Couch to 5k - pain in knees and ankles - help!


Would really appreciate some help from experienced runners.  image I've never run before (except for a bit in the gym years ago) and I've not done much fitness for the past 2 months apart from some walking.  Previously I would have done spin classes and walking, etc.  I'm not sedentary though as I run about after my son a lot!

 So I started my plan of run 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds (for about 30 mins) just over 2 weeks ago after making sure I had the right shoes (went to a proper shop, got gait analysis, etc).  Every time I run my ankles and knees are really sore afterwards (they are ok while I'm running) and they get more sore over the next couple of days.  I don't know if I'm doing some damage or if this is normal aches and pains and I should continue?

So far I've done:

Wk 1: 2 runs 60 secs, walk 90 seconds

Wk 2: 2 runs 90 secs, walk 60 seconds

My last run was last Friday and today (Monday) my knees and ankles felt a bit better when I got up but by the end of the day after I'd walked home (1.7 miles) they are really aching again (to the extent where I have to take pain killers to make sure I can get to sleep).  I'm lying on the sofa having to stretch my legs as they aren't even vaguely comfortable any other way - surely that can't be right after 3 days?!

More detail on the pain: my knees feel hot and are slightly sore to the touch on the inside of my leg just below the knee cap.  My ankles are sore at the heel, so if I squeeze my heel on either side it is quite painful.  There is some swelling below the ankle bone as well.  It also hurts when I first start to walk and it gets easier.

I'm just over 11st and 5 ft, 5.  My shoes are Saucony - they feel quite tight around the back of my heel pretty much where it's sore but they were fitted by someone who supposedly knew what they were doing and surely they need to be quite well fitted in that area?

Sorry for the long post!  I was really enjoying the running and I'm worried I need to stop now.  image

Previously (in Nov) I ran in an old pair of shoes (also 60/90) and really hurt my ankles which is when I realised I needed proper shoes.  My ankles were sore in the same way for 2 weeks and then I waited until I got my new shoes for C'mas before trying again - maybe I hurt my ankles at that time and they're still not right?

One other thing - my foot arches are quite high, not sure if that's relevant - they were higher when I was a kid but they're still quite high now.

If you think I've overdone it can you advise what I should change next time?  Was really hoping to get into running as I was enjoying it and it's quick exercise which is all I have time for now I have a kid! image

Thanks in advance!



  • Hi Scarlett

    IMHO I'd start by geting a 2nd opinion on the shoes.  You wouldn't be the first person to be badly advised, I certainly have been in the past and it led to a long injury lay off.

    I'd try going to a different shop and starting from scratch.  Don't take your current shoes, let them form their own opinion first


  • Thanks - yes I'm beginning to wonder if you're right.  They do feel a little tight round the ankles - arrgh!  I'll be really annoyed if I've just wasted 80 quid!!

    Only problem is Up and Running is the only decent running equipment shoe I know of in Belfast.....

  • when i started my knees were the first thing and my ankles were next i was over doing it for me so after you get some rest and the pain goes away i would  try to do a little less maybe 15min for 2 weeks and see how it is then if its ok build up slowly 20min then 25 and so on let your body get used to running and try to run light on your feet

    this is just my experiance i am sure alot of other people in this forum have had the same thing and may be able to guide you

  • Thanks, I think I will give that a go - determined not to give in!  If it's still the same then I'll look again at the shoes. image
  • Hi,

    I am the User Generated Content Manager at the NHS Choices website.

    You may already be aware, but we now have a community for people trying out the Couch to 5K programme. It allows people to compare notes and talk about their experiences. We'd be delighted for you to drop by. Good luck with your fitness!

    Rosie, NHS Choices
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