Injured shins/ankles post-graduation... when s... - Couch to 5K

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Injured shins/ankles post-graduation... when should I run again?

Crolla profile image

Hi there,

This is my first time posting here although I've been lurking for a while and have benefited from the advice offered here.

I graduated five weeks ago, and apart from the odd ache and stiff legs, I was injury free. I had not done much exercise before, so I was proud not just of the achievement but for sticking to the programme.

Since graduating, I kept up the 30 minute runs three times a week, running to music. Even ran during the heatwave (phew!)

The trouble is that since graduating I've started to suffer a few injury niggles. One was in my quad, but that went away with proper stretching. Then one shin started to hurt, but I ran through it and it all seemed good. Last week (on the Wednesday) my ankles were stiff even after the warm up. It was fairly slow going but I made it through the thirty minutes. My ankles/shins were sore for the rest of the day and on Thursday. But I still went out on Friday. This was definitely a mistake because my ankles hurt, it was really hot and I was going down with a heavy cold. I could only manage around 12 minutes of running before I realised my ankles weren't getting better. I walked home, really annoyed with myself that I hadn't continued, but I do know it was the right decision because my ankles/shins still hurt when I walk and that's five days later. The pain is on the inside of the leg starting just above the ankle bone and is a little tender to the touch.

So ... (sorry for the longwinded intro) when should I go back to running? Is it wise to run if I take painkillers and use gel? I am planning to get proper shoes (I was using my daughter's old trainers and my running pal told me off last night and gave me a rec where to get gait analysis done).

Grateful for any advice as I'm worried if I take too long out I'll lose all motivation.

10 Replies
UnfitNoMore profile image

Shoes for sure. I’d be careful running with painkillers unless the injured parts are well strapped, you don’t want to not feel any damage getting worse. Probably a trip to your GP if it doesn’t go soon too.

Crolla profile image
Crolla in reply to UnfitNoMore

Thank you. I'm going to wait until my shins stop hurting and go and find some good shoes.

ArthurJG profile image

No don’t run with painkillers (if the pain is running related I mean, not if it’s for something else). Your body uses pain as a warning and if you mask the pain you could overdo it and get a serious injury.

It may be as simple as you need a week off. If you graduated a few weeks ago you’ve been running a few months and a rest week every few months is something a lot of experienced runners swear by.

As has been said already, also worth getting footwear checked out at a specialist running shop. But definitely consider a week off too.

Crolla profile image
Crolla in reply to ArthurJG

I'm on nsaids for something else and was taking paracetemol for my shins because they hurt, but I'll wait until they're better before attempting to run again. I didn't know experienced runners took a week off at times. That makes me feel much better. Thank you.

4945 profile image

Please don’t run until the pain has gone away, don’t make my mistake as I had a bit of pain on the outside of my foot below the ankle and went for a run anyway as I had just done my first 5k and wanted to prove to myself I could do it again . I did more damage and have not been able to run for 5 weeks it’s just getting better and it’s been horrible not being able to run. So please be patient and rest it up .

OUCH! That sounds really sore. Yeah, although I was annoyed because I'd stopped early last Friday, I knew as soon as I got back it was the right decision as the pain just wasn't going away. Thank you for the advice.

Tasha99 profile image

Gait analysis could sort you out 👌🏽

Crolla profile image
Crolla in reply to Tasha99

Yes, I've found somewhere near me, so I'm going to go and get that done either today or tomorrow. Thank you!

Archer1 profile image


I tried to run through an injury and it made it 10 times worse I ended up really hurting my knee and I was out for weeks and had to start from week 1 again. If I was you I would wait until you are completely pain free as fustrating as it is you need time to heal

Hope you get back to full strength soon

Thank you. My shins are feeling much better today and I was thinking about going out for a run, but there's still a bit of a niggle and I haven't bought proper shoes yet, so I'll get that sorted soon and hope to be out on Monday.

Never thought I'd be the sort of person who missed running!

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