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Couch to 5K
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Advice on alternative locations for running

I've recently completed the couch to 5k & have surprisingly loved it, despite never having ran before & being very unfit.

My knees can't take pavements, so have been running over fields which has worked well for me. I work full-time & the nights are drawing in, so I've got to find somewhere else to run during the week, over the winter. I thought joining the gym & using a treadmill would be the ideal solution, but tried it for the first time last night & hated it. It was boring, hot, too noisy and I didn't get the 'runners high' I that I get when running outside.

Will pavements really wreck my knees? (I'm very overweight) or is there some other type of surface I could search for that would likely be lit in the evening?

5 Replies

I started out like you but it became inevitable, as I increased distance, that I would have to run on roads. My knees have strengthened over the years and the impact is less obvious, but still tougher than off road.

I take glucosamine with chondroitin for my joints and swear by it. A few years before starting C25K I had stopped walking for pleasure because of knee pain. I could not have considered running at that time. My GP was no help, but then I did my own research and tried glucosamine. It takes a few months to work but I would not stop taking it now.

These nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/... may help as do decent shoes fitted after gait analysis.

You will find a way. Good luck.

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Thanks, this is really helpful - I'll order some glucosamine & see how I get on. I was thinking I might treat myself to an upgrade on my trainers now I've graduated, so will go for a gait analysis too.


Is there a runnng track close by you can use? Incredibly boring laps but it would have a good surface and be flat teehee!

I often run our local parks, many have quite good forgiving paths and you can run on the grads at the path edge. I also run the circumference which are often grass. Chose your times wisely so you are not alone on dark winter days. eg football matches etc on a sunday morning means plenty folk around. One of mine has a local school next door so drop off / pick up time means people in the park.

My local canal has the tow path, but about five yatds behind this is a cycle path. This is a good option if it is not dark..,,,or icy. It follows the lie of the land so surprisingly includes inclines.

There is also parkrun within traveling distance of many now😀

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Flat is good!! I'll have to investigate these ideas, thanks for the suggestions. I'll have a look when the local football pitches are in use so I can coincide my runs with when people will be about. Trying my first park run this weekend - bit nervous about running with other people, but hoping I'll enjoy it :-)

1 like

IannodaTruffe offers great advice:) As does Millsie-J ...:)


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