Couch to 5K
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W4R2 completed and a bit of advice required re: knees please

Hello all,

I have done run 2 of week 4 this morning -- it took me two hours of arguing with myself to get out there but feel so much better for doing it-- I have had to take it a bit slower this week due to the increase in time running (the three and five minutes) and also knees aching but i have done it and rather pleased I am :D

Re: knees aching to the inside area of both knees: I have a high arch and last year had my gait measured and bought moulded soles for my shoes. Apparently, I run rather flat footed (my partner observed me) and I am trying to run heel through to toe and longer strides but struggling-I cannot fathom out how to change the way I run- but figure if I keep to the programme my stride and technique will improve. I am also planning on going to running fox in Loughborough at the weekend to have them look at me (IF it's still there) but I wondered if anyone can offer any advice on this achey knee business please?

I am wondering how much is simply down to using muscles not used for so long, if at all-- I used to spin and have never mastered or maintained running (have done it in the past but pushed too far too soon and given up) I have noted I am tight in my hamstrings and behind knee and wonder if that is contributing also?

my first couple of runs, my shins hurt but thats resolved so any advice on whether it's simple muscle and getting used to running or shoes or technique or a mixture of all ? I really do want to become a runner as I am actually enjoying being outdoors and conquering this :)



6 Replies

Hello Janet, as you found with your shins you will get some transient aches and pains in the early weeks as your body gets used to the high-impact nature of running, but there is a difference between normal aches and injury and you have to really trust your own instincts on that (err on the side of caution).

So first you've had your gait analysed so the shoes should be fine. However if you have a high arch I don't see how you would be running flat footed? Or does your partner mean you are landing in the middle of your foot? What I would say is don't try to actively change or 'improve' your current natural running style - there are so many theories about heel striking vs forefoot striking but ultimately you need to feel relaxed and free while your run and trust what your legs want to do. Weirdly I found concentrating on loosening my arms and upper body and keeping my hands unclenched really helped in the early weeks.

It takes a while to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support a strong running technique (there are lots of exercises you can do to help this). For example even in the weeks after graduation I still found I was kicking my own ankles when I ran, especially when I got tired. Your stride will naturally increase the more your run, though without you actually noticing it, as such. Oh and make sure you stretch after you run - good ones here: (there are also knee strengthening exercises on the site).

Good luck!


Knee pain is frequently caused by pains in the muscles connecting to the knee - when the muscles hurt, we change the way we run/walk, and that in turn causes the knee pain. So your hamstring might very well be related to your knee pain.

The pain in your knee you describe could sound like the ITB. I had similar pains, and it got increasingly bad as I thought I could just "force" my way through the pain, and in the end I had to take a few weeks out of running completely.

Not sure what to advise you, other than be very careful about ignoring pain - it's your body's way of telling you that there's something not quite right.


I think C25K should have 2 weeks devoted to strengthening leg and knee muscles before we even start running -so many of us are of a certain age and haven't actually moved other than to the biscuit cupboard for the last 30 years! I am learning to manage my knees with strenthening exercises and extra rest days. Don't run through knee pain because it'll only get worse ...


My dodgy knees ached all the time for the first five weeks, but since then rarely give me any problems and are stronger than ever. There can be so many causes and it depends on the degree of pain you are experiencing whether you should carry on or not. We are all different, but new exercise regimes are bound to make underused muscles and joints ache to start with. If they persist then seek advice from GP or physio. I run mainly offroad to avoid the jarring impact of concrete and tarmac.


Thank you all for your replies...I will keep an eye and feeling on them and carry on with the programme. I am thinking it IS due to a new form of exercise. As I said, although I have run before, I have never kept it up for 4 weeks as usually do half an hour solid running with Peter 3 days in the first week and hate it, so have never got to this point before...I am actually enjoying it :)

Turbotortoise (LOVE the user name :D) I have just asked Peter about him saying I run flat footed and he agrees with your definition; that yes, he says I land flat and my whole foot down. Personally, we saw the Royal Marines running on TV last night and i said I run like that...Peter pointed out they were at the END of their exercise and had heavy ruck sacks on lol but I have changed from a lumber to a gentle jog in the last 4 weeks.. I also agree with you regarding relaxing the arms and shoulders, and will be sure to look at some strengthening exercises. Thank you for the link.

Tomas, I looked up the ITB and also found the knee site you had recommended before and I don't actually get any pain on the outside of the knee--its an ache (Not a nice ache on impact but more ache than pain) But appreciate the advice.

Useitorlose it- definitely an age thing, but hopefully running will help strengthen and build, and lannodatruffle - I look forward to after 5 weeks :)

In the meantime, I am going to go and have another gait analysis at the weekend---I will take two pairs of shoes and see what they say. I will keep at it, and maybe take an extra day off for a rest- I have been doing every other day throughout the week (rather than Mon, Wed, Friday) maybe I need to take two days off a week?

Thank you again, and I look forward to sharing more progress and hopefully less aches and pains :D



I'm currently having physio for knee problems arising from running. My physio says that all runners should do quad strengthening exercises every day to protect their knees. Have to say, my knees have started to feel better since I started doing mine. Do take care, your knees are precious

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