Minor injury advice: On Tuesdays run I hurt my... - Couch to 5K

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Minor injury advice


On Tuesdays run I hurt my ankle a bit. It's not terrible, I can still bear weight and it's not swollen but quite sore when going up and down stairs. Am due to do wk5r3 tonight but don't want to exacerbate it.

Are you supposed to rest niggles like that or just push through? Don't want to make it worse as with a toddler at home to look after I can't afford to be off my feet but equally I don't want to be making excuses.

14 Replies

I’m not a physio or a doctor - so don’t take this as medical advice - but if it was me I’d see if it felt better with movement as the day goes on (which I’d be OK running gently with) or stiffens up soon after moving or just feels worse. Ankles are tricky. An Achilles’ tendon grumble (at the back of your ankle) could get a lot worse if you run, and is worth resting until it’s better. Tendons damage when their attached muscle (which is the calf muscle, for the Achilles) is fatigued. The tendons will take the brunt of the forces because the muscle has given up buffering the movement. Tendons are springy, but they aren’t designed to do it for very long. The friction between the tendon fibres, as they spring, causes them to overheat and then they will tear.

Tendons (and ligaments) don’t repair quickly because they have a poor blood supply. Also the repair won’t be as springy as it was, which means the undamaged tendon has to compensate, and the ‘join’ between the scar tissue and healthy tendon will always be a weakness.

There are some little muscles around your ankle that might just be stiff and loosen up with exercise and repair faster. But, in all honestly, giving it an extra repair day, if that is your gut feeling, is worth it - rather than risking the next 6 weeks on the Injury Couch (IC) and a heap of rehab to strengthen your muscles :)

Emcdee in reply to Equi-geek

Thank you, I think I will take today and see how it is tomorrow and if no worse I will run then. It's hard to know what's best but that seems like a good plan for now


Rest it.

Ankles have a relatively poor blood supply, so can take some time to heal. When I turned my ankle I cycled for a couple of weeks, which stimulated blood flow, without any load bearing or rotational stress.

This article covers basic first aid for runners theguardian.com/lifeandstyl...

Emcdee in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you, I'll see how it feels tomorrow afternoon and decide then


General advice is don't run on pain. Resting it is an annoying inconvenience, as you just want to get on with your running, I'm sure. But another day or two's rest wont hurt.

However, running on an injury could lead you to weeks of enforced rest on the injury couch. If you are going to be a runner you are going to have to get used to the occasional set-back like this.

Janeym1 in reply to Whatsapp

Thank you for this! I was in my W9r2 and developed a major cramp/pain in my right calf. After icing and resting yesterday it feels a bit better but I am SO frustrated!

I shall heed your advice and rest until the pain goes. But it’s not easy.....

WhatsappGraduate in reply to Janeym1

No its not. It is the most frustrating thing. I am on the IC too, with heel pain. I have an event coming up mid-sept and I really didn't want to miss any training.

Emcdee in reply to Whatsapp

Thank you. If it's no better tomorrow I'll probably have to leave it til next week as I won't have any childcare over the weekend and will probably redo wk5r2 to ease back into it rather than going straight into the non stop 20 minutes. But if it's better tomorrow I'll go for it. Definitely don't want to injure it worse. I guess I'm nervous that if I don't keep at it I'll give up completely but I think the fact that I'm worried about that means I won't.

WhatsappGraduate in reply to Emcdee

I think thats a good strategy.

Although you could still do W5R3 after the short break you have had, and it would be fine; these longer runs are as much about mental toughness as physical fitness, and redoing W5R2 will give you the confidence to not doubt yourself.


Rest it....as IannodaTruffe says..niggle can become nasty.. the run will wait... :)

Emcdee in reply to Oldfloss

Thank you, I will

I completed the programme a couple of years ago on an ankle injury in the Achilles I think. I can’t remember exactly when I picked it up towards the end but I aggravated it by running and it got worse and then I stopped running all together. Its easy to get out of the running habit.

I’ve recently started the programme again, I’m on W7R2 but this time I started from the first run wearing ankle compression socks. Not sexy but super supportive!! Touch wood so far I’m ok.

I know it’s frustrating, especially when you’re doing well and are in the zone but I completely messed up last time so if you’re in it for the long haul, listen to your body. I can’t recommend the socks enough so perhaps invest in some, rest up and start W5 again next week.

Good luck 😉

Thank you, I will and I'll look into those socks!!

Well ankle is better but still twinging a bit and I've woken with a horrid crick in my neck so I think all things considered I'll be redoing wk5r2 on Monday!! Never mind. At least I should be raring to go by then!

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