Currently I'm training for the route 66 Half marathon held in Tulsa OK this November 19th. I started bionic running to help reduce the pain in my right knee. Recently, I tore or strained the distal insertion of my Achilles tendon on the same leg. It developed into a severe plantar fasciitis and walking, let alone running on it was very painful. I used the Bionic Runner to stay in shape aerobically while my tendon and ligaments healed.
- Mark Bianchi
It sucks, and if you totally rest you will detrain, but if you run you make it worse. But read on, there is an answer.
What is it?
Your Achilles Tendon is an incredibly important part of your running mechanics. If that tendon becomes inflamed it can sideline you indefinitely. Achilles Tendonitis can be brought on by a sudden increase in mileage, hills, or speedwork, as well as the repeated impact of hitting the ground. If you try to power through, Achilles Tendonitis can sideline you for up to 6 months.
Resting means detraining!
When an injury requires that you stop training suddenly, the effects on your overall fitness and wellbeing are dramatic and rapid. After just 21 days of inactivity, VO2 max declines by 7%. After 56 days, VO2 max declines by 16%. Left ventricular hypertrophy drops by 20% in just a few short weeks. Mature athletes are already fighting an uphill battle, as we lose muscle mass with age. Maintaining strength and muscle fiber are keys to maintaining a long, active, life. By 65 years of age, we are statistically likely to be carrying up to 30% less muscle mass than we did in our twenties. Injury recovery can become not only a setback due to the injury itself, but to our overall wellness by deconditioning the whole body.
Regaining that lost ground while also rehabilitating an injury is an unnecessary waste of time when tools like Bionic Runner are available. By training with a running-specific movement, you don’t have to be sidelined by common injuries.
There is a running Specific Alternative
Bionic Runner specifically recruits and stresses the same muscles as running. Its unique ability to drive your heart rate into running zones, along with the Bionic Runner’s 60:40 swing vs stance phase timing causes similar physiological adaptations to improve running-specific fitness. Because it is non-impact it is gentle on injuries. Its closed kinetic chain means that you cannot overstride and cause strains. The unique pivoting pedal means that your foot, ankle, knee and hip are always at the correct angles. These features combine to give you a challenging, running specific workout for times when you cannot run.
Training outdoors with zero impact on a Bionic Runner allows you to feel the freedom of running with none of the downside. If you are already injured, or looking to prevent injury, don’t let an inflamed tendon get in the way of your training schedule. You’ve worked hard to attain your current level of endurance conditioning. Achilles Tendonitis doesn’t have to mean taking a huge step back. Keep your distance work with Bionic Runner, and prevent future flare ups with specific calf-strengthening exercises.
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