Couch to 5K
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C25K Beginner, Very unfit. Cough post run & headache when coughing???

Hello! I'm a 6ft 2" 24 year old male, I used to be extremely fit from 15 - 19, played rugby for my college and swam very regularly as well as played football 5 times a week with friends. However, when I was 20 I broke my right ankle as well as tore all the ligaments around my ankle and partial tear in my Achilles tendon! I couldn't exercise for a VERY long time, then i got used to the sedentary lifestyle and spent my time at work, then at home I'd play video games / watch t.v and eat rubbish. Anyway, the lack of exercise was horrible! Not only did it diminish every aspect of my health, but not using my ankle and foot enough has made it heal very a bit oddly and I can't extend it well so I run like a 4 year old girl with my legs flailing like an idiot... lol

ANYWAY, I've had enough of it, and 3 days ago I started C25K and a beginner yoga thing to help my flexibility of my muscles since i haven't really used them in 4 years. I Quit smoking 7 months ago, I'm drinking only water and green tea, cutting all sugar (except from fruits).

I start my day with daily yoga (whichever 15-20 min routine I have on the program). Then mid afternoon I do a Prerun 10 minute stretch with yoga poses, do the C25K run, 15 minute Post run Stretches. Then In the evening I do another 15-20 minute yoga sessions which is either a breathing and stretch exercise or something similar.

So, first day went better than I thought with C25K, I managed to do all of it, but I walked half of the last 60 seconds run, my chest was SO SORE, but I think that was actually from opening out my constricted chest muscles to be honest.

2nd Day I did the Yoga and then walked fast for 30 mins then did the other yoga.

3rd Day (today) I did the C25K day 2 week 1 with the yoga too, did it all, had a good time with it and felt great afterwards, (got a lot of pain in my side though which I had to sort of stretch out as I was on the walking parts, was REALLY painful). Got home did the yoga again.

Now as I'm typing this, it's been about 1 hour since my day 2 work out, I've had some green tea, but now I have a tightness in upper abdominal (minor tightness) and a sort of tight chest... now this was kind of expected, however, when i take a moderately deep rbeath or a very deep breath it *tickles*, like a tickle cough, then chest is a little tighter and I need to cough!

Then when I cough I get a pressure in my sinus' and a headache for 4-5 seconds.

Anyone know what this might be??

11 Replies

Can't really help you on that, other than to say, if the symptoms persist, see a doctor. 10 out 10 for getting back into it, maybe just stick with week 1 for a few weeks until you feel comfortable.

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Making the decision to get yourself fit again is admirable and I wish you the very best of luck. One thing to be cautious about is doing too much too soon. As a new runner it is advisable to have a rest day between runs and it is not clear that you are doing that. This helps you to avoid injury until your body is ready to cope with the extra stresses imposed by running. Yoga is a great complement to running, especially core strength work, but with you doing so many new things at once it is difficult to pin down what might be causing your problems.

There are very few medically trained runners on this site and those who are would probably hesitate to give a diagnosis over the internet. Considering your previous damage to your ankle and achilles as well as this tightness in the chest, I would recommend that you talk to your GP about taking up running in general terms as well as specifics. If your foot flails, as you say, then your running action may well be asymmetric enough to lead to other muscular or skeletal problems. A sports physio could advise on this.

You are still young and will conquer these problems quicker than an older runner might, but do not underestimate the stresses involved if you have been inactive for some years. One thing that I can say for sure is that C25k really does work and you will become a runner in just a few short weeks. Good luck, keep us posted.


Wow, that's a strange condition! I suspect your GP is going to even have a hard time figuring what it is. Good for you for heading back toward a fit lifestyle. I think if you get that problem sorted out you should fly through this programme and onwards. All your joints etc should realign nicely, given time. But just because it's a bit strange, maybe it's a good idea to just go and premptively see the GP for starters? It's the safest option, especially as you had a very sore chest. If, eg, you've exercised with flu at some point, you might have damaged your heart, and need to work a bit carefully getting it to work hard for you again. Very sore chests are not something to mess with, even when you're 24.


I am 51 and have been very inactive except for a couple of months ago, started walking and cycling. My chest felt tight and when I breathed in while exercising can only describe it as if the bottom of my lungs were unable to inflate. After walking, cycling I needed another form of exercise to burn calories and found C25K.

I am on week 5 on Monday and the only advice I can share is to make the run slow, to relax your chest and breathe in and out slowly and deeply to avoid tightness of the chest and to allow your lungs to increase capacity over the sessions.

If you run faster, it is unlikely you will be able to breathe in a relaxed way.

My problem is burning sensation in my calf muscles. Laura from C25K also advises not to bounce when running, just have a smooth movement of the feet like walking. Let us know how it goes. If you need to repeat a week, do so because sounds as if you have had a difficult journey, b kind to ur self!!



We always have a saying on here if in doubt check it out. Well done for getting out there, it's possible you are maybe starting off too quickly but I know I was having trouble with sinus and talked to my GP, I have a nasal spray to help with my running. my doc was very good at talking through everything with me. Good luck and happy running.


Possibly asthma??? With some mild sinusitis???? I'm not a doctor either but I am an ex-smoker. Go to the GP now because whatever is causing your symptoms may not go away, but could get worse. Good luck.


I am a medically trained runner, and have no idea what it could be. You can't diagnose someone over the internet, especially without examining them. Get it checked out at your GP.


Hello and Welcome !

Blimey , you have been through the wringer that's for sure !

Maybe it's Exercise induced Asthma ? Would definitely have a word with your Doctor as this can be treated/ controlled.

All the very best to you . Good Luck :-) xxxx


Loads of good ideas from others there. I'm sure you weren't asking anyone to 'diagnose' you but I know I'll be happier if you report back to us after visiting your GP, ideally tomorrow (no, I don't know what it is but enough things that it is not good to dawdle over occasionally present in odd ways that it would be good to get checked out asap, even though the most likely medical response will be "Gosh that's odd, I wonder what it is?" too!)

As someone who came to yoga through running and both after being unable to exercise unwell for a very long time and overweight, I am delighted to see your programme. The yoga can be surprisingly powerful though so don't be afraid to ease off and focus at least as much on what yoga (and running for that matter) have to give you psychologically as well as what is more conventionally thought of as fitness.

A lot of our younger members who have previously been very fit struggle to find the right sustainable pace, so you are not alone.


I don't know what it is but I would say your body is just waking up. Like an old door to a garden shed that hasn't been opened for years. It creaks and moans. Good on you for turning your health around. It take a strong man to do this. Maybe if you slow down a bit and have rest days in between your journey will be less painful?


Thanks so much for the support everyone, I'll go to the GP tomorrow (sunday today so not open). I've had a sinus infection a few months ago, maybe the cold air is irritating my airways? Anyway, will get it checked out :) Hope I'm able to keep running, going to have a rest day today!


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