Don't let this become a thing. As someone semi-recovered from a five-year bout with Achilles tendinitis, I can vouch for the tenacity of the problem.
Make sure your calves and feet are stretched out and flexible. And, don't run hard until calves and feet are fully warmed up. Could also do some eccentric heel drops - Google that one. Good preventative work.
Keep up the good work. You're showing a lot of promise for this season!
Thanks for the tips, dude! I've been trying to figure out a treatment plan for it so your experience is really beneficial.
well, it's important to ID the route cause, if you can. If it's shoe-related, changing shoes is a good start. I also found that shoes with a high heel cup pressing on the tendon would aggravate it more than a lower heel cup, and so ended up cutting a v-shaped notch out of the back of some pairs of shoes.
It may not be entirely shoe-related. People often develop Achilles tendonitis from overpronating, which stretches the tendon strangely. See if you can spend some time running on a treadmill in front of a mirror, or get some video of your feet while running to check the form. The solution there is to strengthen the main arch of your feet. Another part of that solution is shoes with more support, which can be difficult in the world of relatively minimal orienteering shoes.
The eccentric heel drops are incredibly effective for some people. It's one of the few exercise physiology studies where people have actually agreed on an exercise fixing a problem. Make sure that you are tensing the main arch as you descend, and lower the heel very slowly and deliberately. Then use your other leg to lift yourself back up. Again, youtube is your friend for how to do these.
Finally, if your calves/feet have knots in them or are otherwise really tight, that puts extra strain on the achilles tendon. So, definitely foam roll or use some trigger-point therapy to keep the knots down in your lower legs. Along these lines, sleeping in a boot or the sock thing that keeps your foot flexed can help with flexibility, but some people say not to stretch too much as that'll aggravate the already-inflamed Achilles tendon.
Oh, and ice. Any time it hurts, apply ice after running. Make sure the tendon is warm before running; you can use your hands for this or a mild heat pack.
I think it's shoe-related, but it's been around for a few months. So, I think at this point it needs some other types of treatment. Just started the eccentric heel drops; they help a ton! It felt much better in today's workout. I'll be back to 100% in no time...I hope.