Couch to 5K
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W3R1 (again) Ankle and back/hip stiffness a pain ;)

Determined to keep going, and still loving the buzz afterwards, but timings for W2 runs are sometimes slower than for W1 as we hobble around. Taking advice to go slow and have rest days, but having to remain on W2 and repeat. So disappointing!

Also (rather strangely) regaining holiday pounds lost in first week back. I'm not eating as well,as I'd hope yet, but not eating more. And not yet doing enough exercise to put it down to muscle! gain ;-)

Yesterday started foam rolling on advice of PT son, to try to break down tightness in sides of ankles and also stretching out hip flexors. Just hoping to push through and be ready for W3 next weekend..

Has anyone else suffered severe tightness and hip pain early on and found that gradually it improves with continued exercise? I know that being so overweight is an issue and that if I can, I need to keep moving to help with weight loss. Fingers crossed that just keeping at it will eventually work!

Grateful for any thoughts, thanks all!


3 Replies

My calves were really tight and sore for the first couple of weeks, and I'm fairly sure that was the cause of my achilles tendons becoming painful, which forced me to have a two week break.

I've found that it does get better as you go on, but you do need to make sure you give your ankles enough time to recover properly. Good luck, and hope you're able to make progress soon!

1 like

Hi Caroline,

Well done for starting and sticking with it. It is always a bit disappointing to feel that you can't progress at the speed of the programme, but it is very important to look after your body and listen to what it needs. If you do that, the rest will come. And if you think of it in terms of how long you intend to continue running for (ie, the next 20 years or whatever), an extra week here or there is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I started C25K in July 2015 when I was 50. At 5'4" and 18.5 stone, I was prepared to struggle - however I have always been a member of a gym, gone swimming, gone walking, done zumba, stretch and tone, and body balance type classes. And I was a stone lighter than the year before. All these things helped. It took me 11 weeks to do the 9 week programme and some runs were better than others. I am still running over a year later and still enjoying it. I am very slow, although I only rarely get overtaken by walkers nowadays! I think the walkers I pass must feel like they are being stalked by a steam train as I puff slowly up behind them and overtake them at glacial speeds.

I find that some weeks I get pains in my Achilles area, and I often find the afternoon after a run or the next morning that my hip and lower back area are a bit stiff. I found that the Knee Exercises for Runners on the NHS website ( were a good thing to do on days I wasn't running. The other thing I found really useful was the advice of another runner on this forum which was to push my hips forward as I run (fanny first, as she put it). I don't always remember, but when I make a conscious effort to do so my pace is smoother and feels like I could keep going forever and I suffer less from stiffness in the hip and lower back region.

Possibly not a lot of help, but I hope it is some. Keep going - you are doing brilliantly and will get there if you just stick at it. Good luck.

1 like

Thank you - and really sorry for such a Kate replay. I have kept going and this morning successfully completed week 4 and 5 mins of running at a time - unheard of for me!! Ankles and back all slightly better than before and I am trying to remember to go slow and keep my hips forward, which definitely helps :-)


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