Couch to 5K
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Ankle pain

I'm after a bit of advice. I have ankle ache while i run. Some issues that I've noted might be contributing are: 

1. I've sprained both ankles a few times throughout the years and I'm not sure they've ever recovered properly. My lunges are quite off balance, despite doing them for years. 

2. despite losing three stone, I'm still a fair bit overweight. 

3. I've sort of rushed through the C25k plan the last 2 weeks and not stuck to the day on/day off runs as I've signed up to do a 10k in July and I'm trying to stay on course for that too.

So I think the first two issues may be contributing to the ankle ache. Both ankles ache when I run, kill when I stop running for the first minute of the walm down walk, and then they are fine. They pain disappears. I've caught up with where I need to be in terms of a 10k plan so will go back to a day on/day off but in all honesty, my ankles ached when i stuck to the days off rule so don't think that's the deciding factor. 

I try to move my ankles around in a circles before the run but not sure if that actually does anything. 

I went to run and become last year and they said im a mild to moderate over pronater. They gave me brooks vapour trainers which sorted out shin splints but they haven't done much for my ankles. Due to being stability trainers, they are quite heavy and I'm wondering if trying lighter trainers would help?  Some people say when they run its like bouncing on air and I suspect they may have light trainers but that's not the case for me. I am quite a heavy pounder and probably need the cushion that comes with heavy trainers.  is it possible to get light trainers that have lots of cushion and stability?! 

Does anyone have any ideas? I'm sorry for the  rambling post!

5 Replies

I reckon your ankle pain is, at least in part, due to your lack of rest days. They're in the programme for a reason, and that is to allow your muscles and joints to recover from the unfamiliar burden being placed on them. Try reintroducing the rest days and see if you still have ankle pain.

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Also, it's an old regular but...check those shoelaces! They might not feel too tight when you start out but when your feet swell, it's quite possible they're restricting the blood flow and can cause quite a lot of pain or discomfort. Try loosening them when you feel the ache and see if it makes a difference. Try different ways of lacing to suit your foot shape.

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Lack of rest days. I have a dropped met head and am an over pronator. I bit the bullet and got custom orthotics and wear them all the time. For running I have neutral cushioned shoes. You may want to think about a visit to a podiatrist. I decided on the orthotics because my feet issues due to over tight itbs had pulled my knees out of alignment and walking upstairs my knees were creaking! 

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Trying to rush through the programme is not a good idea and is what will make you ache if you are lucky, but could easily lead to more serious injury. When you run you create micro tears in your muscles, which repair and strengthen when rested. No rest, no repair.

Hopefully reverting to alternating days will relieve the problem, but some people working through C25k need two or more recovery days. There is not a lot of point pushing so hard to try to get to 10k if you end up injured en route and then not being able to run at all.

Most support shoes are well padded and lighter shoes tend to be less well padded in my experience. Heavy pounding, as you describe it, is more likely to be to do with your foot strike than your shoes. You should try to have a mid foot strike, rather than heel and you could experiment with a shorter stride length, but don't be tempted to lengthen your stride, which will shock your knees more.


Thanks for all of the help guys, I'm definitely going to take all of your opinions on board 


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