new runner, sore ankles (Read 124 times)


    Every year or so around this time, I decide to start running. I do love it, but I quit after a couple of weeks because my ankles are so sore. I went to the Running Room and did a proper fit for shoes so my shoes are good. I'm quite small (5'3, 103 lbs, very small boned) so it's not a weight thing as far as I can tell. I guess I just have weak ankles. Are there any suggestions? I'm about to start (for the 4th time) the c25k and really want to be able to stick with it this time. Any help would be great! Thanks!

    Team 9 from Outer Space

      If you can, try running on softer surfaces. Like a gravel path is better than pavement and pavement is better than concrete/sidewalks. C25K is a really good program. You can do it! Smile

      "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)


      Three half marathons later, I got a number. Half Fanatic #9292. :)

        The C25K program has you trying to do too much too soon.  You might be better off to do only walking for a while.  I suggest this program:


        Walk every day.  Take a day off every week.  Five days a week is also good.

        Start with ten minutes or so, and gradually build up to a half hour.

        Walk at a brisk pace, as if you are going somewhere.

        If your ankles start to hurt, back off until they feel better.

        When you can walk a half hour at a brisk pace, at least five days per week, THEN


        You are ready to start running.

        Just a little bit, say the last five minutes of every walk.

        GRADUALLY increase the time spent running until you are running a half hour five times per week.


        If you try to run too far too fast too soon, your body will complain.  Painfully.

        If you increase time / distance / speed too slowly, ....

        No such thing, your progress will be slow and your running will be painless.


        Fitness, done right, is a lifetime thing.  If it takes a little longer to get started, so what?


          Thanks! I live in a city so softer surfaces are hard to find, but I'll see if I can alter my course to find something different.


          And as for walking, I walk to and from work (4km) every day, so have no problem with walking. Never any ankle pain at all. It's just with running that it's happening for some reason.



            Well, in that case I have another suggestion.  Try running the last 30 or 40 meters of every walk when you are well warmed up.  Run as slow as you can for a very short distance, but do it often.  If you can do that for few weeks without ankle problems, then gradually increase the running distance.  


              Also, watch your form when you run. If you are keeping your foot stiff and locked at a 90 degree angle vs keeping loose and letting your foot naturally flex during a run could cause soreness in the ankles. I had this a few weeks back, and I checked my form the next time and sure enough when I let my ankles be looser, the soreness/stiffness went away.


                Like JR said take it slow.

                When you are watching TV pick up your foot and trace the alphabet in the air.

                Run - walk till you can run five miles without stopping, then start a running plan.

                MSM and flax oil help pain. 500 mg naproxen if its serious.

                Swimming & bike. Don't run more than three days a week for a while.


                  On the topic of form, if you are a heel striker (landing on your heels) then that might be contributing to your soreness. Try something like the Pose Method. Search for it on You Tube, they have good examples of ideal form.  Good luck!


                    On the topic of form, if you are a heel striker (landing on your heels) then that might be contributing to your soreness. Try something like the Pose Method. Search for it on You Tube, they have good examples of ideal form.  Good luck!


                    In my opinion, this is the case. It was happening to me till I realised it and started to learn proper technique. Since then, no sore knees even after running for hours and hours. There is no way good fit trainers will help you for long term. Sure, they do for a short time but you just keep doing it wrong till even them don't protect anymore.


                    My advice: buy some "minimalist" shoes and start using them now and then. As they do not have almost any support they will naturally force you to proper technique - watch it on YouTube or on many other sites. Of course, you can do the same barefoot - which is more hardcore though. Once you lear a good technique no matter what shoes you have and how much you run your pain goes away.


                      I'd guess that it's mostly just too much, too soon.  I almost wonder if the fact that you do a good amount of walking on hard surfaces each day may actually play into it, since your feet already take a bit of a pounding each day from the walking.


                      Form may be some component of it.  For some people, having a forefoot strike and "good" form is really important to staying healthy.  I personally seem to stay healthier if I just let my body run the way it wants to run, which in my case unfortunately means heel striking and feet flailing out to the sides.

                      My wildly inconsistent PRs:

                      5k: 24:36 (10/20/12)  

                      10k: 52:01 (4/28/12)  

                      HM: 1:50:09 (10/27/12)

                      Marathon: 4:19:11 (10/2/2011) 



                        Do you stretch?