Very unfit, just started, back hurts!

Hi, I just went out for my very first run today, BEFORE I found this site! I'm 47 and since becoming a late mum, have become unfit and overweight for the first time in my life, which I need to change. I warmed up with a few stretches that I had read about (and knew from having done exercise videos) and alternated jogging and walking for 15 minutes. I also did cool down stretches. I would have like to have been out longer but my back began to hurt (lower back, either side of my spine). Did I miss something?

Also, I went out first thing this morning, before the family is up and it's quiet. I normally skip breakfast but should I eat before I run or is it ok to head straight out with a bottle of water?


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16 Replies

  • Hello! Are you following one of the c25k programmes? There are loads of apps or you can download the podcasts from the NHS website. It really helps to have someone talk you through what to do each time.

    I eat half a banana cos I need to take meds when I get up and with no food I can feel a bit queasy. Then I'm off out half an hour later with some water. Everyone is different so whatever works for you. Well done for starting! I'm 49, never done any running, just ready to do my last run of week 6!

  • Thank you! I just found this site I have now installed the app, which will be a big help, I think. I'm pretty amused at the thought of Sanjeev Kholi talking me through it all! Next stupid question though... how do I take my phone out running? Are there clips or something to buy? How do others listen to music, check time etc?


    Quite a few of us have this... great for phone and keys and a packet of sugar free mints if you are me :)

  • Some folks put their phones in arm bands and others in belts, personally I put mine in a zip pocket my shorts have at the back, you can get a belt or armband for under a fiver. My other half likes to hold her phone when she runs so she uses a padded hand grip thing that was £3 from decathlon.

    Welcome to C25K, keep us posted.

  • Think I might go down the armband route, if I can find a suitable one.


    Hi and welcome... are you following the programme?

    This forum follows the NHS C25K programme mainly....It is an excellent programme:)

    Start with Week 1, run 1 and take it very slowly. Make sure you are well warmed up, that is crucial.. each run begins with a five minute brisk walk too and a cool down walk at the end:) ... and make sure you are well hydrated too :) Exercise on rest days too is useful for helping the aches and pains.. and your body will protest sometimes ( that is normal).

    many of us used this on rest days :)

    We all have different ideas about fuel before a run... my routine has always been a cuppa and two digestives about 30 to 45 mins before heading should not need water for runs like this unless it is very hot:) I always have a sip or two just before leaving the house.

    The programme will take you very steadily, safely and hopefully injury free to Week Nine. If you re new to this, you need to be sensible... we tend to land heavily and thump along for the first few runs, but the guideline with each run on the podcast will guide you in good technique!

    We will support and encourage too... you should take your rest days between each run and do not push too hard...This is a super forum and the support you get is excellent! I am 67, ( not the oldest...) we are all shapes, all sizes, all ages... I am still here nearly two years on and running three times a week... up to 10K now!

    So.. maybe download the podcasts and give it a go.. I shall watch for your post!

  • Brilliant! Thank you for the links and support. I really appreciate it. ☺️

  • Welcome:)

  • If the back pain is bad and doesn't go away get some advice from a physio but it's probably just aches from exercise for the first time. The programme is great. Post any questions on here and you will get the answers. Take it slow and before you know it you will be wondering if you really did just run for that long. How is it possible? But it is.


  • Hello and welcome!

    The podcast Oldfloss has provided the link to has the lovely Laura as trainer, a graduate of the programme herself. It also has music, all you do is switch it on. The app does not have music but you can play your own alongside it.

    If i run early I dont eat first, just a glass of water. If i run a little later i have a small bowl of porridge and half banana at least hour before running.

    Always take your rest days and follow the programme as is.

    Good luck😀🏃🏻‍♀️

  • Hi, I've just started too. Just come back after run 2. I was exactly the same as you wondering what to eat or even to eat at all before heading out on morning runs.

    I asked the same question and have read lots too. Seems like unless you really wanted too it's not necessary to fuel a run this short yet. As long as you've eaten the night before and have your breakfast after your ok!

    As long as your not skipping meals.

    I thought I was being sneaky leaving my 3 year old daughter in bed with her mum but I've come back to "where you been daddy, I'm come running with you next time":)!!!

  • If you are used to skipping breakfast, you should be fine just heading out the door. I used to have breakfast before going out, but that meant it was a couple of hours before my run, and what with showering etc. afterwards, my day really got broken up. Not sure you even need to carry a bottle of water at this stage.

    Can't advise re your back as I haven't had your experience, can only suggest that you maintain good posture when you run and do some stretches afterwards. As has often been said, you're probably using muscles you didn't know you had! Good for you for getting out there!

  • I'm the same, I'm on week 7 now and have just started to get back ache and knee ache. So I've ordered a book from Amazon called Yoga for Runners which apparently has sections devoted to different parts of the body and lists strengthening and suppling exercises for each bit and for different problems related to running. I have high hopes! I'll let you know how I get on!

  • Hi. Well done for getting started! Lots of great advice already given, I just wanted to say that I started Pilates after having my son 12 yrs ago because of lower back pain & still do it now. Many of the exercises are great for running & help develop & maintain core muscles. Btw I'm 46 & started the programme in Feb having not run since school & now run 5k 2-3 times a week! Good luck!

  • My neighbour is a Pilates instructor but I totally can't afford classes. Maybe she'll give few tips though. Looked up some stretches online and they seem to have helped. Thanks for th encouragement! 😊

  • That's a good idea. You could also try you tube & the stretches on the nhs site (often linked on the forum). I bought a dvd for use during holidays as the classes are only term time & that's been useful as well as less than the price of a class! I bought some flexi bands & a mat cheaply in TK Maxx but Aldi & Lidl are all also great for similar bargains. Happy stretching!!

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