Do you know how the Achilles tendon got its name?

Google it, I won’t bore you with details 😉

It’s safe to say that it can be a vulnerable spot for runners.  It makes up approximately 25-30% of running related injuries.  Why is this?  Let’s take a look…

  • It gets loaded a LOT — Probably no surprise.  There is a lot of stress that gets placed on the Achilles tendon during the push off phase of running.  Hilly terrain and speed work stress it a bit more.
  • Stiff ankle/poor mobility — This is really common with older runners (40 years and up). This can create an everting (turning out) of the heel and excessive stress across the tendon.
  • Lack of calf strength and power — The achilles tendon is the tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel.  Some runners don’t have good strength and power, and as the run distance progresses the Achilles and calf can’t handle the load.
  • Toe running — “Prancing” type running. These runners land too much on the front of the foot, this puts excessive stress on the Achilles and calf.
  • Finally, changing shoes — There is a big buzz of minimal or zero drop shoes. The problem is that many of us DON’T have the Achilles/calf mobility to make that change. Going from a 8-12 mm heel drop to 0 drop requires more Achilles length.

Prevention is the key. To summarize…

1) Avoid excessive speed work/hill work

2) Work on calf mobility and strength

3) Focus on a mid-foot strike underneath you

4) Finally,  if changing to a low/zero drop shoe do it gradually and work on Achilles/calf stretching

If you suffer from Achilles/calf pain, we specialize in evaluating and treating it.


Happy Running
Charlie Boeyink MPT, OCS, CWC
Physical Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, USAT Triathlon Coach
Cadence Physical Therapy and Wellness
Cadence Performance Coaching


About Charlie Boeyink

Growing up with several family members in healthcare Charlie witnessed what good care is. Some of Charlie's career highlights include: • Graduated summa cum laude from Southwest Minnesota State with a BA in Chemistry and went on to complete his Masters in Physical Therapy (MPT) from the University of Iowa…a perennial Top 5 Physical Therapy Program in the US • Practiced in Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy for over 16 years • Currently an adjunct faculty member of Franklin Pierce University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program • Earned a Board Certification in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS), separating himself in providing specialized care for orthopedic diagnoses • Completed hundreds of hours of continuing education on manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. • Has advanced training and experience in running/triathlon injury management and bio-mechanical run analysis. • Is a Certified Wellness Coach (CWC) from the highly regarded Catalyst Coaching Institute in Denver, CO • Has been fortunate to have worked with several local competitive runners and triathletes • Currently participates and coaches in triathlon and has been able to receive recognition as a top triathlete in his age division • He lives with his wife Sheri in Peoria, Arizona and enjoys running, triathlon, music and serving at his church

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