. I’ll bring a box that you can give what you like. I think somewhere between $3 – $10 is fair and it is up to you. I will take 25% of whatever I make each week and donate it to a local charity.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Yoga Teacher

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Palos Verdes Half Marathon 2010, Easier Than You Think and the Price is Right

The Palos Verdes marathon and half marathon have a reputation as tough races. It seems like Southern Californians are afraid of a few hills. Well, I went out to do my usual interviews but spent a little more time showing you the course. Miles 4 – 6 are mostly down hill, while miles 7 – 9 are what you just ran down, not that bad. Western Ave is a steep half mile uphill but at mile 2, and it means you get to run down it at mile 11. The last 1.5 miles are flat, fast and beautiful. And, you can’t beat the views.

This is an awesome race and they keep the entry fee affordable. A new push on SoCalRunning.com will be supporting races that keep the entry fee affordable. The Palos Verdes races top this list.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – ChiRunning® Instructor

Sole Runners Kick-Off and Running Gear Discount Party at Road Runner Sports in Torrance Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 PM

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Learn about the Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs. Meet the Coaches, Mentors and fellow Sole Runners. You can come to find our more about the program, register, or if you have already registered pick-up your ChiRunning® book and Sole Runners shirt.

You can also take advantage of 15% saving off regular priced items in the store and if you are a Road Runner Sports VIP Member take and off an additional 10%. Time to get those shoes, fuel belt and anything extra you need.

Click here for directions to Road Runner Sports Torrance.

We are doing it in style too, wine and cheese. Don’t let our high style scare you we specialize in working with beginning runners. See you Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 PM.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs

Palos Verdes Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k this Saturday – Support Races That Keep Fees Lows!



Support races that keep registration low! Support the Palos Verdes Races this Saturday!

A beautiful, rolling course along the some hidden So Cal coastline. What could be better? Join me and some of the Sole runners this Saturday at this great race and get in my new movie.

You can register Friday, May 14, 2010 at packet pick-up (details below):
1. New address for packet pickups on May 14, 2010
Dick’s Sporting Goods
770 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
El Segundo, CA 90245
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

2. Additional Parking and FREE shuttle buses to and from
Pt. Fermin Park at Cabrillo Marina, 224 Whalers Walk, San Pedro. Shuttle Bus Service – 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
Click Here to see a Map.

Start Times:
7:00 am Full Marathon
7:30 am Half Marathon
8:00 am 5K Run and Community Fun Walk.

Tip: Give yourself 30 mins for parking and the bus ride to the starting line.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Head Coach Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Program

Run with Dean Karnazes Tonight

Dean-Karnazes
Dean Speaking at the LA Marathon Expo

I have the inside word of a very cool running event. Run with Dean Karnazes TONIGHT, Wednesday, May 12. All the details are below and tell your running friends!

Get to Dick’s Sporting Goods at 6 PM. They are going to bus you to beach where you will do a 3 mile run with Dean back to Dick's Sporting goods. Followed by the book signing.

I can't get out of the spinning and yoga classes I teach tonight so please represent me.

Run with Dean Kanrazes TONIGHT

Dick’s Sporting Goods National Runners' Month Special Event!

Wednesday, May 12
6:00 – 8:00pm
Dick’s Sporting Goods El Segundo: 770 S. Sepulveda Blvd El Segundo, CA 90245

Why attend:
- Dean Karnazes appearance and book signing (6:30-7:30pm)
- Running specialists on hand to assist with individual running gear advice and recommendations
- Store discounts for everyone who attends
- Ability to join Team Fox and sign up to run to find a cure for Parkinson's
- Local race registration (Palos Verde + Brentwood)
- Vendor giveaways

Train Focused,

Coach Steve Mackel – Founder SoCalRunning.com

FREE 1 Hour ChiRunning® Workshop at Lululemon in Glendale, TONIGHT! Tuesday, May 11 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Tuesday! ChiRunning® Basics Workshop. We will be learning the basics of ChiRunning® and practicing these new skills. ChiRunning® reduces potential injuries and teaches proper running bio-mechanics.

Lululemon Glendale is located in the Americana at Brand in Glendale get directions

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Lululemon Ambassador

Running Shoe Review – K Swiss K-Ona Running Shoe Description with Mark from K Swiss

I want you to see the K-Ona shoes specs and listen to Mark from K Swiss give you a complete shoe description. I’ve got around 200 miles on them now and I will post a shoes later this week.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – MarathonTraining.TV Coach