I had extended two Week 9 runs to 45 minutes and aimed to do a parkrun as my graduation. The first run went well and only caused the usual slight soreness that I had experienced through the months it took me to reach this stage. There was a gap of four days before the second 45 minutes but the consequences were much more lasting than any before, particularly the sore knees. There have been occasional shooting pains down one leg too. A week after this run I went to a concert and sat in a seat with little leg space. The ache over the knees under stress was pretty distracting. What should I do? Leave running alone for a further week, possibly try warm-up type walking, or would cycling help? It's disappointing, since I went to the local parkrun last Saturday to see how it worked and saw how friendly it was to all levels of ability and that I wouldn't be the last if I went at my present pace, my great fear.

15 Replies

  • Oh dear. I think the clue might be in your first sentence where you say you extended two runs to 45 minutes. That's an awful long time to run before you've graduated and perhaps your knees are complaining.

    Have you been stretching after each run? Also, I can't praise the benefits of a foam roller enough to get rid of tight muscles. The pain in your knees could be coming from tight quads or your ITB (membrane running on the outside of your thighs from hips to shin). If you haven't got a foam roller to hand then try running a tennis ball or rolling pin along these areas and see how that feels. If it hurts, then you know you're tight!

    Try stretching and foam rollering and a few days rest and then try a gentle run and see how that feels.

  • IP has it covered , the aim is to gradually increase our running times so as not to cause injury etc nothing worse than having to sit it out ,I know from experience ...

    As IP says there can be many reasons for your knees complaining , stretching etc is a good way to go , maybe also look at some quad strengthening exercises as well :)

    Cycling would be another good way too :)

    Hope your knees improve soon :)

  • Grateful for the help - so many and so quick!

  • Always walk! Walking is great for fitness. Do it all the time. Leave the car at home as often as possible. Cycling too is a good cross training activity as is swimming

    Have a rest and see how it goes with your knees. Keep moving though by doing some of the above.

    I had knee issues associated with being new to exercise which is what made me start to toughen up and get fit all over so I started doing exercise DVD's at home.

    You have to jog nice and slow, no rush at all. I hope you'll soon feel better and can get back to the programme

    Good luck

  • Thanks for your comforting advice. It will at the least help me of the naughty step!

  • The wise thing is probably to see what effect rest has, so you first get an idea of how "set in" your knee problem is. Even after the rest, maybe go right back to 30 minutes. You've proven to yourself that 45 minutes is within reach, and if you want to go back up to that duration you'll do so at least as quickly as you did now (if you think about it, you'll probably see that the "fast track" there is pretty quick).

    In the longer term, you'll probably need to do knee strengthening exercises like squats, to help keep the knee more stable. Second worst case is that there's some problem inside the knee (which you find out before it gets worse. Worst case is you just leave it, and it gets really bad).

  • Thanks for your advice. I don't think it is serious, because it is uniform over both knees and a general feeling of strain. I must find our about squats.

  • My current favourite resource on squats is the following site (but I've also read that one must build up to this slowly, and possibly completely skip the deep squats, so you would have to do some more googling to get your mind fully made up). There are apparently injury risks to squats done wrong, so it's as well to proceed with caution.

    In my inexpert opinion, I'd be inclined to agree with your assessment of the seriousness of the situation. Stretches, knee strengthening, and rest would probably eventually solve your problem, and help you go forward.

    (I feel a bit spammy about this but ...) Remember that the first step as a beginner runner is to get one's joints and tendons in better shape. They heal much more slowly than muscle, so don't be guided by what your muscles can do; focus on the connective tissues for probably at least a few months.

    Edit: :p forgot the link. Sorry.

  • Go and sit on the naughty step for a week, and whilst you are there, do some knee-strengthening exercises. Please don't run if you have occasional shooting pains in one leg until you've had the chance to talk this over with your GP or a sports physiotherapist.

    I don't want to be unsympathetic or grumpy, but you've posted about extending W8 to 5km, and W9 to 45 minutes. And now you have knee problems. Did you see the connection?? You're also "the wrong side of retirement". So I'd recommend getting your knees and leg checked out, doing some strengthening and when you get back to C25K, do it as per the podcast. The program has been very carefully worked out to build up gradually. We want you running for 30 minutes 3 times per week, and it becoming part of your lifestyle. Attempting heroic distances or times before you are ready is just going to get you hurt.

  • I hang my head. I do understand the progression but I was tempted by the ease with which I was plodding after 30 min. The first time it had no effect but the second time did the damage. The sense of achievement for an ancient who has never run to be contemplating the same run as my seven year old granddaughter was too much!

  • It's easy to get carried away. I had a 2 month period of not running last November/December by overdoing things once I had graduated. In fact, I missed my first ever 10km run through over-training. Make sure that you're fully recovered before completing C25k, and then apply the 10% rule about increasing distance once you've graduated.

  • Thanks. I must take a more objective view and leave 5k until I know I am ready.

  • If you were fit, you would certainly do well at parkrun. I have a similar problem. I graduated and started a 10K programme, only did it for a week and my knee is sore. Now I am unsure what to do because I don't want to damage my knee further but stopping running at this stage is terrible. I ran for 30 mins on Monday, cycled instead Wednesday and will see how I am on Saturday and either run or cycle again. You will need to trust your own judgement on it but a sore knee and an injured knee, which is it?

  • I think it is very sore knees (both of them). Need to move cautiously from now on!

  • Same here. Maybe try walking, swimming or cycling to maintain fitness with low impact on the joints?

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