Couch to 5K
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Route changes

Hi guys

Just wanted to give you a little bit of advice, based on my own experience.

I finished the C25K and was fully pumped and ready to carry on with my 5K in 30 minutes runs, 3x per week. Unfortunately this was not to be as I developed a really sharp pain in my right thigh. Fortunately I work for a physiotherapist and I was diagnosed with IT Band syndrome. Very painful and stopped me running for around 2 weeks to try to heal it.

It has been caused from doing the same circuitous route over the course of my C25K programme. I hadn't really thought about it - but pavements are slightly cambered to allow run-off of rainwater. This means that for the full 9 weeks of my course my right leg was hitting the pavement (at a higher camber) than my left leg, putting more strain on it. After about 10-11 weeks of this, my leg began to show the strain and I ended up limping (literally).

My advice - if you run out somewhere and then back again then you don't have a problem. But if you are running a circuit, make sure to reverse the circuit every week to make sure that your legs are receiving equal treatment.

Hope this helps someone. :o)

6 Replies

Well said! We have pavement like that near me and they are difficult to walk on let alone run on. Yeah avoid them like the plague

Varying running routes is a good idea all round

1 like

I hate running on pavements - they all slope and even worse for people's front drives and dropped curves. I try to run in the road and leap onto the pavement if a car comes (I do live in a quiet village, so this isn't as dangerous as it sounds!). Even roads slope to the sides for water run off. It's really hard trying to find somewhere suitable to run if you don't want to have to drive to find somewhere!


If you are lucky enough to live near a river or canal, their paths are usually good and the bonus is that the routes are flat too!


stick to hills & moorland, no cars and no two hill are the same.


Good advice & I never thought of that.

Now I know why there are fast runners going the wrong way down my Park Run home straight (which is 2km long) as I am panting towards the line. And I thought they were just showing off 😜


Good advice indeed. And changing the route (even just reversing it) also gives the mind some fresh input while you're running and helps to keep things interesting.


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