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Couch to 5K
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Sore back after running?

Hi everyone, so after months of good intentions I have just signed up to the couch to 5K programme. Last night was my first session and I would love to be able to complete the programme. I felt fine straight afterwards, but my back has been pretty sore today. I do suffer with back problems (slight scoliosis and history of back spasms), although my health is good at the moment. I would love to hear from anyone else with similar problems and how you have managed.


6 Replies

Well done starting - that's the hardest part done!

You will find aches and stiffness after your first few sessions and some areas (esp legs) will continue to ache for a long time. That's the muscles recovering from their workout. You should find these are more stiff or aching than really sore or painful, however.

Not had back issues after running myself but I have seen it recommended to do some back stretches - primarily where you reach down your back with one hand and then gently press down on your elbow with the other hand. You might find that will help keep your back lose.

If you had any physio' with your previous back problems, were you given any back stretches or exercises to do then? If you were then you might like to do some of those, perhaps before and after your run to help keep your back strong and lose.


I've been cursed with low back pain and latterly sciatica for years but since going through the C25K program - and I'm grasping, rather than touching wood here - the pain has been somewhere between virtually non-existent and bearable.

I may have been the lucky exception to the rule but I've found that my posture has improved which may have had some bearing on it.

I hope you gain some relief from running as I have and I know how the pain wears you down when you're suffering day after day.

Keep posting and let us know how you get on, we're a friendly and supportive bunch on here and whatever you've been through or are going through, you'll normally find someone else has had, or is having a similar problem.

It goes without saying that anything you read on here (especially from me) is no substitute for medical advice from your GP or a specialist.


Are you doing stretches after each run? I find tight hamstrings give me lower back pain, as everything's all connected down the backs of your legs. There's some stretching advice and diagrams I think on the nhs c25k page.


Hi Mim, I have a lower back problem and found walking and running seemed to make it worse. I had some advice to take smaller steps and for me it has made a huge difference.I was taking long steps thinking bigger was better .

Good luck


All great advice above. Pilates is great for back stretching and complements running very well too as it strengthens the core which makes you a stronger runner. I had lower back pain for years and found that the running motion eases it so when I start to feel a bit stiff I start running. But perhaps because you've had issues with your back in the past you should try some gentle stretches first (check out YouTube for examples) and consider signing up for Pilates.


Hi everyone, thanks for your replies and advice. I went for my W1r2 session over the weekend and everything was fine afterwards. I tried taking smaller steps as Shireen59 suggested, as I think I may have been striding too far.

Also for anyone with a similar problem reading this - I tried putting my orthotic insoles into my running shoes, so will be doing this from now on as well - no idea why I didn't think to do this in the first place!

Wish me luck! :-D


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