I am an alum of the C25K program, which I completed 4 years ago. I went on to run up to 6 miles, but....a foot injury sidelined and sidetracked me around 3 years ago. I've tried running since then, but every time I go out, I experience pain on the outer side of my foot.
It eventually got to the point where it hurt when I even walked long distances, so I saw a podiatrist about it. He said I have peroneal tendonitis, caused by tight calves and achilles tendons. With the help of gel insoles in both running and regular shoes, my foot stopped hurting while walking, BUT it still hurts if I run.
I really want to get back into running--my only fitness love. I'm wondering 1) if anyone can suggest good stretches for extremely tight calves and achilles tendons, and 2) whether anyone has advice on if it's okay to run through pain. Should I just wait and see a doctor (with my HMO, this could take a while)? Any other advice?
The key to the flexibility issue is mostly related to frequency of stretching... in other words stretch several times a day (gently) but don't stretch aggressively. Stretching 6 times a day would not be excessive if you're really tight. I like the standard calf stretch with a "tweak" - you lock your arch to keep it from collapsing, this causes the stretch to be focused in the calf muscles and not the arch of the foot. In addition, you might want to look into WHY your calves are tight. Perhaps it is related to muscle imbalances like weakness in your lower back or lateral hips. Finally - make sure the shoes you're wearing are correct for you and that you're following good conservative training principles.
Don't run on it if it is painful! That is a big mistake! Pain is there for a reason, telling us there is something wrong. If you continue it will only make it worse.
If it is peroneal tendinopathy then you need more treatment than just insoles and stretching. Although this is a good start. Check out this page for more stretching ideas for the calf, shin and peroneals: