Couch to 5K
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Injured shins/ankles post-graduation... when should I run again?

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
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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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Gait analysis could sort you out 👌🏽

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

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Hi

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

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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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