Starting C25K today and a little nervous

Hi Everyone,

I'm starting the C25K today and i am a little nervous about the impact that this will have on my back. I  slipped my disc 8 years ago and then again about 2 years ago but nothing since then. I usually have little niggles in my back after sitting at my desk at work for a long period of time but i am worried that starting this app will aggravate my back again.

I would be grateful if people who have experienced any back pain if they could offer any tips in how they overcome it? 



10 Replies

  • No 1 check with your Doctor before starting.

    No 2 get a good pair of running shoes.

    No 3 take it slow and steady.

    Any exercise strengthens you muscles.

    I fractured 3 vertibrae years ago and I am on week 8 of c25k, good luck!

  • One thing I would suggest (and I'm not a health professional - definitely seek advice!) Is core strengthening exercises. A lot of people I know through yoga have overcome niggles through strengthening the relevant supporting muscle groups and in your case it would be the core. Also note - core is not simply your stomach muscles as is often misunderstood, they run a lot deeper, nearer your pelvis and all the way around the back. They provide a massive amount of support in the body that we're not always aware of. Strengthening these takes pressure off your skeleton & improves posture and alignment which then means less pressure on your back, shoulders and all the way up through your neck. It really is a domino effect!

    I don't know much about backs and slipped discs but I would advise that if it becomes niggly - that isn't a good thing. Backs need looking after a huge amount more than other parts of us - they're kind of important!

  • I've never slipped a disc but I do get back pain on and off. Sometimes just an ache sometimes a trapped nerve that makes me squeal when it catches! I put it out at some point in C25k (can't remember exact week) lifting heavy shopping bags and had to rest up for a week. I found that moving was better than not moving and I felt the least pain when running. The most pain is caused by sitting at my desk! See your gp, to be sure then also consider the strength and flex exercises.

  • I have 2 bulging discs in my lower back. I've just finished week 1 of the program, but was sure not to push things too far. My aunt being a physio, advises on core strengthening for these back problems, and also swimming she says is good as it's low impact. She and my personal physio have also said to always go with how you feel when you're exercising, i.e. if it's feeling niggly then stop. I started this running program, not being concerned if I need to repeat weeks or walk when it says run. I'd agree with the others, consult your GP, but most importantly, don't feel put off if you need to take longer per week than others, as it's better that than put your back out.

  • Definitely check with your doctor first - perhaps he can give you some strengthening exercises to help prevent injury.  Good luck 

  • I have - well, had, actually- an awful back. 

    I slipped a disc when expecting 13 odd years ago, in hospital for a week, and then did it again and trapped both leg nerves about 9 years ago! Still have a 'dodgy' left leg/foot that have slight nerve damage (muscles aren't quite as developed in my thigh, my foot is still quite tingly/numb and had a tendency to drop). I also have an awful sacro-iliac joint on the right which likes to try and loosen out of place- it occasionally succeeds and the stick is employed to aid my squintiness- or it just generally gives me pain. 

    For me, regular brisk walking improved things and kept issues at bay. Losing weight helped a wee bit although it wasn't like 'miracle cure' and since starting c25k it has all only improved even more. However, I always keep my spine flexing and moving. I probably look like a weirdo, I am always- as in every few minutes- rotating my pelvis slightly if sitting or shifting weight from leg to leg if standing etc. It's not a pronounced movement, just enough to keep the pops and clicks from seizing me up!

    I tend to find I'm comfier after a run (only 1 left to graduation!) and after my two day breaks am physically needing to do that wee bit more to get the core muscles going.

    I used to do pilates and am considering a return, it used to help a lot although I do and try to hold and keep my core strong and often do exercises as required, especially if having a sacro-iliac flare-up.

    I would give a couple of runs a go and see how you feel. Try and hold your tummy/core muscles in to help support your spine. If anything starts to niggle then you'll know it and go get a gp appointment before continuing but I reckon as long as you're slow and steady with trainers that are comfortable then you'll likely be ok :)

  • I've had pelvic and back problems (following pregnancy) and thought I would never be able to do what I'm doing just now. My main issues just now is back pain when sitting, though generally sore when standing too. I'm about to start week 8 and find I'm ok when running- worse when I come home and sit down! I'd try it and see how it goes- the aches and pains generally get less as you progress... At first couple weeks I was sorer and had shin splints through being so unfit! Also I do Pilates for core strength which I think really helps doing the running and that together.... Good luck! 

  • Ps- sacro iliac pain is my main problem... 

  • Keeping moving is really important, as is general back strengthening with something like Pilates. I had 2 back ops for my herniated disc exactly 2 years ago and have been running for 6 months as well as doing Pilates twice a week. I have never even had a twinge of pain since then and feel stronger than ever. 

    If you are running on roads then there will be more impact on your back so take it very slowly and walk if you need to and build up from walking to jogging to running in your own time. Do speak to your physic or doctor and get some professional advice.

  • Thank you all for your replies, this has helped at lot 😀 X

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