Couch to 5K
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After two weeks away, I ran a short distance (<2k) to start regaining the ability to run a distance. This resulted in knee soreness and some sharp pains in one thigh. I’ve now kept off running for over a week and just done a little gentle cycling and swimming. Things are a bit better, though my attempts to strengthen the knee were not the recommended ones and a bit drastic and ill-advised. When I started C25K, last May, my objective was to do the parkrun with my sons on one of the Christmas events, a big surprise for all concerned. Like so many on this forum, I didn’t believe I would succeed in actually running when Week 1 was so difficult but I graduated in October and have done 3 parkruns since. Now I am in a quandary. How do I restart my running without provoking a degree of soreness that puts me out of action again? I thought of doing a couple of the early C25K runs with intervals of walking to start with and then working up quickly to continuous running and a preliminary parkrun before the big day. There isn’t a lot of time left.

Incidentally, I’ve found that sitting at a desk for an hour or two stiffens the joints quite a bit and getting everything working again has to be done with care. But that may be due to a day up and down a stepladder at the weekend. And those joints are approaching antique.

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Maybe try something from week 4 or 5 for one run to see how that feels. If it goes well jump up a week. For my knee problems (which are not the same issue but the advice was useful in general) the physio had me icing it immediately after a run and daily stretching. She also told me to physically warm up the muscles around it, and encouraged a fast little massage.

Hope you get it sorted out soon. Worst case scenario you can run-walk the parkrun.


Walk-run is a useful suggestion, though I have made the effort so far always to run if only to show off a bit to the young walkers (but not the real runners, of course).


I don't think you need to restart the programme after a break of two weeks. But clearly there is something amiss with your knee.

What did you do to try to strengthen the knee that was "drastic and ill advised"? The surface you run on can make a big difference to how your muscles and joints feel. A softer ground (trail, forest,etc) will be gentler on your body. Also have you been stretching and using a foam roller?

And while swimming is great exercise, the breaststroke puts pressure on the knees and should be avoided if you already have problems there. Try other strokes or just walking/running in the pool.

Failing all that, if you're still having pain then you should see a sports physio who, no doubt, will sort you out so you can run pain free.


Not enough stretching, I'm sure, and the stories of the fearsome foam roller have put me off so far. 'Ill-advised' is a posh term for barmy, as in sitting on a low stool and then standing up without any support - particularly painful.

If the breast stroke doesn't help, then I'm sunk (or will sink).


Oh Austen , what a shame for you xxx

I would suggest you see a sports physio if you can, so they can tell you what it is and the best way to treat it .

I do hope you get to do your surprise parkrun with your sons , fingers crossed for you xxx


Thanks for the kind thoughts. Tentative try-out this morning will show whether rest has worked.

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