Why does my lower back ache?

Hi - this is my first post on this site. I am 47 years old and weigh around 100 kg. I have completed the c25k - finishing w9 with a 5k parkrun and have ran 4.98 k on Monday and Wednesday this week. The day's after each run my lower back has ached. As I have done no exercise for the past 12 years I am suspecting that my core muscles still need strengthening. I do circuit training each Friday evening (for the past 6 weeks) but can you recommend any other way of strengthening core muscles?

I have new fitted trainers to run in so it is not them and I run in an upright position. Any suggestions gratefully received.


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10 Replies

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  • It just takes time. Do other exercise on your non-run days. Walking is great. I walk everywhere I possibly can now ๐Ÿ™‚ I borrow a dog too ๐Ÿ•. Swim, cycle, dance, gym or home based exercises. I use Jillian Michaels dvd's. The more you run, gradually, steadily a bit further, and begin to go uphill, and on uneven terrain, your core muscles will develop ๐Ÿ™‚ Your back muscles will be weak, as will all the others, if you have not exercised before, but you will overcome the niggly pains as you get fitter and stronger

    No quick fix, you just have to proceed with caution! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If your back pain persists have a break from running. You can walk though. Try and keep moving ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully it's just a niggle and will clear up. If not, see a doc

  • Yes as misswobble says, it takes time. Yoga and pilates for rest days also help.

    Also , you do not need to run 5k every run. Why not mix it a bit, intervals for example, all aid strengthening.

  • To be honest I hadn't thought of doing less than 5k. Are there any programs like c25k for beginners?

  • You could try the 5k+ podcasts available on this link


  • I agree with the comments above - as your core strengthens hopefully your backache will settle down. I had alot of problems with my lower back in my 'youth' (! mid twenties) - had a prolapsed disc and a lot of pain. Always used to worry what it would be like when I got 'older' and yet here I am at 52 and it's the best it's been in years! I do a lot of trails and a few hills too. Take care and hope it settles down for you. My favourite exercise for core strengthening and balance is the Bridge. Try googling it. I do it whilst lying on the floor watching tv in the evenings!๐Ÿ™‚

  • I know you say you are running in an upright position, but you need to check out the position of your pelvis as well. You need your pelvis tilted forwards (which tucks your butt right in). There are some great stretches on the Kinetic Revolution site that can help with this (have a look at their 30 day challenge - I do it several times a year). After that it is all down to core muscles and they do take some time to build up.

  • C25k is for beginners ๐Ÿ™‚

    Running 3k's are good! They are soon done so you can get on with the rest of the day . Run each kilometre as quick a poss is the idea, taking a little jogging break in between each interval to catch your breath

    Don't do fast stuff though until you are ready, and not at all if you still have back ache.

  • I'm 50 now and was concerned about my joints too when I started C25K last year (carrying more weight than I should).

    I did as much running as I could off road, on softer ground and made use of hills. The distances dropped off but that doesn't matter.

    This year I'm following a sprint triathlon training programme, which I'd recommend whether you plan to do one or not. It consists of 2 sessions each per week of running, swimming, cycling and strengtheningโ€‹. I like it because I'm not pounding the same set of muscles over and over again.

  • I do some strengthening exercises with weights at home (they don't need to be expensive or super heavy). I think this may have tightened up my core more than running. All exercise helps though, just making an effort to walk whenever possible, use stairs instead of lifts, carrying shopping, gardening etc all helps.

  • The NHS have some fantastic stretching exercises for lower back pain.

    I'd give these a try post run. They are quite excellent.

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