Is Couch to 5 k the best option??

I am considering starting the couch to 5 k challenge, as it will break me into running and get me fit. However I have bad knees, due to a condition I have has since I was a teen, not helped ofcourse by my wieght. So I am wondering whether this is the best option for me or if anyone can recommend any other form of exercise that is free lol as I cannot afford the gym/swimming etc. Help Please!!


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11 Replies

  • You could check with your doctor if you are worried. Losing weight would really help take pressure off your knees. Eating healthily and losing weight would be a good start, and running could really help with that. C25k is not too hard on the knees as you will only be running for 60 seconds to start with.

  • If you find that C25K isn't for you, then walking is good, less high impact. But doing a programme like C25K reduces the risks. If you bear in mind that the goal with the programme is to run for an increasing period of time rather than achieve a speed, and think more in terms of a running motion than going faster than you can walk, you will be safer. I choose to run off road rather than pounding pavements to preserve my joints. You are likely to feel wary about spending a lot of money on shoes but if/when you do decide to spend money there are a lot of merits in going somewhere that will let you take them back after you've run in them a few times - cheap shoes which mean your knees hurt are too expensive! (Expensive shoes which hurt your knees even if they were great in the shop after gait analysis would be even worse of course... unless you can take them back)

  • I have had knee problems too and was nervous to start the programme. Aside from the odd twinge I have been ok. I take cod liver oil and glucosamine daily to help too.

    It's different for everyone but if you are worriedly be try walking the first 'run' alternating between a walk and a brisk walk. It's still great exercise and a less intense approach. Good luck!

  • Definitely start with the walking to build up and perhaps start looking at weight reduction as well -

    I have one problem knee and wear a support when running which seems to help. It was recommended to me to do exercises specifically to strengthen mucles around the knees. I do single leg presses on the machine at the gym as well as doubles. Just found these on the NHS site - good luck.

  • If you fancy swimming (and its great for not putting pressure on joints) check out the cost of your nearest local authority run pool - you might be pleasantly surprised. There are sometimes discounts for multiple-entry cards too, making it really reasonable ! If you do get into it, then the Amateur Swimming Association site has a programme called Swimfit that gradually builds up to swimming faster and further. (Not unlike c25k) You can also choose distance challenges.

    However I have bad knees (misaligned kneecaps and osteoarthritis). My GP referred me to a podiatrist who fitted me for insoles, and I have had no knee trouble since I got them. Maybe you could find out about this, then start with a programme of brisk walking to build up to be able to walk 30 minutes briskly. Once you can do that, then give c25k a go - just take it easy and stop if it hurts.

  • It's clear from all these posts Littlemix that where there's a will there's a way. So don't talk yourself out of exercise and the opportunity to get some weight off and get healthy. You'll never regret doing so. Good luck

  • Several points, some of which have already been mentioned.

    See the Doc if you have concerns.

    Try swimming to get fitter first. Low impact, but excellent exercise.

    Keep knees warm; the cold will play havoc with them. Neoprene knee supports, long running trousers, avoiding very cold weather...etc.

    Take Cod Liver Oil ~ it really does work. I was scepical, but it does work. Also, eat oily fish.

    Lastly, listen to what your body is telling you. It is better to stop running and walk as necessary than to harm the joint and then be off running for some weeks.

  • Would also add start on grass or a softer surface than Tarmac.

  • Agreed, but with the caveat that you should avoid wet grass until you are used to it. Early morning grass that is covered in dew can be treacherous indeed.

    Whatever you do, enjoy your running, set realistic goals and don't be afraid of repeating a week if you feel you should.

  • Thanks guys :-D

    I did a lovely walk with lots of inclines, also jogged for short periods too, with the dog and horse yestarday. Went about 4 miles, it was great, although I did get some funny looks joggin with the horse on one side and the dog on the other!

  • I used to walk/run with 4 goats and 4 dogs , all off lead! Goats were great at the running parts bucking and running sideways then slamming on the brakes to eat nice branches!

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