Has anyone ever had to quit running the C25K because of knee and/or ankle problems? Or can just about any issue be resolved?

Hi, this is my first post / question. I'm only 39 and feel generally I'm not totally unfit :) My job involves quite a bit of driving, but also a fair bit of activity (including sometimes moving photocopiers up/down stairs!) - it's not like I'm sat at a desk all day.

My wife and I started the C25K program a couple of weeks ago, both bought new running shoes, and week 1 went really well - loved it and was really looking forward to building up over the weeks. However, I started to get niggles in my right knee and left ankle during week 2.

In fact I've had to halt the program after week 2 run 2, that was on Wednesday 9th - here we are on Sunday 13th (I've not run since) and my legs are still killing me!

It's still very much my right knee and left ankle, but my whole legs generally ache... first thing in the morning I'm hobbling round like I'm 80 (no disrespect to octogenarians)

Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a runner and I should try cycling or swimming, but I was really loving the running - working through the program with my wife, encouraging my brother and some friends to have a go too... It kind of feels like I'm letting them all down - but my legs are clearly telling me to quit :(

Feeling rather glum about it all - is there any hope for me?


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10 Replies

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  • Hi. If you got a gait analysis when you got your shoes, they should be ok for you. Are you stretching out after runs? If so, it may be you just need to take extra rest days. You may want to consider using tubigrips to help support your joints while running.

  • Hi don't give up all hope I have had to stop due to a knee injury had an MRI last night and will hopefully get results early in the week I am in considerable pain at the moment but have not given up hope. Go see your dr if you get the all clear get your shoes checked make sure you warm up properly you may need to walk for a little longer at the beginning just adjust to suit yourself but don't give up if you truly are enjoying it. I have been writing myself training plans right up to marathon to keep myself motivated whilst on an enforced break. Good luck keep us posted

  • I'm just starting week 9 of the program and for the first 6 weeks or so I suffered with painful ankles - felt like they were "creaking" and going to crack when I started running (but eased off after the first few minutes). I modified the start of each session so I had a longer warm up (10 mins or more) and added a couple of 30 sec to 1min runs within this warm up, which helped, but in the last two weeks the problem has all but disappeared so think it was just my ankles getting accustomed to the activity? Agree with the others - try getting your gait looked at and use knee supports too. Good luck - you can do it!

  • Hi, am very interested in your question and replies as I also have severe pain problems. I am older than you ( late 50s), and not used to exercise but wanted to improve that. During week 2 had a knee pain in left knee but continued to run ( leaning towards right knee for extra support). Continued to run even through both knees now painful until had to give up. Now even walking is extremely painful. I did get new shoes and a gait analysis ( recommended inserts but they made shoes too tight so didnt use them). How long before walking or even nobbling is pain free? Would knee strengthening exercises help?

  • I think you need proper gait analysis. I graduated from C25k and I could barely walk into the running shop ( I'm not joking). Then with new shoes the problem was gone in a week and none since ( that was a year ago)... Good luck!!

  • Def gait analyst helps I suffered with knees , got new trainers 2 runs in them pains disappeared .

  • Definately get it checked. In my case, my GP referred me to a podiatrist who fitted me for insoles (that I use all the time, not just in my running shoes) and since then I've had no more trouble.

  • This sounds exactly like my experience.

    I was fine until week 2 run 2 and then the next day I could hardly walk due to pain in my left knee. I stopped running and tried to rest as much as possible but the pain was still there after a week so I went to the doctors. I had damaged the cartilage in my knee from running in shoes that were not supportive enough. I had to take prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and wear a knee support for 3 weeks. I went and had gait analysis at a local running shop and it showed that I have an issue with over pronation. I brought some new running shoes and after three weeks rest I started running again (wearing a knee support). I am now half way through week 4 and I have no pain when running or after. I just make sure I stretch before and after each run.

    There is hope! I would suggest making sure your knee is 100% before trying again, maybe having a gait analysis done and wearing a knee support (but I am no doctor). Take it steady and if you do have pain then stop. My doc told me to keep walking throughout the healing process to prevent further injury when I started running again.

    I hope you get back to running soon, it sounds like you are missing it :D

  • I had this problem. I was in agony with my knees when I first started. I went for gait analysis and the helpful assistant pointed out that my core strength was terrible and this was affecting the way I ran. I started pilates to improve my core strength and I haven't had the same pain since. Perhaps you need to introduce some strength training alongside your running? I also left two rest days between my runs until I was more used to running.

  • Hi, I'm new on here but not new to C25K. I did it last year and have just started week 8 this time round. I'm 53 and have Rheumatoid Arthritis so I can really sympathise with you regarding joint pain, however I would suggest unless your Dr tells you any different, keep at it. As others have said, proper footwear and a gait analysis is so important rather than just buying any old trainers, you will be amazed how much more comfortable a proper fitting pair of trainers will make things, it's well worth the expense. When you haven't done exercise for a long time, a certain amount of muscle/joint pain is really to be expected but of course if it's severe, get it checked out. I can tell you from my experience, it will get better as your muscles get stronger and your joints get used to the exercise so please don't give up, take it easy and if you have to repeat week 1 over a 2nd week, it doesn't matter, just keep going. I promise you, slowly, slowly it will get easier and you may find that the stiffness and pain you are feeling will get easier with a light jog. Keep going and you will be so pleased you did :)

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