Just completed run 2,week 3 but my legs have been really achy particularly around my knees/ hips. Shall I have a break from running? :(

I went for a very big walk up in the mountains a week ago - only 6 miles but about 3,000ft of ascent. Since then I have had problems running - hip flexors a and ligaments and muscles around knees are sore and stiff although I wouldn't really call it joint pain as it doesn't feel like it's the actual joints that are a problem. Not sure whether to rest or keep going. I've kept going up to now but my legs have been very stiff. I'm loathed to stop running as my fitness is really improving.

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  • I'd probably say keeping moving is your best answer BUT be mindful of the 'pain' getting worse not better.

    I assume it.s natural to "feel" your muscles etc when you start a new physical exercise. I have had knee and hip issues from trying to run in the past, but when I started the C25k programme this time, I'd been doing a 30 day squat challenge and the difference it's made to my leg strength has been HUGE - strengthening my glutes and quads has taken the strain off my knees.

    Have you had your gait analysed at a specialist running shop? The wrong running shoes can cause havoc with your joints and muscles, so maybe that's something to consider too.

  • Thanks for that. I think I need to do more than just running in terms of strengthening my legs so appreciate your advice. I recently bought shoes from Decathlon and was assessed there but maybe will try a specialist shop next time. I had followed the advice on the the C25k programme about striking down with your heel first but have now read a lot on this site and other running sites about mid-foot strike which appears to help avoid these types of strains. So I think I need to look at a few things. I am going to keep going unless I find it starts to be really painful. :)

  • Are you stretching after your runs? Do good long stretches (don't bounce) hold each stretch for a count of 20-30. Check on line for runners stretches some may be better for you than others. It will probably settle down the more your legs get used to what you are demanding of them, just don't ignore pain though.

  • No I haven't done that - just stretched before runs to warm up. I will have a look on you tube for post-run stretches. I won't ignore the pain - to be honest I can't ignore it although I must say I am feeling a little better and more mobile this evening but it's my rest day today so I am hoping for further improvement tomorrow. Thanks for the advice :)

  • Stretching cold muscles can do more harm than good. I will admit, I never stretch either before or after a run, but I always walk for longer than 5 minutes and keep moving throughout the day after my run (or soak in the bath if I've run in the evening).

  • There's so much conflicting advice that its difficult to know what to do for the best! I love a hot bath after a run but I've just been advised against that as well and that it's better to take a cold shower! (Although that's one piece of advice I won't be following!)

  • I wouldn't say take a break if its only soreness. How many times are you running in a week? It might help to have an extra day between runs and do some cross training on those days (anything that isn't high impact).

    I started running in January, I ran every other day and used to have sore knees and also especially my IT band on my right leg. Then I started cycling a lot and cut down my running to only once or twice a week. My leg muscles are pretty strong now (even if I do say so myself) and I've increased my running to two or three times a week (and for much longer distances) and I've not had any of the same problems as before.

  • Thanks that's useful! I have actually got up feeling much less sore this morning. I am only running the couch to 5k programme so just 3 times a week. I'm not a gym member so don't have access to a cross trainer but I guess I could do other types of low impact exercise in between. I reckon if I take today off I can run tomorrow evening and still stick to the programme if I run every other day this week. I'm really reluctant to let it slide now :)

  • Glad you're less sore! Cross training isn't a type of gym equipment it just means doing something that is a different activity. I'm not a gym member either I just use my bike to get to work. If you haven't got access to a bike you could maybe try some workout videos on youtube? Anything with squats or similar exercises in it should help strengthen the leg muscles around your knee and hips.

  • Ah I thought you meant a cross trainer as in the equipment. Sorry. Yes I have a couple of DVDs hiding away somewhere that I could dust off that have general lunges and squats etc. I need to get my legs stronger that's for sure. I'm off on a walking holiday this weekend for a week so that will help but I will need to take it easy with the big mountains! Thanks again!

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