Well that went better than expected, but wish ... - Couch to 5K

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Well that went better than expected, but wish my right leg would stop hurting

First run of week 8 this evening. Made sure Laura was fully charged to avoid a repeat of last time, and concentrated on running slowly. Since I walk very quickly I think I tend to set off too quickly on the runs, unless I really focus. I was expecting to struggle due to lack of sleep, probably not drinking enough water, recent long days at work, but it was mostly fine and I was enjoying it by the end!

Most of me felt like everything was under control, and I could go a little faster, or for a little longer - which felt fantastic - except my right leg which just seems to have a permanent annoying twinge/discomfort that sometimes develops into more pain. The root of the problem seems to be right at the very top of my thigh, at the back - possibly top of the hamstrings? After running for a little while the pain/discomfort spreads down the back of my thigh, sometimes round the outside of my thigh, and often the area either side of my Achilles' tendon starts to ache a little. I'm suspecting I'm adjusting the way that leg is moving because of the initial discomfort, which is in turn causing other bits to start to hurt.

I'm struggling to figure out what it causing it- got new shoes after gait analysis around week 5 (that helped with knee pain), have tried resting it for a couple of weeks and easing back into the programme a week back from where I left off, foam rollers have helped a bit but don't quite seem to get at the bit that hurts, am stretching after runs and on rest days. If anyone has any ideas as to what it might be then I would welcome suggestions...

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Well done on your progress.

You may have damaged your leg somehow but because it seems so widespread, it makes me think of an asymmetry. Perhaps you have one leg longer than the other, which is surprisingly common. The only way to get that checked out would be to visit a physio or podiatrist. If that is the cause it can be easily corrected with orthotic inserts.

Are you a regular cyclist? Some people put more power through one leg and develop asymmetric muscle strength, which can show up when they start running

Take care and get checked out if it recurs.

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Thank you for your reply - I've been wondering if I should visit a physiotherapist and you've confirmed that would be a good idea. I just need to find the time, which is at a bit of a premium right now, and locate a good one. Hopefully in a couple of weeks- will report back.

As for cycling- no, the last time I rode a bike was 25 years ago, and even then it wasn't regular - I was a teenager and hated hills; living in Wales there were a lot of those! I do walk pretty much everywhere (at speed since I'm always late!), and I did acrobalance for several years ( though stopped about 3-4 years ago). When we were doing one of the acro moves my partner noticed my lower left ribs stick out more than the right, so maybe my legs or hips are also a bit asymmetric as you suggest. Food for thought.

Thanks again!

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My other thought was asymmetric use......are you running one way on steeply cambered pavements? They can cause strain on one side, which can be offset by turning roundcsnd going the other way.

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Tried to reply to you but it ended up below instead, sorry - still getting the hang of this

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I'm always doing that :)

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:-)

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The high hamstring is tricky to reach! I have had some success by sitting the area on the foam roller with the target leg straight (heel on the floor), and the other bent with foot on the floor. Leaning forward from the hips with a straight back, hands on the floor, roll forward and back slowly. Also try rocking side to side, and pointing and flexing the foot. Another thing to try is swapping the foam roller for a tennis ball (ouchy!). But it really is best to have a sports massage, they can get their fingers right in there, and also will have an idea of where the problems are.

Also think about weight work - look up Romanian deadlifts, and squats.

Hope you get it sorted!

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Thank you! I will try the roller and possibly improvise a tennis ball. Must look into sports massage and the strengthening exercises you suggest.

Cheers!

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Thinking on, also check out eccentric heel drops to strengthen calves and Achilles' :)

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Ok, will look into those too. I do have quite flexible calf muscles. Thanks again :-)

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The pavement does have a tiny slope along one section- but I run back along the same section so both legs get equal time on the slope direction.

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Sometime we have to make ourselves the priority, I think you should try to make the time to squeeze in a physio appointment, as this doesn't sound like it's going away, it might just be a simple fix.

I hope it improves soon 🤗

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You are absolutely right. Unfortunately university marking deadlines are a juggernaut crushing all in their path, but will try to squeeze something in. Speaking of which... I really should get to work!

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