Gutted newbie with Knee injury Week 2, Day 3 -... - Couch to 5K

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Gutted newbie with Knee injury Week 2, Day 3 - anyone injured this early in the programme?



I'm new to the forum and desperately seeking some advice from anyone who has had horrible knee pain on the C25K? Just over a week ago I completed W2D3, was loving the programme and feeling very positive, but soon after that run got pain underneath and all around my left kneecap, which continued when descending stairs, after sitting for long periods at work, when bending down and generally been niggling for about a week and a half. I sadly and grumpily didn't run, for fear of making it worse, until tonight when I repeated W2D3, but on a treadmill instead of hard pavement. Knee started to hurt in the last 10 mins but I (stupidly?) finished the podcast. Am now back on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my very sore knee, feeling like I will fail the program before I really got going :(

Please, please help!

Has anyone else had this problem so early in the programme? Or even later on, but knows what this might be and how to make it go away quick?!

If it helps to know, I'm a 5ft3 37 yr old, not overweight but very unfit and had never run before starting the C25K. I completed all the runs so far without needing to stop or walk on a run, but repeated W1,D3 twice before moving to W2 just to be sure I was fit enough to move on. I don't think I could have been any more gradual if I tried, so, so gutted with being injured already.

Thank you so much to anyone with advice,


22 Replies

Yes, I had this at just the same point in the C25K. I'm 57, overweight and have somewhat arthritic knees so I really thought the pain and weakness in both knees spelt the end of my running attempt. I was barely able to walk upstairs with pains in the inside of both knees and certainly couldn't run. I took three weeks off running and took Naproxen (like Ibuprofen) and then started back running REALLY slowly. I also bought myself some Mueller knee straps which I still wear. By keeping it slow, taking all my rest days and repeating weeks occasionally, I graduated just before Xmas and can now happily run for half an hour or more, three times a week with no knee pain. So don't despair, you can definitely do this. Give your poorly knees a rest til they're feeling better then get back to running as slowly as you can. Just concentrate on slow jogging for whatever time period you're aiming at, speed can come much later! Good luck!! :-)

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Pinguette

Thank you so much for the reply, it's just what I needed to hear - that someone had this so early, but carried on and completed the full programme and the knee pain went away - very well done to you! I will look up the knee straps you have - keen for anything at all that will help so I can get back on track. Did your knees hurt for about 3 weeks then? I am so very impatient! I think I maybe tried to go too fast, ran a bit of a rubbish route with hills and messed the knee up that way. Thanks again for the advice and support - I will take it very slow and hold off a while.


So sorry to hear of your injury. It imust be so frustrating for you. The first thing I would say is rest, elevation and ice (as you are doing) and also, do try and find a good physio if you can. Someone who specialises in sports injuries would be best.

Obviously, no one on this forum can diagnose, but knee problems can occur for a variety of reasons including issues related to gait, weak or tight muscles in your quads/hamstrings and of course soft tissue injuries. A qualified physio will not only be able to pinpoint the problem and reason for it but will also be able to give you advice and exercises on how to rectify the problem. 'Runners knee' is common in runners (especially new runners), might be worth googling but do, do go and get some advice. Sometimes it can be down to wearing the wrong type of shoes for your pronation. Whatever the cause, now is the time to rest up and seek advice so that you can get yourself better and back out there! Good luck🙂.

sarah469Graduate in reply to Sandraj39

^ What Sandra said :p

I have got some knee pain too at the moment, I saw a physio in December who has given me exercises to do, mainly to strengthen my glutes and hamstring which are apparently quite weak. In my case, this means my knees are doing more of the work to compensate. But I echo what Sandra said about shoes and getting personal advice from a professional.

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Sandraj39

Thank you for the reply and advice. I did do a bit of googling and came up with runners knee, but as I'm more of a light jogger and hardly doing any distance at all, couldn't believe I'd done enough to cause something like that already! Will get back on Google and see about a physio. I'm sure I do have very poor muscles due to being a lazy madam and even though I had new, shiny running shoes for the C25K, I knew nothing about gait or the right type for me. This is fab info and great advice, thanks again, I appreciate it a lot. 😄

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Sandraj39

Oops, newbie idiot put the reply in the box to Sarah below by mistake! Thanks so much for the great advice Sandra, I'm checking it all out!

Sandraj39Ambassador in reply to Running-scared

No worries..I found it anyway!! Good luck😀


I had a knee problem at week 3. Seemed to be due to 30 years of inactivity and weak leg muscles. Took a couple of weeks rest and then went to the gym and did some strengthening exercise and ran on the treadmill for a few weeks to lessen the impact.

As the runs got longer I found treadmill running hot and tedious so went back outside for the last few weeks until graduation and loved it. No more knee problems.

So rest until the pain goes then take it slow and do exercise to strengthen your legs. It will be fine

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Gnet

Thanks Gnet, such great news to hear from people who got this early but ended up graduating from the programme. Well done! And no more knee problems after going back outside is music to my ears! I'm definitely sensing it's due to weak muscles and I need to put the work in to strengthen. I have a treadmill at home, so will continue the programme on that, once knee is better (hopefully soon!) and do the exercises too. Thanks again

Thanks for the message Sarah, sorry to hear you have knee pain too, what a pest. Confess that I had to go and find out what glutes are... :) And I suspect mine are very weak too, from sitting at a desk all week and on the couch in the evenings. Hope the exercises work for you and your knee gets better very soon. Think I will be heading for much the same exercises soon If I'm going to keep trying to be a real runner! Off to google about quads and hamstrings now :)

sarah469Graduate in reply to Running-scared

Hi, I too sit at a desk all day and also quite sedentary in the evenings normally (apart from when running that is!) so perhaps we have a similiar problem. Bet you got some nice Google Image results when you googled "glutes" :p Don't be disheartened, I hope you find a solution. As you are early on in the programme I would also suggest waiting until your knees feel better, and trying again but going MUCH slower than you were. It may be you are pushing yourself too hard! Short, small little steps, try to imagine you are stepping on a cloud :)

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to sarah469

Yep! Lots of nice firm buttocks! :) not like my wobbly old glutes! I think you're most probably very right about restarting slower... I reckon snails could've overtaken me in week 1, but I got a lot quicker and pushed much harder in wk 2... When the pesky knee started up. Am determined not to give in, want to be a graduate like you!

sarah469Graduate in reply to Running-scared

Haha, I still feel that way about snails sometimes, don't worry - I bet you are still feeling the exercise and that's the main thing!


Sorry to hear this Nat :-( I agree with what's already been said that it could be caused by a number of reasons . I would have a rest for the time being and put some ice on it .

It may be just a niggle that might resolve itself with rest , but if it persists please get it checked out . Knee pain/ niggles are quite common in us new runners , there's lots of posts on here about it .

Good Luck and I hope you feel better soon xxxx

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to poppypug

Thank you :) I'll have a look for some other posts about it too

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Running-scared

Oh what a div, I've just found masses of posts about knee pain on here! Should've searched first :)


Ha ha you're not :-) There might just be something in those posts that could help xxx

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to poppypug

There really is! Lots of great info. I can't believe how common the knee thing is. I wish I'd found this site a week ago! How lovely that people do reply and help you! Thank you!


Yes I have had to return to the injury couch with knee pain this week after starting wk 2 on Tuesday. Hope to return to it once the pain disappears. I was just getting back into it again after recovering from an ankle sprain. I got to week 9 last time.

Running-scaredGraduate in reply to ladyharvills

Ah, sorry to hear you've been suffering with the injuries, you did great to get to week 9 though, I can't imagine ever getting there at the moment! I hope your knee pain gets better soon so you can get going again - it's so frustrating.

Hi, other people have mentioned this, but my hubby started to get knee pain after about three weeks in to the program. He iced it and rested. He went to a running shop and had his gait analysed for free and it turned out to be he was wearing the wrong running shoes. He has flat feet and wears orthotics in shoes so thought he needed running shoes with a certain kind of support but they were throwing him off balance and hurting his knee.

Do you know if you suffer from over pronation? It could just be your shoes.

By the way he got it sorted, never looked back and has graduated now.

Good luck and hope you get it sorted.


Running-scaredGraduate in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Hi, thanks so much for sharing this. I do think I ought to go and check out which shoes are right for me. Being naive and excited I had no idea about this kind of thing, headed for the sports shop and just chose the 'running' trainers I liked the most! :) sounds like the gait analysis and right shoes can make such a difference and I'll give anything a shot! Thanks again, Nat

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