For the last 18 months or so I've been struggling with a frustrating issue. I keep having flareups of my achilles on my right foot, namely lower down where it joins at the calcaneal bone.
The pattern is it flares up, and I back off - no running, cross train on elliptical, until it is pain free, then I resume running. But it seems no matter how gradually I build up running - every other day, a mile a day to start, the achilles flares up again when I try to venture beyond 2 miles, which is frustrating as all get out, because I used to be a six to eight mile a day guy, and now I can't remember the last time I ran 4.
So I'm wondering if this recurring problem is tied to something else, like perhaps a strength issue. Is muscle weakness or inflexiblity in some other part of my body manifesting itself as strain on the achilles? I do yoga and I stretch out a lot before I run to loosen up (hurdle stretch, achilles stretch, etc, etc), but perhaps there is another stretch I should try?
Are there any strength or flexiblity routines that you all might recommend to help strengthen the area around the achilles to reduce the strain it bears?
Are there any other techniques you'd recommend, like heel lifts in my shoe? Is it a surface thing? I live in the city and run on pavement. Or just in general, any advice for those who have dealt with similar issues and overcome them?