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Couch to 5K
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Just starting - trainer question?

Hi I am about to start week 1 again having completed week 2 a year or more ago and then gave up due to back trouble. Before when i did it i got pain in my shins and was told by some people to run through the pain and others said rest? why would this have happened and how can i avoid this happening again? Could it be my trainers are not good enough do i need expensive trainers when starting out and if so where is best to get them? Any tips re trainers/pain gratefully received...also my 11 yr old who is fit and healthy wishes to do this with me is it suitable for kids?

11 Replies

I can't comment on the trainers but I can comment on the kids ........

The steps to my C25k success:

1. My 8 year old being successful at cross country running

2. My 5 year old got jealous

3. I found junior parkrun on the internet

4. I (wrongly) assumed I would be okay doing 2k at the pace of a 5 year old

5. I am forever indebted to the young boy that has his running club down as NHS C25K on his parkrun profile

Get him involved. It will really help you too. If there is a junior parkrun near you then go and walk / run it together. Lots of parents run it with their kids, with plenty obviously pledging to get fit together.

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It might be worth getting gait analysis as proper shoes definately make a difference.... I started C25k with my son who was 11 ( he is 13 now), and also did it with my daughter who was 9. We all do parkrun and my son now does it in 23 minutes!!! Good luck and keep us posted

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sorry really new to all this what is c25k?


It's Couch to 5k


oh i see...cant you tell i am new! so could i get gait analysis even if i havent started yet? so me and my son would start the training plan and at what point could we attempt a park run? i assume he will need proper running shoes too?


This is the forum for the NHS Couch to 5K running programme - you'll find links to the podcasts (best) or the app (if you can't tolerate a few sessions of music that is not your own choice) on the NHS Choices website.

The reason you got conflicting suggestions is because no-one else really knows what your pain was like - some pain needs rest, some needs you to keep going (although rarely if ever pushed through hard)

My caveat about you running with your child is that you will not be in control of your pace ie he's going to be faster than you. It's my feeling too about getting into Parkrun at this stage although clearly it works fine for some people. For most of us learning to run slowly and steadily first is a key skill and a tool for avoiding pain and achieving success.

I started C25K wearing lightweight walking boots. I am not recommending this but neither do I think people shouldn't start for want of the perfect shoe. If you possibly can though I would suggest avoiding running on tarmac as it is so much harder on the body. Again, if you don't have a choice, don't let that put you off but it does make footwear a higher priority.

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Am no PE expert but when I was 11 I used to play tennis , swim and practice Judo .... A 30 min run would have been a stroll! So I think that your kid would enjoy it a lot! And if it suitable for me at 51 i can't think of a reason why it wouldn't be for a 11 years old

As for the shoes they do make a difference, but the first couple of weeks there is still a lot of walking in the program, so I would wait before spending too much, and focus on good form. Then go for a gait analysis , it is the best way to make sure to get the right ones.

Oh, and well done for starting over!

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Definitely go get gait analysis. I did early on to get some new trainers. Was videoed on running machine and watched whilst jogging barefoot in shop. Then given 5 pairs suitable for my type. Ended with first pair. But tried running in street with each combination ( different shoes makes on different feet) With the guy talking with me how each pair felt. Was in there about hour, with about 40 minutes jogging! Now just about start week 9 Couch to 5k, and not had any problems


If you have a place near you that does gait analysis - fine. My nearest is 100 miles away. There is another way to see how you pronate - check out the end of this article




here's the link to C25K you can download the podcasts here, and get lots of help, and even see a write up on our own JuicyJu! Very useful site.

Yes do get gait analysis and good shoes, if you've had shin splints you know how painful they are...

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You've had lots of good advice already, and a few of us have similar background of wanting to run with kids, etc.

What I found helped me was the following:

1 - find a park that has got a flat or flat-ish field circuit where you have good visibility all the way around and its not too big - say around a couple of football pitches.

2 - this is good because your child can run at their pace while you follow Laura's walk-run instructions and its safe for them to do so. It also stops you becoming frustrated by how easy they are finding it while you are wheezing along and you've turned to beetroot (that could just have been me!)

3 - the field/grass generally causes less impact on your body and knees and you should have less pain

I didn't start in expensive trainers - I was running in "normal" trainers until week 5 when I got some "proper" running shoes as a reward for getting that far. In fact, I am quite tight(!) If you want cheap prices, I would recommend sportsshoes.com (note the 2 esses in the middle).

Also, if you are a bit shy and don't want to do gait analysis in a shop, then there is a tool on directrunning.co.uk which I found works well enough - its a shoe selector (you select it in the top right corner) and it helps you find a shoe that should be OK for your running style/body type and budget.

Hope that helps,



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