Couch to 5K
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Injury concerns

Day 1 of week 1 c25k cimpleted , I feel great . Used to do a lot of running but each time I try to go back to it I end up with some sort of injury (no matter how slow I take it) had came to the conclusion that at 46 I'm 2 old for running now without risk of injury but decided to give c25k a go . Felt fantastic to run againbut II'm concerned as a lot of the posts I'm reading here are about people having injurys . I don't want to risk that and then not even manage walking/cycling etc xx

13 Replies

If it makes you feel better we don't all get injured, since starting last October and taking it slow all I've had is a couple of niggles (at which point I've taken a week out) and a persistant blister that likes to pop up on my longer runs (even with a blister plater on!) it is doable, don't know how I've avoided it but I have! Just done my first HM at the weekend too. Good luck! Hope you remain injury free! and you probably already know this but good shoes are a must :)


I can only speak for myself here. I had problems with my tendon many years ago so it's obviously a weakness which I didn't feel initially when I started the running and had no problems other than a bit of stiffness after some runs. Then I decided to put a bit if gentle hill work in and that's where it all went wrong. I think I did too far on the incline too soon. It's easy to be wise afterwards with the experience of hindsight but my opinion is that the overall improvement in so many areas of my health far outweigh the problems I have now.

My blood sugars were under control, my appetite suppressed, a lovely feeling of well being outside in the open air to mention just a few of the subtle changes. I am 67 so I cannot say that at 46 you are too old to start this plan - can I?

Just listen to your body and pay great attention and keep the increases in performance gradual and you should be fine.

I'm sorry if posts about injuries are putting you off. I'm sure they have been posted as a warning to others to be aware of what is going on with your bodies. It's such a shame that you think this way because, like I said, the benefits I felt in other areas were immense.

Enjoy those fantastic feelings you just described, take care of yourself - and enjoy the journey!

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Hi Slim4spring - I have never been a runner (hated it at school!) and then I found C25k. I started the programme 2 years ago and yes, I did get injured. BUT, and here's the big caveat, I was running in all purpose trainers. By the time I got gait analysis in week 3, the damage had already been done and I had plantar fasciitis! I stupidly kept running (because it didn't hurt to run and I was enjoying it) but then was struggling to walk. I eventually saw a Podiatrist who is also a runner. She gave me lots of exercises to do and orthotics for my shoes, and I restarted C25k last summer, but only running a maximum of twice a week. Since then, I have progressed further than before, the only injury I've had was as a result of a water slide accident on holiday (don't ask!) and I'm now within 5 runs of graduating .... oh, and I'm only a year younger than you!

I would strongly recommend you get gait analysis and proper shoes for your feet, take each run slow and steady, and make sure you stretch properly after each run. Don't give up :)


I guess it depends on what you see as an "injury".

Starting to run after years of a sedentary lifestyle IS going to create sore muscles. There is no way around that. But there is big difference between "my muscles ache because they're not used to this" and "I have a sports injury". As we are all beginners without the necessary experience of sore muscles and injuries, most of us (myself definitely included) cannot properly distinguish. So we get worried, and we post about it here, asking for advice.

With everybody being friendly and kind, it is extremely rare for someone posting about sore mucles to be told "touch stuff, you just need to man up a bit". Instead most of us respond with concerned voices, suggesting that the person takes it easy, runs slower, takes a break, sees a doctor, etc. That's because it's all we can do - we do not have the training to answer better, and we don't even have the benefit of seeing the "injured" person or knowing him/her.

So.... with the risk of sounding a little harsh, I would suggest that many of the injuries you're reading about here are probably just people with sore muscles trying to be careful.


Dear c25ker's

I would just like to confirm that Tomas and I did not confer while posting virtually the same advice at exactly the same time!

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Never trust a rumour until it has been officially denied ;-)


Running is a high impact sport, so your body will almost certainly grumble a bit as it gets used to the exercise. Those grumbles aren't necessarily an injury, but are often referred to as such.

Its really about risk management.

If you do the c25k and take it easy, you will be less likely to get an injury, but it may possibly still happen.

If you go hell for leather and run for 30 minutes straight off, then you will be almost certain to get an injury and is therefore just daft.

I hurt my knees twice when I first started the programme by running too fast too soon and on rough ground. When I rested and then recovered I started again. I can now run longer and further than I have ever been able to do before in my life. I have lost weight and toned up, I genuinely cant remember a time when I have felt fitter.

If I had worried about injury to the point where I didn't re-start the programme, I would have remained overweight and sedentary so would be much more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Just take it easy. If it hurts, take it a bit easier. If it REALLY hurts, then take a break and recover and start again when you have recovered.

You will get there in the end.

It isn't a race to complete the 9 week course, so just go steady would be my tip and try to enjoy it.

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The good thing about C25K is that it starts you off gently and builds up slowly. You can repeat weeks if you want and there is absolutely no shame in that.

Stretch! Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch.

And invest in good runners. I'm not saying you have to fork out half your life savings, but a good pair of runners does wonders.

Good luck!!


Well slim4spring I graduated last year in November , shortly after I was on the couch for 3 month ankle injury , I re did the programme in March & graduated again in May & since then I have had minor problems putting me out if action , but not for long . This is what my doctor said when I paid a visit with my latest ailment , lol . I said I was going to pack it in as I was getting one injury after another & her words where , you mustn't do that , the health benefits you get from running far out weigh these minor niggles . Also I'm 56 . So there you have it .


Hi slim spring. I am on the injury couch for the moment. The only connection to running was that I got injured after the run at the portaloo's!

I think it's really important to strech. I did a running programme with somebody that Evan professionally. Streches were done for the shoulders(don't get tight) high knees for the glutes streches for the calves. We strengthened are core which help aLot. It's also important to have the correct form, and cool down!


Thanks everyone for the advice , taking it on board . I started the plan on Monday. Done body pump on Monday and day 1 c25k on Tuesday . In agony now so I'll be taking 2 or 3 rest days 2 let my muscles recover apart from 30 mins daily cycle commuting to work and back xxx


Inevitably I am along to share my own experience of no injuries in two and a half years. I don't do any stretching around my run, I just do the warm up walk before and after (and some yoga every morning instead) I do not run on tarmac - I've had a handful of occasions when I have and I can feel how much harder the impact is and the greater toll on the body. Not everyone has the option to avoid it but if you can, I feel strongly that it is worth it.

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So where do you run ? Do you run on the treadmill ? Xx


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