Ankle/Knee/Calf Botheration :'( Any advice?

This issue first cropped up just before W5R3. I've been aware of it but with it not being that bad, have been continuing running with a bit bigger gaps in between hoping it would go but it's got to the point when I can't attempt my W6R3 tonight as planned. I went on a 40 minute dog walk last night and when I got back I was limping a bit so enough is enough.

Thing is, I don't really know what it is. It's twingey as opposed to achey etc - I can't induce pain by putting my ankle/leg in any certain position. It feels a bit like a mild sprain but I can't think of a time I've gone over on it. Running seems to aggravate, and now, so does minimal walking. 

Another thing: the pain isn't just in my ankle, sometimes my ankle is fine but my knee is a bit twingey and also my calf. This makes me wonder if its something to do with my calf muscle being too tight and pulling my left joints out of line or something...is that even a thing?! Could it be ligaments in my ankle being too weak or something?

So to summarise, twingey pain in calf/leg/knee not all at the same time and never all at once.... 

21 Replies

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  • Have you had your gait analysed in a running shop?

    If not I would go as it maybe that you need proper running shoes matched to your gait.

    if you over pronate but wear a neutral trainer then your ankles, knees, calf and hips may suffer. 

  • I have yes. I have mild-moderate pronation but high arches and run in the Brooks Ravenna which has good support on the inside. I have these problems on my left side only - my right side is prefect. Maybe I run really wonkily!? :(  

  • Weird, I know we all get niggles from joints when we start to tun as the body needs a bit of time to get used to it.

    But if it's all on one side it does point to something being amiss.

  • Oh dear, that's a bummer :( Maybe your left foot lands differently to the right foot  when you land (if that makes sense) and it's straining the muscles and joints? I tend to roll the inside of my left foot upwards and outwards when I run, as I have a bunion that doesn't like hitting the floor too much - I am aware of it and concentrate on landing properly so that I don't twist the rest of my leg too. Why don't you see a sports physio and ask them if they have any ideas? Keep us posted!

  • Certainly seems a possibility. I'm going to let it calm down by not running for a while, then start up again with extra concentration on form. If it comes back it'll be straight off to the physio for me! I wonder if it might be an orthopaedic insole situation or something. 

  • See if anyone can film you running, from in front and from behind - I don't know if anyone else does this, but I plead guilty to looking at how other runners run, and some run with their toes pointing in, others roll their feet.. and I'm sure none of us are aware we do these things unless someone tells us. Just a thought.

  • I thought about doing that a while ago but thought I was going a little crazy! Seeing as we're both on the same wavelength I might as well give it ago. Being a new runner, I concentrate quite a lot on form - I really don't want to pick up bad habits that I need to undo in 5 years. Also worth mentioning that If you focus, I think you can tell what your feet are doing. I could feel myself pronating before they told me at gait analysis so I was reassured that I had that awareness. Thank you for your advice. I'll get my fellow C25K mum to help me out with some slow mo filming :D

  • Glad to know I'm not the only nutter, then. Keep us posted!

  • I have no advice or suggestions, but sorry to hear you're injured, hannah. Take it easy. x

  • I would certainly not be consciously focusing on form at this stage of the game. The way you run naturally is the way to run for the time being. You are more likely to cause injury by artificially trying to 'correct' what yu imagine to be poor form than you are to 'pick up bad habits'.  Please tell me you are not trying to forefoot strike from being a natural heelstriker? If so, that is very likely to the be the root of the problem.

    Otherwise, are you doing the leg strengthening exercises and stretching properly after each run? Are you foam rolling?

    If you want your body to work like a well oiled machine, it has to be well oiled.

  • Hi Rig...

    Thanks, that's really helpful :D To be honest, I did focus on it a bit at the beginning but only on keeping my shoulders low, looking ahead, and a bit on cadence after learning about it. After getting into the swing of things at about week 3 I just relaxed into it and went with it. I'm certainly not engineering footstrike or anything.

    Leg strengthening wise, I do a lot of vinyasa yoga which helps a lot but I intend to start squats - people on here seem to rave about squats! I'm definitely stretching after each run, being a yoga bum I know how important it is. I'll keep on with the strengthening. I'm hoping this is just an issue I'm getting because my body's still adapting.

  • What Rig says above - strengthening exercises are essential, you will avoid all sorts of niggles that way. Just run the way you run, but on non-running days do squats, clamshells, bridges etc. I think we are all a little unbalanced, in my case I started getting pain in my right hip and knee, turns out my glutes were weaker that side and my knee turned in slightly when I ran. I saw a physio who showed me how to do the exercises properly and that fixed it in just a few weeks. Strangely my left leg was perfect, never a twinge (until I carelessly broke some bones on that side, but that's another story...)

  • Oh dear! Slightly more balanced now?! I think you're both right. More strengthening for meeee. It's nice to know essentially I'm not doing much wrong, I just need more of the right stuff :D

  • Hi Hannah, yes I would second Turbo's post. The Bridge and Clam exercises are brilliant for strengthening your glutes . I was given these exercises when I developed hip and ITB pain. 

    Good Luck and I hope you get sorted xxx

  • Definitely bridges as TT says - which should be easy enough if you are a Yogist. Also calf raises and lunges, plus do some pure mobilisation - get a resistance band and google 'Banded ankle mobilisation' - there will be loads of vids on YouTube, or have a look at MobilityWod.com. I have poor ankle mobility due to being old and decrepid and these have helped loads.

  • I think you should take medical advice - it's so hard to isolate what might be causing it  that you really probably need a physio to take a look and give you some strengthening exercises. It's a nuisance but better to get it sorted.

  • gait analysis .Cant recommend it highly enough.

  • Hi Wannabee. I have been for gait analysis but this has occurred about 5 weeks after... Probably worth going again though, maybe I'll spot something we didn't see before.

  • in that case you may need to see a physio :/

    Will be worth it if it avoids making things worse or stops you running

  • I started to have knee and ankle pain on week 8 and went terribly bad on week 9. I had to postpone completing the c25k. I went for a gait analysis and bought a very expensive pair of trainers but they did not worked. Somebody in this forum recommended a patella knee strap. I started using one in each knee. I use them for running, sometimes for walking or when the pain comes back, so far the knee and ankle pain are almost gone. I bought them on amazon after trying in sportdirect because they only sell for men which are huge size. Hope this helps. Don't give up!

  • I have been struggling in week 8&9 with calves and ankles. I'm going to get my running analysed this morning which I am hoping will help. I've only got week 9 runs 2&3 to go!! 

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