Road to Recovery: Striking the Right Balance

My rehab journeys always teach me something.

On Monday, after a rather too-intensive 45-minute gym session, I realised I had failed to strike the right balance between pushing myself and pacing myself.

Here was my Monday gym program:

Cardio

  • Cross trainer (10 mins)
  • Rower (2km 100m “sprint”; 100m steady intervals, approx. 12mins)
  • Steps (500 steps – my heart rate soared!)

Strength

  • Single Leg (SL) leg press 45k 3×10 (Recovering Right leg); 3×5 (Left leg)
  • Lunges 3×10
  • Body weight (BW) Double Leg (DL) calf raises 3×15

The problem with being in a gym sometimes is that once I’m on a machine I don’t want to ‘look lazy’ by coming off within 2 minutes. That’s what I should have done once I realised my Achilles really didn’t like the stretch-shortening cycle I was doing on the cross-trainer. Even though I was on level one and going slowly, my tendon was not enjoying the workload. But I kept on going. Let me tell you something, listen to your body! There is a time to keep going and there is a time to quit and live to fight another day! Rather than jumping hobbling straight off, I reduced the time from my intended 15minutes to 12 to 10 minutes.

I woke up the next day with a blown-up swollen Achilles and having learned my lesson (for now).

At least I didn’t ‘look lazy’ eh?

‘Pride comes before a fall.’ Proverbs 16:18 of Wise King Solomon

Clearly, I was a bit of a keen-bean but I am perfectly fine now and continuing the rehab program that will get me back to full recovery as long as I keep it slow and steady! If you are recovering from an Achilles tendon rupture and surgery or just have any issues with your Achilles, in my experience the key strategies for effective recovery are:

  • Regular Relevant Rehab (use your team and any wisdom or knowledge you have from past experience)
  • Good nutrition: High protein, high good fat/omega 3 Diet
  • Sufficient Sleep
  • Positive mind-set

For those sharing my Achilles tendon rupture recovery journey, I’ll share my current rehab program with you tomorrow, some ideas about sleep for a speedy and full recovery and stretches to get you walking freely!

In the meantime, here is a sort-of answer to one of the most popular questions I’m being asked right now:

When can you start running again after an Achilles tendon rupture and surgery?

For all you lovely, interested and well-meaning people who keep asking when I will be running and jumping again…I don’t know. I don’t follow rigid timelines because I hate disappointment and it is a depressing way to look at this Road to Recovery. I want to see daily progression, not focus on how far away I am from running or moving freely again. (But approximately: 4-6 months’ post-surgery to running. ;))

I have specific process targets I must hit before I’ll let myself run. Why? I’m really keen to remain healthy this time around!

Here’s some advice I wrote above that I’ll reiterate here for you and me again: Listen to your body. When it says you’re good to go, then you can fly again.

Thanks for reading.

Ps the one-word prompt for today via WordPress inspirations was coincidentally ‘journey‘. This fits perfectly with this post about what I learn from each rehab journey. 

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