New road rider - Achilles Tendonitis

by Shunt   April 12, 2013  

Hi there,

New to the forum and road cycling, enjoy the odd MTB at thetford or Sherwood pines but decided I need something more regular to keep fit and obsess over.

Anyway decided that this was it and bought a 2013 Specialized Allez to start me off, also bought the Specialized Road Sport shoes with Shimano R540 SPD-SL pedals.

Been for all of 5 rides since, once a week starting of with 20miles, then 25mile rides. The last time I did 1hr 20min on the turbo trainer and then after that I came away with Achilles tendonitis in both feet.

I had a little pain on the cross trainer about 2 months before but I stopped and it went, but this time its persistant. I rested for a week and saw the Physio who said I had plantar Fascitis & AT, he told me to ice it and do eccentric calf work and stretches. Also not sure if the eccentrics just aggrevate it....

It is better to the point that I can walk but is still a bit sore randomly after sitting at work and driving, It's now 6 weeks later and the LBS have done a bike fitting and said they had my cleats too far forward by 6 or 7mm.

I then decided to do 15mins spinning on my bike last night for the first time and as soon as I put my shoes on I could feel the heel tab on my achilles, but when I cycled it went. Got off and felt pretty good apart from a numb big toe on my left foot.

This morning my achilles are a bit tender but not very noticable, can overtightening the velcro straps be causing the Achilles Tendonitis? Or even the shoe heel tab, they are tight but the bike shop think they are the correct fit?

Or could it be that the cleats being too far forward is the main cause of the issue and I'm being too eager to get back on the bike?

Any advice from others experience would be appreciated, sorry for the amount of waffle but its very frustrating.

Thanks in advance Smile

3 user comments

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I had AT a few years back, it was all down to over training, I increased my weekly mileage too quickly and my achilles couldn't take it. Of course I wouldn't accept it was bad and strapped it for a while which made it bearable while riding but ultimately was making it worse and prolonging the injury, not great when you can feel the thing creaking when you move your foot.
I saw a couple of physios and a bike fit expert who told me to stop riding for a while then ease back into it and increase mileage slowly. I also used a few exercises e.g. calf raises and tried some massaging techniques such as slowly running fingers up tendon, a rolling pin also works. The heat/ice thing also helps.
I moved my cleats as far back as they would go to take pressure off toes and move more to sole, I still have cleats in this position now.
I also use specialized footbeds, there are a few flavours of these so its worth going to shop to get advice on which is best for you.
One or all of these changes helped me and haven't had a twinge since.

posted by bike_food [91 posts]
12th April 2013 - 17:24

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what sort of shoes do you wear? sounds as if you need to get some *really* comfy one's.

I get tendonitis in my right achilles. My understanding is that there is no cure so one just has to live with it.

posted by Tom Amos [232 posts]
13th April 2013 - 0:56

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I think mine is a combination of overtraining, shoe and the cleat being too far forward to begin with.

I've ruled out overtightening the straps as i'm still getting a numb big toe with them loosened off.

Went to a couple of different bike shops and tried on numerous of other pairs and the Specialized road sports I have are by far the stiffest at the heel tab.

They had Giro Factor shoes that seemed alot softer at the achilles so i'm thinking they can only help even if they didn't cause initial problem. Plus they come with inserts for a different arch size.

With regards to overtraining I'm just going to carry on with 15min spinning twice a week and increase by 5min each week.

posted by Shunt [5 posts]
15th April 2013 - 12:22

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