Couch to 5K
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Hills! Intervals! Runners knee!

well, second post grad week and have relegated myself to the injury bench. After last week's longer runs I started noticing a bit of a twinge in my right knee in the evenings. It was gone by morning though so I discounted it as just a minor niggle.

So Monday i tackled my first proper hill session. Had been rather dreading it but in the event motored up the hill quite happily. So much so when I descended the other side I looped round and did it again. Knee was quite sore that evening but again okay by morning.

Did a sort-of-Fartlek session on Wednesday, but the knee pain was back by the end of the run, and continued. In my job I spend most of my day on my feet and by Thursday afternoon I was really wincing just walking on it.

Have taken the rest of the week off to rest it. A bit annoyed with myself - classic noob mistake of upping my mileage too suddenly. Jumping from 15k a week to 25 straight away was asking for trouble.

so now its Sunday and I am still noticing it when I walk down stairs. How long is it likely to need to let me run again? I don't want to make it any worse, but at the same time don't want to lose fitness either.

7 Replies

I wouldn't worry too much about your fitness. It is remarkable, once developed, how well fitness sustains itself. I remember doing something similar post graduation and I hope others will read this and take note. The 10% maximum weekly increase in distance and/or duration (and this is on one run, note) is a very good guide and can help avoid the frustration of not running at all because of injury caused by overdoing it. Any change in your running regime that changes your stride pattern can also make you more prone to injury. In my case it was increasing my stride length when running on road (I am normally off road) that caused problems. For you, the increased distance plus hill work was probably too much too soon.

Patience, followed by some gentle, short runs when the pain has subsided is the best route back. C25k teaches us that slow and steady wins the day and it is still a good maxim post graduation. I wish you a speedy return to running. Good luck.


Seconded. Wise advice.


Thirded (if there is such a thing) Don't run until you're completely pain free or else your bottom could get numb from sitting on the injury couch!

1 like

I fully endorse what IdT just said. That's how I originally crocked myself - by doing a very long (and I thought gentle) hill run. It may have been a gentle incline but it was too long (4+K) I had regularly been running 6 - 10k but on the level, so - be told! Listen to ~IdT's words of advice and don't live to regret it!


Hahahahah :D


Wise words from, Ian. I graduated a few weeks ago but I'm only concentrating on covering regular 5K distances for at least a few more weeks before looking to do anything else. Once I do decide to start increasing my distance it will be no more than a maximum of 10%. I've read recently that it can take upto 6 months for newbies to develop/strengthen tendons, muscles etc. I'm in no rush and certainly don't want to end up on the injury couch because I pushed myself too soon.

I hope it's just a minor injury and rest will sort you out.

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thanks for the advice, all. I'm going to give it another full week at least, and, thanks to the new positive mindset C25k has given me, am taking this as an opportunity rather than a setback: firstly, that it's probably better to learn the lesson about overdoing it earlier in one's running 'career' than later, and secondly, I can concentrate on my upper body and core workouts for a while. I'm still spinning 3 times a week ( which doesn't seem to bother the knee, as it is not impact) so should still keep up cardio fitness.

Strange, 4 months ago, I would have seen a minor injury as a great excuse to sit on the sofa with my feet up. Now, it's purgatory.


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