Couch to 5K
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Piriformis trouble?

I’m told that this is a classic runner’s injury, so I must be doing something right, or wrong?! 🤔 I’ve attempted W8r3 twice now and am so frustrated that I can’t get further than about 10 mins into the run before beginning to feel pain in my right hamstring and gluteus maximus (O level biology anatomy module coming in handy!). So, tried lots of stretching and increased number of rest days to whatever day it doesn’t hurt (usually about 4), but still the same result. I know I shouldn’t get hung up on finishing the programme by a certain time, but graduation was going to be my Christmas pressie to myself 🎁 🎄, so if any one of you lovely peeps has any further suggestions, I’d be really grateful. Thanks

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I had a trip to physio with gluteal entrapment last week, where those deep bum muscles get inflamed and aggravate the sciatic nerve. It's definitely worth seeing a physio, but don't expect an instant cure. You'll need to recover, exercise and stretch and watch for signs of problems mid run. I went out on Friday for a run and I could feel some tension building, so I stopped, did some piriformis stretching and when I restarted I took it slooow.

I follow these stretches ...

nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

... but also have some other strengthening exercises from Pilates (clam) and physio.

Good luck!

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Thank you Midriff_crisis. I hadn’t thought of clam, and I’ve missed my pilates class for the last 2 weeks, so there might be a correlation there.

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That's definitely a good one for relief as you can feel that muscle working. Plus, you can do it when replying to a post on the C25K forum when having a lazy Sunday lie-in. 😀

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😂😂😂

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I had piriformis trouble before running and was advised to roll on a golf ball to get right into the muscle. It worked wonders.

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Hi SW16

Yup, I had this, right after graduation - though my pain moved from my glute to my hip. Was not extremely painful but tingly and twingy. I found the figure of four stretch to be pretty effective:

chirocentre.co.uk/figure-of...

It never stopped me from running, but I did take longer breaks between runs at one point - 2-3 days - and did this stretch twice a day every day, but gently! Look into doing some glute and hip strengthening exercises too. Rolling on a tennis ball helps too (but hurts!)

If it really hurts, and doesn't improve after a couple of weeks, do go see a GP or even better, a physio.

It's really annoying, I know, but don't despair, it is fixable!

Sadie-runs

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Thank you Sadie-runs. I’ll give those stretches a try.

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Get to a sports physio asap. The longer you wait the longer it will take to fix ... it can be a long job. My physio used deep massage, acupuncture and gave me specific exercises (she didn't tell me to stop running).

You're doing so well to get to the end of W8 and we all want you to get that special Christmas present!

Keep smiling, keep posting and good luck!

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Thanks, Wizziewood. I do have a trusted osteo who loves treating runners(!), so I think I’ll make an appointment tomorrow. I’ll keep up the stretching in the meantime, and try not to eat all the Advent calendar while I’m waiting to go out again !

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I had deep pain in the butt on one side so bad so I was limping and unable to run. I used a tennis ball as well as some stretches and felt immediate relief. I then continued with exercises - clamshell, side leg lifts, plank etc. I haven't had the pain since.

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OK, quick update and another tip (or two) ...

I went out for my Sunday run yesterday and although I stretched before the run and I kept to a slower than normal pace, it still gave me some gyp when I got to about 45 mins running time. So, as soon as I got to the point where I could feel there was tightness and I was getting discomfort elsewhere along my leg, I stopped and did a seated piriformis stretch (left ankle on top of right knee, straighten back to stretch) ...

Now, here's my tip of the day. When you do your next run, keep an eye out for the humble grit bin. It turns out that these yellow / black beauties are the perfect height for perching on and doing your stretches. I'm certainly more aware of them now!

So, having stopped and stretched, was everything OK, you wonder? Sadly, no. It did feel better for a short spell, but less than 5 minutes after I stopped again, had another stretch, but then opted to walk the remainder of the way home.

So, my second tip would either be ... try and stop running before you get a twinge or at the very least stop running when it is clear that stretching is not helping / symptoms re-appear relatively quickly.

Also, I found this thread on the forum:

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

I did sit and try the neural flossing technique (see the video) and it does seem to do something. I'm going to add that to my stretch routine, as well as the face down one on the following page:

stretchcoach.com/articles/p...

Fingers crossed we can get sorted!

Anyway, I hope you're finding some relief with yours ...

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Thank you for those extra tips and videos- I shall certainly try them! I’m finding the 4-stretch quite helpful- the discomfort seems to have shifted south to the top of my hamstring. I am thinking about going out for a run tomorrow ( just can’t fit it in today), but not as part of the programme- just a sort of see-as-far-as- I-can-get gentle sortie. I shall bear your advice in mind, though I can’t say I’ve noticed lots of grit bins on my route before. There is one at the end of the road so I could just run up and down in front of my house, much to my neighbours’ amusement I’m sure!

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Ha! You'll be spotting grit bins all over now, it'll be an affliction!

It's just occurred to me that I forgot to mention the other exercise the physio recommended. It's a kind of bridge leg lift ...

He got me to do it with one leg pointing straight forward, but there are variations like this:

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