Painful ankles after W1R1 - how long to leave it? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
107,878 members138,861 posts

Painful ankles after W1R1 - how long to leave it?


I am a 53 yr old guy. I play regular tennis & golf and have been doing Pilates for a couple of yrs so I am relatively fit. I am 5'8" and 11 stone so not overweight. I decided to do C25K to get some more aerobic exercise and get properly fit. I did W1R1 on Monday evening. I really enjoyed it and actually found it very easy - no pain and not out of breath.

That was Monday... Tuesday my left ankle started to ache both at the front and up the outer side. This is something I have had occasionally after tennis or golf but it usually goes away after I start moving around. This time it took all day to subside and walking the dog in the evening set it off again. Right ankle not much better.

I thought it might be down to my footwear (an old pair of tennis shoes) or a dodgy gait, or both so I went to SweatShop today and had a full gait analysis done (fascinating but not pretty) and ultimately bought a pair of 'stability' shoes in the sale to rectify my 'normal' but seemingly weak ankles.

My question is this. How long should I now leave it before I do W1R2 in my shiny new trainers? I want to get on with C25K now that I have started but I dont want to cripple myself...

11 Replies

It does sound as if the shoes are perhaps to blame, there's a lot more impact in running than we first think. I'm not a great believer in popping pills but have resorted quite a few times to taking an anti-inflammatory i.e. Ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation which will help. Giving it an extra day or two to settle down will be more beneficial than rushing back out while still suffering. You may want to consider doing some stretch exercises after your running too, they always help relieve any aches and pains.

Rockette in reply to Oldgirl

Hi old girl , that you said about not resorting to tablets , I'm living on bloody ibrufen ! Since I did my left ankle in I can't walk right without them . I haven't run now for 5 wks 3 days , & go to physio tomorrow again . I'm going to fork out for a private sports physio when I've been there tomorrow because this is ridiculouse for a damaged tendon ! Just got back from NYC & thought I was on the mend but it's set it off again ( all walking I think ) it's getting me down now . Hope alls well with you old girl . Sorry for the rant , I'm on a downer .

OldgirlGraduate in reply to Rockette

Ask your doctor for Diclofenac, ibuprofen doesn't work for me either. When I was out of action I was given (eventually) Diclofenac Sodium + strong pain killers which sorted sciatica. Still haven't managed a run outside since my chest infection last October so I know the frustration you are feeling. I'm managing about 10 minutes on dreadmill in the gym but breathing is not good even now, lungs really took a battering. :( Take care hope you get your ankle sorted soon.

Rockette in reply to Oldgirl

Sorry to hear your still having problems , wishing you a speedy recovery , take care

RoRoMama in reply to Oldgirl

Dreadmill! I've never heard that one before. Very funny lil. (I do lead a sheltered life). Might try the dreadmill today if the rain's heavy.


It could be a bit of new runner's ankle. Most of us here seemed to report painful knees and ankles at the beginning of the programme. I hope you'll feel better soon

Hi ROckette I'm not surprised to hear your ankle is not right, mine isn't either but at least I'm running again

I hope you can soon get it mended

Rockette in reply to misswobble

I've no chance of running on this misswobble I've all on to walk some days .


You could try some stretches/strengthening exercise, I often do standing half off the stairs raising and lowering and swear it makes a difference. I also used to use the elasticated ankle support that you get from boots.

walettaGraduate in reply to crox

The stair one really helped me too.


Thanks for the replies. Ibuprofen and ice compress it is then. That exercise on the stairs sounds excellent and nice & easy to do. Actually there is a Pilates exercise that is very similar. I also found a suggestion on the web about holding each leg up in turn and tracing the outline of all the letters of the alphabet with your big toe to strengthen the ankle joint in all directions which sounds like a good idea.

I think that apart from the shoddy footwear my problem may be that I just went at it far too fast for a 1st run. Although I followed the podcast to the letter regarding timings I did walk extremely briskly and ran quite fast in the intervals. I mapped my route out on the WalkJogRun website (see ) and apparently I covered the best part of 2.8m / 4.5k on my 1st outing! I suspect this has given my poor unsuspecting ankles a bit of a battering.

On the plus side I guess this means a sub-30 5k will not be too taxing or too far off, always assuming I can ever walk again...


Stating the 'bleeding obvious' here, but if it continues, see the quack.

You may also like...