Tightening of ankles: I'm wondering if anyone... - Couch to 5K

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Tightening of ankles


I'm wondering if anyone can help with a weird ankle problem I'm getting while running.

It doesn't feel like an injury per se because it's not a sharp pain. Gradually over 10-12 minutes my ankle tightens continuously and aches increasingly. It gets to the point where I lose all movement except to move it up and down vertically a couple of inches, which kind of screws up my running and I have to stop.

If I stop there and walk it off about 30-60 minutes later it will return to normal. Injury avoided, but training totally screwed over as well.

I'm quite overweight and extremely useless and gutless, but I feel I should be able to do this nonetheless. I've been building up over 2-3 months to 20 minutes or so of running and can't push even a couple of mintues past it. I'm at a plateau and can't get myself past it. Unfortunately, it's a useless, slow and not very far plateau.

I feel like putting a chisel into my ankle and hitting it with a hammer until I get a real injury. I'm so angry at my uselessness.

Can anyone at least shed some light on what this tightening issue is, so I can get back to training??

I am not giving up at this point.

10 Replies

I can’t offer medical advise, l go to my physio (or osteopath) if I’m in trouble but, out of curiosity, are your laces too tight? Especially the top end around each ankle?Also, are you hitting the ground too hard?At your stage you should go very slow and gentle, no pressure!

Lofters in reply to mrrun

Thanks for replying.

It's possible the laces are too tight. I always used to tighten the laces twice. Perhaps I need to re-tie them after teh warm-up. I'm probably hitting the ground too hard from being approximately more spherical than the official ball of last year's world cup. I'm already slower than a one-snail husky team attempting to drag the same sledge through a sandpit.

Hey Lofters don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re out there running - millions aren’t. 👍😀

Do you think it could be plantar fasciitis causing you discomfort? Does it affect your heels too? (Google it if you dont know what I’m talking about!) I suffer a little from it in my left foot and, like you described, it was more of a tightening feeling than a pain. I was able to run through it though, apart from a relapse a couple of weeks ago when it flared up after a toe injury.

Maybe a trip to your GP is in order. Best nip whatever it is in the bud.

Also, have you had a gait analysis? It could be your trainers not giving enough support.

Good luck, and I hope you get sorted. Remember to be kind to yourself! 😀

Hi Cheekychipmunks. It doesn't feel like a permanent injury. It's just preventing my from carrying on mid-run then recovers a couple of hours afterwards.

I wouldn't call what I am achievening as "running." More like "blogging", a combination of blobbing and jogging. That is being generous. It is slow, and it barely covers any distance. I will give myself some credit only when I damned well deserve it. And right now I deserve none.

If I go to the GP, they'll just go "well you're obese, of course you have pain." And that will be the end of that. There's nothing obvious to analyse. I'm already in for sick different chronic disorders. I'm frankly sick of hospital systems, and they are definitely sick of me.

I did have a gait analysis when I bought my running shoes, which seem to be in an OK condition still.

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to Lofters

I can understand your frustration, but please don’t get hung up on how fast you run. As long as you’re in a running motion it’s perfectly acceptable to be travelling slower than your walking pace. I still do just that up hills - I get passed by walkers on my long hill at parkrun!

It takes a long time to build running legs, and if you have additional issues like obesity and ankle discomfort it’ll take longer still but that’s ok. Please don’t do yourself down - every run you do will benefit you. There’s absolutely no rush. You’ll tone up and your general wellbeing will improve, that’s for sure.

You can repeat runs as many times as you want, or you can breeze through the whole programme on the first attempt - everyone’s different but everyone takes something from it. You can too if you let yourself.

Please keep going Lofters. We’re all here for you. 😀

Thank you for your reply, by the way.

I agree sounds like plantar fasciitis. I have it .. struggle to run .. have you tried when running to run toes first then onto heel.. this stretches it sufficiently for you to carry on. I walk now with toes first then heel until it allows the ankle to move. I would get gait analysis and also get to physio. It's all about stretching the whole lot before you attempt to run. Good luck and don't give up.. your doing amazingly.. x

Thank you for the reply. My comments are mirrored above.

Other things of note - turned the same ankle this evening, didn't do any damage except tweak a knee muscle. It may or may not be related, I have a history of ankles randomly giving away at a given moment for no reason.

Changes proposed:

- Change to proper running socks

- Re-check shoe fitting after warm up

- Stand on one leg exercises (the problem ankle seems much weaker than the other)

- Alternative cardio routine (cross trainer, bike, rowing) to move in different ways

- Reduce run from 1.6 miles to 1.0 mile. Increase by 0.1 mile if no further issue

What are your thoughts on the above? Thank you for the help, I really have some self hating moods at times but trying to plan constructively today.

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