Wk7 Done but achy legs! Should I leave the hills?

So glad to have completed Wk7 and yes, like so many others have experienced, it was a mixed bag. My last run somehow felt harder, not helped by aching right calf muscle and my insistence on trying to tackle the hill in my local park; for the park run it is 3 laps round the park. I could only face it twice and changed my route to run down local streets for most of the latter half. At the end, pain had developed in my left ankle so spent the rest of the day hobbling around and resorting to pain relief - and wondering if I should take a break from the programme. I should be starting Wk8 tomorrow and although the pain relief has allowed me to resume normal walking (walking up and down the stairs was agony last night and this morning), am wondering if I should wait a bit longer to resume and risk losing momentum?

Also, should I even bother with the hills and just concentrate on being able to run for the alloted time and tackle hills once I graduate?

Any advice gratefully received! Thanks in advance!

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17 Replies

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  • Sounds like you will have to rest up and ice FozSoc..๐Ÿ˜ฏ if even walking is painful, running on an injury would be a bad move... don't worry you will be able to carry on (sometimes an enforced break can help).. but you need to let that ankle recover.

    I, personally only did flat routes whilst doing the c25k plan. I found it tough enough without adding extra stress...

    You're right though once graduated and running for 30 mins hill work can be introduced.

    Make sure you are hydrated and that you do some stretching after your run while your muscles are still warm.

    Take care and you will be back on track soon. x

  • Thanks for the advice Jan - I will give myself a bit of time; don't want to make things worse for myself. And I feel much better now after reading your post, about seeking a non-hill route. I have been reading some other posts abotut the importance of post-run stretches, which I wasn't doing so will definitely be incorporating stretches after my runs. Think that is where I have been going wrong and why I am still feeling the aches. I wonder why the C25K podcast doesn't also include pre and post-run stretches? It would make it 'complete'.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your reassuring post! x

  • Well done! But best to really avoid hills while doing c25k, your only making it so hard for yourself, bring hill work in later after graduation as it will eventually make you stronger and faster on the flat. At Parkrun you can walk some of that if you have to, don't try and complete it trying to run the full 5k, it's only causing unnecessary discomfort and very possibly injury, be careful, you should only build up gradually steady & slowly..๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Thanks for that advice Dave; I am slowly beginning to realise that tackling the hills at this stage is not important. I'm glad I did them in the early weeks but then there was the reward of the recovery walks. But you are right, I should focus on completing the c25k for now; that's enough of a challenge. It's also very reassuring to hear that I can walk through the hill bits on the Parkrun when I come to doing it!

  • Hi well done for getting this far๐Ÿ˜Š it is best to rest until injuries are better as you might do more damage that could set you back even longer. I stuck to flat routes on the programme as trust me that was challenge enough for me๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€! I always stretch after my runs & then have a long soak in the bath๐Ÿ˜Šah heaven!! Im just approaching hills now after graduating & still hard work๐Ÿ˜‚! You will soon get back out running but take it slowly & take it easy just now๐Ÿ˜Šx

  • Hi Pc59 - thank you for the advice and reassurance. It's hard when one is keen to reach the end of the programme and graduate; I realise I was expecting too much of myself and that as you rightly point out, just running for the duration required is enough of a challenge. Just because the hills are there doesn't mean I have to run up them! I also wish I had got into the habit of stretching after runs as I can see now how important this is - the warm down walk is not enough on its own. I do enjoy a hot shower and a nice session with my heat pad though post run! Good luck with them hills!

  • Don't worry you will get to the end but no rush ! It will still be a great achievement & its a learning curve to us all! You will be back running before you know it!! Take care๐Ÿ˜Š& hills will wait for you too!!!

  • I started off on the flattest routes I could find but did introduce hills at this stage because I like to run off-road and it's quite a hilly area so it's hard to avoid them. However, I planned carefully so that I only added them very gradually, including only very gentle slopes, included a slope in the warm up walk before I considered trying to run up one and - very important - went very slowly. I think it all depends what you are comfortable with which may depend on how much you walk up hills normally.

    If you're needing pain relief today you need to rest and ice, not consider running tomorrow. You'll lose far less momentum by allowing your ankle to recover than pushing it so you make it worse.

  • Thank you orchards - I really appreciate your response and all the sound advice I am receiving here - confirming what I feel I need to do. I guess it's the over-eagerness of a newbie seeing graduation not too far in the horizon and wanting to challenge and prepare myself for my local Parkrun. Makes me appreciate the fitness levels of all those who participate and run for the duration!

    I'll give myself a few days to let my muscles rest and heal. Feeling much better this evening and not reliant on pain relief but am now resolved to not running for a few days until I feel able to move without pain. I am also learning the difference between injury and 'normal' muscle aches, which is an important lesson!

  • As others have said you need to rest. You won't lose fitness and the rest will give your muscles time to recover. Be careful and research stretches for after runs as doing them at wrong time and wrongly can do damage. Don't worry about your motivation: you have got this far and will complete the programme and then your other ambitions. I hope you recover soon.

  • Firstly rest and recover. Listen to your body. When you get back to running take it very steady.

    I live in a very hilly area so have always run some hills, but very slowly and also mindful to build slowly. i also do some ' treat' runs where I run a flat route, a bit more difficult as I have to drive somewhere specific, but well worth it. My graduation run for example was a flat, riverside run, lovely!

    When you do the Parkrun just enjoy it. You can walk whenever you want, there is no pressure to run it all. Some people walk the full route, in fact my hubby is planning to walk when I next do one. It's good to be familiar with the route but relax with it.

    Happy running๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

  • Hi Jacs-W and thank you for your reply and reassurance. This is such a great supportive forum! I am currently researching some other areas to run that are flat and somewhat varied, and not just running laps around a little square! It's a relief to know that the Parkrun doesn't mean everyone HAS to run ALL of the route or run at all... Another lesson learnt.

    While recouperating I realise I am thinking about running quite a lot! I must obviously be missing it! Your graduation run sounded beautiful; it has encouraged me think about planning my graduation run along the Thames - something to look forward to! x

  • When I started C25K I tried anything to avoid hills, but discovered very quickly, that where I live, there was always an incline somewhere!!! I wrote a post once where I said that I was sure the lanes started to rise upwards when they saw me coming! ( Who put that hill there?) :)

    Slow and steady is the way, but as Jan-now-runs says, only when that ankle is better :) The IC is not the best place to be.

    You will, in time, learn to embrace the hills, seriously, you will :) As we all learn to embrace the weather :)

    Just make the most of the flatness. at the moment, get yourself where you want to be and then if you want to do hill work, you will have the stamina and the strength to do it !

  • Who put the hills there indeed! And they always feel worse even at a light jog! Thank you for your reply and sound advice - along with everyone else here. I'm still resting my legs but it's going to be flat routes from now on when I feel able to run again.

    Funny thing this runny lark - half of me dreads the run and fear of not being able to do it, but then the other half feels exhilarated once another run is complete and I start thinking about the next one! x

  • Sorry to hear you're having painful problems. My only advice would be to avoid hills untill you're a lot stronger. I added in a long slow hill run and ended up out of running for over 2 years due to damaged Achilles tendon. Listen to your body and use the addage 'When in doubt do nowt'.

    Please do not pushh yourself and end up regretting it.

  • Hello Beek and thank you for your reply. You won't believe this but I found a post you commented on with lots of useful advice on post-run stretching from 3 years ago and have been reading the links you gave there!

    healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

    It really caused me to re-think how I should now embark on my running and completely agree with you that the 5min post run warm down is not sufficient. It's been over a week since my injury and I am feeling much better in both legs but not quite ready yet to resume the programme. Perhaps another few days but I am so missing the running...

    Thank you for the brilliant advice from 3 yrs ago and now - I only joined the group recently and am really glad I did - this is such a supportive forum! X

  • Hello FozSoc. I used to use this site all the time when I was running and found it an extremely helpful and a very supportive group of people, which did inspire me to carry on.

    I really miss the running and I have recently started to do some very gentle runs. (It worked wonders for my blood sugars before, which have now reached silly figures!)

    I'm glad you found the forum and wish you well for your journey. You won't regret doing it!

    I must admit that it is much harder for me this time round! The main thing is - listen to your body!

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