Beginner sore knees

I started running about 3 weeks ago doing 1minute run (slowly!)1 minute walk. I do about 2.5miles along the towpath so nice and flat but now I'm finding that my knees are sore. I don't want to give up running but I'm not sure how much good it's doing me when my knees hurt. I run to help me lose weight and tone up and I've surprised myself by actually enjoying it. I started before I found the couch potato runs so I think I'm around week 3, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

18 Replies

  • Try taking up spinning, low impact and if done right, apparently good for strengthening the knees.

  • Thanks. I'll look into it but not sure when I'll find time to add another activity into my week!

  • Try cycling, either on a real one or a static. Until knees feel a bit stronger.This was suggested to Me by fitness tutor. Also supplement like fish or flax oil and chrondroitens etc. ...keep goin!

  • Have you got good running shoes? Really worth going to a reputable running shop and getting them to find the right shoes for you (they should do gait analysis which involves filming you briefly on a treadmill).

  • (It may seem like a lot of money for when you're just starting out but it could be the difference between you enjoying running and sticking at it, or not!)

  • I have good shoes from about 3 years ago when I started running to keep a friend company (hated it which is why it's a surprise that I'm liking it now) I thought maybe knee strengthening exercises or supports or maybe I'm doing too much too soon?

  • OK, sounds good on the shoe front then! Not sure about knees, I can only speak from my small amount of experience which was knee pain in Week 4 which sorted itself out by Week 5 - I put it down to an increase in the amount of running.

    When I get back from a run I tend to want to put my feet up - but I also found putting a cushion under my knees to stop them from locking straight helps prevent aches and pains the next day.

  • If there's something wrong with the actual knee joints, there aren't exercises that can directly help. (I think there are some radical exercises that can help you do what removed cartilage did by muscle power, but that sounds a bit drastic). If it gets too bad (and not too much too bad) you probably want medical advice on something like that.

    Meanwhile how about substituting spinning or cycling for the runs you were doing? I think that's what everyone's suggesting. Drop the running for a while; get your exercise fix by cycling. You might have to go a lot further up the tow path or keep going round and round, but with cycling you don't thump your leg down on the ground several times a minute. If you've got a bicycle, the easiest would be to just do an experiment, and see if it helps.

    Knees fix themselves, but Slowly. That's the problem.

  • My knees used to really hurt and I was taking paracetamol before I went out for my runs. By the time I got to about half way through wk 3, they eased off and now I have no problems at all

  • Do the knees hurt while you are running or afterwards and is it the actual knees? I used to get really sore/stiff knees the day after a run, but it clearly was "just" the muscles around the knees rather than the joints themselves and this eventually stopped. If the pain is in the knees themselves, I would recommend seeing a doctor or physio for advice.

    There are some useful knee strengthening exercises here...

  • Thank you. It seems to be the day after I run my knees hurt. I work as a community nurse and spend a lot of time on my knees doing dressings so that doesn't help! I'll try these, thank you

  • In the middle parts of the programme I was struggling to squat down to get anything out of a low cupboard e.g. and sometimes when I got up after sitting at work for a while I was nearly hobbling because the muscles were so stiff! However, as long as this is all it is, you probably don't need to worry too much and once your legs get stronger and the muscles used to the exercise they will recover quicker. I also read that it can help to loosen your joints after a run, through circling movements of the joints from the ankle upwards (i.e. ankles, knees, hips and even arms and neck) - all worth a try :-)

  • I used to have knee problems but have found a good regime of strengthening exercises has helped. Mainly squats but there are others however, as others have posted it depends on the root cause of the problem. Worth getting things checked out and then if given the all clear look at the exercises and also make sure you have the correct shoes.

    Hope you continue to enjoy your running

  • Are you taking rest days? The NHS C25k programme stresses the importance of rest days for new runners, as well as giving a sensible progression to help avoid injury.

    My knees always gave me pain for the first few weeks, then about W6, if I remember, they stopped hurting and rarely cause me any problems, even though I had avoided running for years because of dodgy knees.

  • I got shin splints and really bad knees in the early runs. I found that if I gave it a longer rest between runs (2-3 days rather than 1) my knees had time to recover and get used to their new activity. Also at the end of every run I make sure to do plenty of stretches as this helps with stopping that awful stiffness.

  • It's possible your knee joints aren't aligned properly and you may need orthotics .

    25 years ago I took up running after a break of 3 years - I had to stop after a month (was only running 2-3 times a week) cos my right knee was sore after every run, especially the day after. I tried paracetamol, ibuprofen etc but nothing really helped.

    So I did nothing for 25 years. But fast-forward to autumn last year - my GP-recommended physio could see immediately that I was horribly mis-aligned which explained the knee pain. Working with her in-house podiatrist, I got custom-made orthotics and haven't looked back since.

    Graduated in March and running pain-free :-)

    Good luck


  • Hi

    I had sore knees at first and they can still pay up if I overdo it. I found knee strengthening exercises on the NHS website very useful. Also make sure you have two rest days in between to fully recover. As your body gets more used to the exercise it will adapt. At the moment it's saying WTF!

  • I walk 3-4 miles on my non run days. I have a dog that needs a lot of exercise! I'm looking at knee strengthening and also ankles cos they've started to ache now as well! Tell me again running is good for me!!! Lol

You may also like...