Couch to 5K
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I'm depressed

I was supposed to do W2D3 today, but have been having terrible trouble with my inner knees (seems to be Pes Anserine Tendinopathy according to my research on Google lol.) My last run was painfully slow, not due to my breathing, but do to the pain in my knees. I tried to go today, but realized soon into the run that it was not to be. I have (strangely) begun to love running, and I'm just sick that I have to put it off for a few days. I have been doing stretching, and will continue to do so, hoping things will feel better soon. The only bright point here is that it is making me work harder at losing weight, because I'm sure having less weight on my knees could only be helpful.

I'm just here to complain, so pay me no mind HA! I so want to become a runner, and I was starting to feel like one. Thanks for letting me vent!


16 Replies

Firstly congratulations on getting this far and enjoying it. I appreciate it's frustrating however you must rest as you do not want to cause any serious/long term damage.

Once your knee is feeling upto it ease back into your running. Good luck :-)


Good luck getting the pain sorted. I think you are right not to run when in pain and hopefully the stretches will help. What about getting advice from a sports physio or specialist running shop? I'm afraid I don't know enough to give you any other advice. I hope you get back to running soon.


Hi, I had exactly yhe same problem with my knees at the start so I went and got new running shoes, turns out I have high arches so needed extra support, I repeated week 2 and week 3 twice to take it easy and the pain completely stopped. Good luck. Laura


Try not to feel down, you can overcome these problems. Half of the c25k programme is about finding inner strength.

Lots of people have knee troubles at first, myself included. I had physio and so learnt how to do exercises to strengthen my knees. A good pair of shock absorbing running shoes are also necessary.

When I had knee troubles and I couldn't run for a while I took to my bike to keep the cardio and general fitness level up. You use different muscle groups but it will give your knees that rest they need.

Good luck :)


Hi , I'm on wk 7 ,have a bike & like cycling. Is it ok to cycle on rest days ? I thought about it but wasn't sure . Thanks .


. Cycling is non impact and uses different muscle groups in different ways to running so is considered to be a good thing on rest days. Just don't overdo it.


Thanks , ooh I'm on mi bike later .


Yes, enjoy your bike, but make room for rest days sometimes too as your body needs to rest and mend muscles too x


Yes , I agree with last posts on shoes & rest . I suffered terribly with my knees at exactly same wk your on now I went t docs , he said body getting used to running nothing wrong & keep it up . I rested 5 days , got new trainers , from sweatshop & never looked back , problems in knees went after a few runs . Stop googling I was same , see the doctor & play safe . Hope all goes well , I'm sure you will be up & running in no time .


I found tubigrips over my knees helped. If walking doesn't hurt, try alternating between walking and walking faster rather than running.

After using my heart rate monitor I figure that walking 5km and running 5km burns about the same about of calories, do it really is just about moving. If course walking doesn't achieve the same level of fitness, but that can come later :-)


I had the same problem with my knees at around the 2 and 3 week mark. It was inside the inner part of my knees and would last until after my run and a day or so after, just in time for the next run when it would get a little worse to the point where running was really quite uncomfortable. I thought about packing it in but, like you, I was enjoying it so much I got quite sad about the whole thing.

However it wasn't painful enough to see the doctor but I was afraid it would get worse if I left it.

After seeking out some advice on here and other runners I managed to sort it out myself with a combination of things. I don't have the cash to spend money on new trainers, especially as I had only just started, although I know this has helped a lot of people I thought I would leave this as a second to last resort.

So I had a 3 day break, for the next 4 runs I took an ibuprofen 10 mins before the run, did my stretches slowly and properly, briefly popped an ice pack on my knees straight afterwards then followed it up by a warm/hot shower afterwards. This seemed to ease it off slowly and by week 4/5 it was as if I never had a problem.

I think my body was in shock after years and years of inactivity that even a 90sec run came as a surprise hence the knee ache/pain in protest.

However, as others on here advise, if you are in severe pain that doesn't ease off after a day or two seek some professional advice.

Good luck - running is great isn't!


Hiya. so firstly have you bought decent shoes? I had a friend who seriously damaged her back by not buying proper running shoes before starting running. I went and had my gait looked at in a specialist shop and bought appropriate shoes, as I have knee issues too. One lady above has said 'I can't afford to buy trainers', but seriously you can't afford NOT to.

Part way through week 2 I found my left knee threatening to buckle, so I bought a decent knee support, which has made a huge difference:

Now I am about to complete week 8 (OMG!!) and my knees feel great.

Keep us updated, Nick :-)


I had the same problem when I started C25K - I thought, "Great - I'm not going to be able to do this because I have bad knees!". For me, a week of rest and ice took care of the problem. Then I started over where I left off. As others have said, good shoes are important. A good running store will fit you properly. Also, never stretch a cold muscle - it can cause damage. Make sure you've warmed up well before you stretch. Personally, I don't stretch until after my run - that works for me. But if you must stretch before, don't do it until your warm.


I have dodgy knees and was worried I wouldn't be able to do c25k at first. I always used to wear stretchy knee supports whenever I ran. However, I later realised that always supporting my knees was stopping them from building up natural support, so I only wear knee supports now if my knees get really bad. I've been running regularly 3-6 times per week for the last two months now and my knees haven't felt this good in years.

Obviously we're all different, but there's some great advice above from everyone, such as the importance of the right footwear (can't stress this enough) and getting a professional opinion if they don't improve. Unless a doctor strongly advises you otherwise then I would say you can do c25k too. Stretch after running, ice knees if sore and take ibuprofen (I'd suggest the latter in response to swelling/pain rather than before running, as you don't want to mask pain and maybe do more damage before you realise). Rest at least 1-2 days between runs and don't ignore pain if it doesn't go away, get it checked out. Good luck and I hope you'll be back on track very soon. :-)


Plenty of good advice here but I would just reiterate what some of the other members have said - it's a good idea to get the pain checked out by a doctor, just to be on the safe side. Strangely, I have the opposite problem - if I don't run my knees seem to get weak and start to give way a bit at various odd times. The running helps to strengthen the muscles which support the joints! Cycling on rest days can be useful, I do it regularly because there are cycle paths all around the area where I live and it's by far the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to get to town - without ever touching a road. Good luck in getting your knee pain sorted out. Cheers.


Oh, a million thank yous to all of you - and thank you for all the advice. I did buy myself a new pair of New Balance trail shoes (I live in the country - run mostly on gravel.) I do plan on getting a gait analysis and more (heehee) new shoes in the near future - just wanted to make sure I could do this before I spent that much money. I have been taking ibuprofen the last couple days, and it really helps. I am going to go back and re-read all your advice, and I think I'll just keep resting them for a couple more days. I have read that stretching should be done after running, so I'll keep that in mind. I do think it's just my body getting used to running, since it's both of the knees. If things don't improve soon, I'll see a doctor. Interesting that walking and running burns the same amount of calories - I have read many different views on that. Even walking has been painful, though.

Thank you everyone for making me feel SO much better!


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