Couch to 5K
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First injury, any advice please?

I have completed w4r3 this evening but had trouble with my knee. This is the first running I have ever done, so very inexperienced, i kept going as it didn't seem too bad and I thought it might get better. I think I made the wrong decision. The pain started on the outer side of my knee and spread around the back and under the knee cap. I managed to keep running but during the 5 min warm down walk it got worse. It is now really sore if I put any weight on it, the pain is at the back of my knee and going up the back of my leg When I put any weight on it 😭. Sorry for the long post but wondered if anyone could advise what I might have done and how I might treat it? I'm desperate to get it mended in time for my next scheduled run on Sunday, as I am enjoying running so much (there's something I never thought I'd say!) 😀

9 Replies


I am 46 and has been running three to four times a week with 5 to 6 km in 42 min for last 16 weeks with no lost time injury.

From my small experience, my advice to you :

You really need to plan this I have been planning this for last one year. I was 92kg a year ago when I started I started with walking 5 to 6 km/hr for 15 min gradually increased to 7 for 30 min to 40 min this is just to increase knee and other muscle strength. I did this three to 4 times for first three months you really need lot of patience don't over run and do not look at others who are doing better than you be patient be confident and believe in yoyr self thay you will be doing the same or better than them in coming months

Now while you are strengthenING your knee and other muscles do a small test after every two weeks try to run for 5 min with 7 or 8 depending on your comfort level.slowly increase that's what I did.

It took me about 6 months to reach to this level.

Now I can run to 40 min complete 5.5k and I do 4 workouts a week for last 16 weeks lost about 12kgs and rest three days I do muscle strengthening and yoga....

You can certainly do it as I have done many others might have done the same.

Good luck God bless to all.....


The knee! A temperamental bit of the leg that we need to care for. I graduated 8 weeks ago, haven't had an injury as such but have had some stiffness in the joint and only a little niggle while running, nothing too serious. I feel while doing the programme, rest days are essential. I have literally given up any exercise on rest days in the early stages and sat in bed with the electric blanket on. I have found between running, stretch and flex exercises such as squats made a great difference to the mobility of my knees too.

I think generally some aches after running are reasonably ok but pain while running needs to be taken seriously. Perhaps reduce speed or on a general run, think about distance, are you doing too much too soon?

You are now going into week 5, which is doable mentally and physically without an injury. Think about whether you could put in some additional rest days or repeat week 4. There is no reason at all why you couldn't do w5r1 followed by 2 rest days for example. Listening to your legs is an important skill that will help

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Hi Jop123,

If you are in pain when putting any weight through your knee I think resting it properly for a few days is a first and vital step. You could try the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) technique to see if that helps. If you are not recovered, don't run on it - you risk causing more problems which will take longer to heal and hold up your return to running further. If RICE results in no significant improvement, then seeking professional help - a trip to the doctor or a sports physiotherapist might help. Getting your gait analysed/possibly different shoes might also help.

I know running is really fun and you don't want to miss out on your next run, but I'm guessing that it would be better to slow things down now and be stronger and healthier than to push on through pain and injury and end up with serious injury and time out. There is not shame in repeating a week if you need to. You cannot fail the programme because you take a break, and it will still be there for you when your body is ready to do it injury free.

Hope you get this sorted out and continue to enjoy running.


Thanks everyone, I'll give it a rest for a few days and see how it goes, it does feel a bit better today with the help of deep freeze ointment.

Hopefully it won't take too long to mend 😄


If its still no better after a few need to see the doctor - the last thing you want is to make yourself worse xx

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I've experienced something similar where the pain starts at the side of the knee and goes around the front and below the knee cap. I did the same thing hoping to work through it but it only got worse. I saw a doctor who is also a runner that diagnosed me with IT Band Syndrome which is common for runners. Your injury sounds like something different. My suggestion to you is to see a sports physician and not just a G.P. Good luck! Hope you can get back to running soon.

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Thanks, it is feeling much better, the pain has just about gone, apart from going upstairs, it just feels a bit wobbley the rest of the time. I'm going to rest if for this week and hopefully be better for the weekend. 😀


Hi Jop, I do not know if this would work but have you heard of ACL Knee brace? It is basically to rebuild the muscles and redistribute weight evenly. It also reduces further wear and tear. I was suffering from knee injury and my physician from Athletic Edge Sports Medicine ( Toronto ) suggested this. It was effective for me You check it out.


Thanks, I'll check that out. I do have a brace but just a generic one from the the chemist, although it has helped. The knee is feeling a lot better now, although not quite right. I'm going to rest it til Sunday and see how it stands up to a run then. If not I'll be trying one of these braces. Thanks again.


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