Graduation running being put on hold :-( Advice? - Couch to 5K

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Graduation running being put on hold :-( Advice?


I did the first two sessions of W9 last week and felt fine. On the next rest day I stood up from a chair (dangerous things) and tweaked my right knee. It was swollen and painful for a couple of days so no more running. I thought it was just one of those things, but then yesterday afternoon the other knee hurt in the same place and was also swollen. If you were looking at my kneecaps the swelling would be at 4 o'clock on the right knee and 8 o'clock on the left knee. I now realise that it must be a running injury. Any thoughts? I must rest for a few more days but presumably I'd better try a couple of lighter sessions before I attempt W9R3, or should I go back and do the last few weeks again. I feel very downhearted.

10 Replies

Well Kay, that sounds like a case of Runner's Knee. I'm not a GP and so if you are concerned, please make an appointment to see your doctor, or a sports physio.

Two main types of Runners Knee, and this site is very good at helping you understand which one you have:

And (As always) RunnersWorld is a good site for preventative exercises and general helpful information:

Certainly do not run with the swelling. It's telling you something. Keep moving (swim, bike, anything that does not put pressure on the knee) but use the RICE method Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation for one week. Once the swelling has gone and you have no further pain, you may want to try a gentle jog - 5 minutes warmup walk, 5 minutes jog, 5 minutes cool down walk to give it a test drive.

You have the rest of your life to graduate, but only one set of knees. Take it easy.

KayFitzGraduate in reply to MarkyD

I'm a little confused as mine doesn't seem to fit either description. It is on the inside of both knees just below the midline. IT band is on the outside and it also isn't on the kneecap itself.

MarkyDGraduate in reply to KayFitz

Oh, inside of your knees? Not IT band then, as you say. And classic runner's knee hurts on the front. It may be worth finding a local sports physio for some advice. At this stage in your running career it could be good to know more about your knees before going on to the next stage. The consultation will be cheaper than an average pair of trainers and could save you loads of time, pain and money.


Ouch....! So close, but as MarkyD says.. get it checked out... one set of knees...very true!


That's just where I've tweaked both knees on numerous occasions. If you're one of us 'slightly more mature' ladies, go to the GP and ask him to refer you for Xrays on your knees to see if you have any arthritis or odd bits of cartilage floating around. Either condition won't stop you running, you'll just need to take a bit more care. I have arthritis in both knees but I've actually found the running has strengthened them a lot. I did have a bad time with both knees after the first two weeks of the programme and I had to rest/cross train for three weeks and took Naproxen, but they recovered as they always do and, touching all the wood I can see, they've been fine ever since. But please don't run on them while they are sore, you'll only make them worse and take longer to recover. I speak from experience here!!! And once they are better, try wearing the band style under-the-knee straps, I've found them to be brilliant at stabilising my knees while I run. I've got the Mueller ones from Amazon but there are all sorts of brands out there. Good luck! :-) xx


Thanks so much. I have quite small knees - will they fit me do you think. I am 5' 4" and weigh just over nine stone.

The straps are adjustable but if your knees are swollen, they are inflamed and unfortunately you can't run while they are like that. I took a week off last week because of knee pain and found it made no difference at all to my stamina/fitness levels. I am afraid you will need to rest your knees for now to allow them to heal. How very frustrating for you at this stage. What I told myself is it isn't about a week here on there but about being able to run safely and comfortably in the long-term and then a week or so off didn't seem as bad. I ran yesterday with a knee brace which was pain free; however I no longer had pain going about my daily business, squatting down, getting up from a chair, walking up or down stairs. I found I could run but still would not attempt quad strengthening exercises - squats and lunges etc which we should probably all be doing.

My knee pain is frontal ( kneecap) unlike yours so am not sure what is causing your pain. I have been doing exercises for runner's knee which did not cause any knee pain at all and helped me but I am not sure if your problem needs to be treated differently. For now though the swelling needs to go down.


Thanks Bop will investigate.


Sorry to hear this Kay - so far I have been lucky with no problems except a very short term sore foot early on (touching lots of wood). Someone just posted an article on the differences between running on treadmills and outdoors, and one difference is the greater risk of repetitive stress injuries on treadmills, especially if you don't vary the pace and the incline. Maybe when your knees are better you can switch to outdoors or a more varied treadmill program (which of course you might already do).

How old are you? Sounds like meniscus tear (C-shaped discs of cartilage in your knees), you would need to be examined to be certain. Rest, should be better within a few days. If you have any locking, grinding of the knee, go and see your doctor. Unfortunately, as you get older the cartilage inside your knee degenerates and is more susceptible to tears. For most people this doesn't cause much of a problem.

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