Anyone with MS manage the C25K programme & kee... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
107,871 members138,838 posts

Anyone with MS manage the C25K programme & keep it up?


I have relapsing remitting MS, and generally cope pretty well, so exercise of some sort is always possible. I've just started the C25K and after only a week, my legs/right hip & back are really painful. Not sure this has anything to do with MS or just a case of running too hard during this early stage? How much pain should be expected during this programme (non MS people also!!!!) Thanks :)

13 Replies

Don't think there should be a lot of pain. Maybe a bit if discomfort when you first start the programme. Perhaps you could try some walking first to build up to starting the podcasts. I have a friend with MS who runs every morning with her dog and is fit and active. Think you should probably seek some advice from your Doctor before continuing. Good luck and keep well.

SauvieB in reply to Running66

Thanks Running66 - I do quite a bit of walking already but it's so difficult to tell which is possibly MS related pain/discomfort or the fact my body is just protesting!! Great to hear there are people with MS out there running daily!

I dont have MS but I do have ME, the running shouldn't cause pain, maybe sore muscles as you are starting to work them. I would go see your doctor to make sure every thing is ok.

You can also take longer than a days rest between runs, I found I sometimes need up to a week to recover from a run before I can go out again.

I agree spoonierunning - I think I may need to rest a little longer between runs & see how it goes. Thanks for your reply!

Well done on starting c25k. Are you running outside or on a treadmill? Although I like to run outside, I have found that I ache a lot less when I have used the treadmill.

SauvieB in reply to RoRoMama

Hi RoRoMama - I'm running outside, but was toying with the idea of a treadmill as I used to run treadmill at the gym (many years ago!) & found I could do a 5k quite easily. Whether that's down to just being younger I don't know!! May join a gym to try this out. Many thanks.


Hi Sauvie,

I don't have MS, but do have a tendency to painful joints and experienced quite a lot of pain at various points throughout the programme and since. Early on I had a lot of hip pain and ran through it, ending up having to take nearly a month off, but I also had different pains that improved/went away if I ran though them. Now I think I'm better at knowing the difference, but it is a learning curve that will be very individual to your body. It is worth it though - generally my joints feel 100% better than they used to! Yoga stretches after running, particularly around the hips and lower back, have helped eliminate the hip pain completely and generally help with muscle pain etc. I also attend a yoga session once a week. Most importantly, though, I wanted to say that someone I know has MS and she was a major reason I carried on running or went back to it after having some pain. She regularly runs 5 miles 3 times per week, last year ran the Great North Run and will be running another half marathon this Autumn. Proper inspiration that made me realise I really had no excuses!!

SauvieB in reply to Sedw

Thanks's so inspiring to hear of your friend & the fact she is a regular runner & competing in races. Impressive!!! I agree, it could well be a learning curve for me, I do think the hip pain could be totally unrelated to MS and therefore will hopefully improve with my fitness. I'm taking cod liver oil to help support my joints, got to be worth a try? I'm also incorporating pilates as often as I can, very similar to yoga, lots of stretching & core strengthening - fingers crossed all this helps. It is early days for me & I'm trying to not feel under pressure to do the C25K in the 7/8 weeks that is set by my programme. If I need to repeat a week, then that is what I will do. No shame in trying to get there, however long it takes is what I am telling myself :)

SedwGraduate in reply to SauvieB

Abso-bloomin-lutely! No rush at all, I repeated quite a few sessions and after graduating and getting the hip pains, had to return to week 3 again. It's frustrating when it happens but at least if you accept it and carry on at whatever stage you can manage, it means you're still getting out there. Well done on the pilates, I've been thinking of trying it but not yet found a local class that suits. And yes, cod liver oil bound to be worth it - I've started eating a lot more oily fish since I started running. Good luck and hope the pains start to clear up soon!


Are you doing the NHS C25K programme or something else? I am not sure some of the others are quite as gentle in tone.

You may be more prone to strains from not having exactly the right shoes for you, from running on hard surfaces and faster than you need to to complete the programme (NHS C25K is actually only looking to keep you running for 30 minutes) I got new shoes after gait analysis and they were awful, felt like I had a really bad neuropathy and my knees literally knocked together. The pain lasted a good while after that (but fortunately I'd bought where I could take them back and swap them)

Treadmills, whilst useful if you only have access to hard surfaces otherwise don't seem that great in allowing people to listen to their bodies and vary their pace.

There's a lovely set of Yoga for MS videos on Ekhart Yoga - by subscription or paid download but you can try a sample free on YouTube.

Over time I have found that running has reduced some of my pain (shin splints, had 'em for decades, now just about gone) I've avoided hard surfaces (the rare times I've run on them it has reminded me I really, really shouldn't) I wear minimalist shoes (because I can't feel the ground properly otherwise and have to put extra effort into balance) Week 1 was certainly hard - took me nearly 6 weeks to get there and was quite ill in the middle of that, not sure why.... but I never had to repeat another sessions and ran just about every other day.

I don't stretch at all around my run sessions but I am scrupulous about the before and after walk, and I do yoga at other times. Stretching close to my run doesn't seem to agree with my body.

I'm undoubtedly fitter and I think it has reduced my pain but still in bed most of the time.

SauvieB in reply to GoogleMe

Thanks GoogleMe - its so encouraging to read that despite various & numerable setbacks you are still out there doing it!! Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

I'm another R&R (mild) MSer, and I've just completed Wk1 Run 2. After the first run I was ok that evening, but major aches and pains for the following 2 days. Woke up on 3rd day and felt almost fine again. I think everyone should expect aches and pains to start with. But ordinary folks' aches and pains are different from MS ones, and I expect you will be able to feel the difference. Just do what you can do. If all you ever do is Wk 1 Run 1, it's more than most people do (!), and progress if you start to cope better. If it makes your MS symptoms come back, maybe just do brisk walking out in the fresh air, which is brilliant for MS as it keeps the limbs mobile and helps you sleep!

Yes I think it will be at my own pace useritorloseit.....I did start with severe numbness in one leg one night, but it had disappeared by the morning - phew! I'm determined to keep going, just at my own pace! Thanks for the reply :)

You may also like...