Running with weak ankles: any tips?

I completed Week 5 Run 1 yesterday and I'm feeling great. Really like the post-run buzz that I get! I do have one concern and that's my ankles. Now and again, one of my feet will twist inwards and I'll land painfully on my ankle, with no prior warning. Sometimes, I can walk it off within a couple of minutes but last summer, the ankle got very swollen and I had to rest it completely for two days. I'm worried about going over on my ankle during a run and I worry that overcompensating for this eventuality may affect my running style. It would be reassuring to know whether other runners have this problem and how they might overcome it. Does anyone have any ankle strengthening tips?

By the way, I did see my GP about this a few months ago, suspecting that the reason I kept going over on my ankle was because I was perhaps flat-footed (I wasn't). Physio could help but I think I'd have to do myself a worse injury to get that sort of attention on the NHS.

4 Replies

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  • Have you been to a running shop and had your gait analysed? It may be as simple as buying proper running shoes for your type of gait.

    In 'normal' walking/running we are meant to land slightly on the outside of our foot and roll inward slightly so that when we push off we're square on the ball of our foot with the ankle in a vertical position. Or that was how it was explained to me. This is 'pronation' (you'll hear that word a lot round here). There is over pronation where you roll over so your foot is square and keep rolling, so when you push off your ankle seems to be collapsing inwards (apparently about 70% of runners do this). It's 'fixed' by wearing supporting shoes which stop the foot rolling inwards so much.

    The opposite of over pronation is supination (sp?) or under pronation, where the ankle rolls outwards. They don't do specific shoes to support this so you get to wear neutral shoes which are just cushioned.

    So to sum up, go to a running shop (Sweatshop, Runner's Needs etc, not Sports Direct), get your gait analysed and chat to the person about your specific problems. Take a look at the video s/he makes of you running, it's really interesting.

  • I had incredibly achy ankles when running and walking a couple of weeks ago. I've started rotating them 20 times in each direction for 2 or 3 repetitions several times a day and that's sorted it.

    HTH

  • My daughter has a similar issue. As beads suggests, getting your gait analysed and sorting yourself out with trainers appropriate to your gait is the first step. You may also want to consider buying an ankle support which will just give you that little bit extra protection if your ankle is feeling tender.

  • Some great tips there - thank you guys! :)

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