Couch to 5K
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Achilles problem in week 8

With just a few minutes to go before the end of week 8 run 1 (not my most enjoyable session), I started to feel some pain in my achilles tendon. As I wanted to complete the 28 minute run I kept going until the end but, the brisk cool down walk at the end wasn't very brisk - rather more of a hobble. After some stretches, and some Ibuprufen, it wasn't too bad yesterday evening but this morning my right achilles is really sore.

As it is, I'm really not very confident that I'll able to run for another 28 minutes tomorrow evening.

Somebody suggested that I should buy some heel lifts but has anyone had the same problem and what did you do to get back to running again.

With only 5 more runs to go before graduation and a park run on the agenda at the beginning of November, I'd be absolutely gutted to have to stop now.

So any advice or tips would be really appreciated.

7 Replies

My partner (a C25k graduate but not on this forum) is just getting over achilles tendinitis. He did the same as you, i.e. tried to keep going until the end of the run, but then had to hobble home. You are right to take Ibuprofen, and ice may help as well, but don't stretch as that won't help the inflammation. There is a lot of info on the internet about this problem and lots of videos on youtube as well, I specifically remember this one:

being very helpful. As for running on it, it's not a good idea as then you could end up making it worse, tearing it etc. At the moment it needs rest, no stretches or heel lifts, and then when it starts to get better and you can walk up and down stairs without pain you can start some strengthening exercises, cycling, swimming or whatever, and eventually a gentle jog. A visit to the doctor would be good as well, so he/she can tell you exactly what the problem is and how long it will take you to recover.

Sorry not to have a quick fix for you. Others may have other advice for you. My partner ran 2k on Saturday after 7 weeks off. I know that sounds like an eternity, the achilles does take its time but you will be out there again too, you just need a lot of patience.


Many thanks for the reply Squaremum.

Your advice is really good but disappointingly, it's not exactly what I wanted to hear.

As a near 59 year old couch potato, whose never been a runner at any stage in my life, I can't believe how much I've really got into the C25K programme. Other than a few hamstring pains at the beginning and an occasionally clicking knee, I've not really had any problems and I haven't had to redo any weeks or sessions up to now.

I was really looking forward to finishing the final 5 sessions and then completing my local park run in a couple of weekends time. But, I suppose that I'll just have to put this on hold slightly now.

Anyway, following your advice, I'm just about to book an appointment at our local sports clinic to get an experts opinion and hopefully I'll also get an idea of the likely recovery time.

Thanks again for your reply, including the video clip,and very best wishes to you and yours.


Well done for making an appointment and let us know how you get on.

Sorry again for being the bearer of bad news!


Hi Squaremum/SheRunsSheSmiles

Just a short post to let you know how I got on with the Sports Physio. It seems that my Achilles problem is down to a number of things which are related to me breaking my tibia (which was pinned) around 4 years ago coupled with poorly cushioned running shoes. However, the prognosis isn't so bad - 2-4 weeks without running - as he still wants me to cycle and/or use a cross trainer. I've got to go back again next week and I'll get some new shoes over the weekend so hopefully I'll get back on track with the C25K soon. However, knowing what week to start back on will be another thing to think about. Thanks again for your replies - it's appreciated.


Sorry for the late reply, only just saw this.

It's good to have that information so you know what's ahead of you. Sounds like you'll be back on track soon, take it easy during these rest weeks and keep us posted!


Me too. I finished Week 8 a week ago but have a painful Achilles at my ankle level. I did stretching (which now looks as if it was the wrong hing to do, or at least it was too early). So now if looks like I have to rest. Gutted, since I was heading for graduation too :-( But I am hooked, so I'll exercise in other ways to make up for it - and try to maintain the extra puff that I seem to have acquired over the last 2-3 months. Bloody Achilles.


I'm off to see a sports physio on Thursday morning and I'll let you know how I get on. But I expect that he will tell me to regularly ice it (which will be difficult whilst at work) , keep taking anti-inflams and he'll also give me some exercises involving steps and heel drops. However, I'm hoping that he doesn't think it has been caused by running shoes as I was planning to buy a new pair this weekend in celebration of reaching the final week - dooh!!!


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