Getting back into it after injury break - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Getting back into it after injury break


I have been unable to run for several weeks having put my back out. I believe it was dong a yoga class before my first Parkrun that did it. The week after graduating I did two full 5k runs, then a yoga class (first time) the day before the Parkrun. Did the Parkrun but noticed back pain after it. Then following Friday I did the Stepping Stones podcast and noticed my pace had dropped drastically - thinking initially it was that the cadence was too slow I think now it was that I was compensating for the injury and not putting in enough oomph.

Several weeks on and lots of physio exercises, and use of a massage stick, and I'm just about getting there with the back. Still stiff on getting out of bed, but during the day I hardly notice it - whereas a few weeks back I was taking painkillers.

My physio says to get back into it by alternating run/walk cycles and avoid hard surfaces like pavements etc. Trouble is, most of my routes are on hard surfaces (including Farmoor Reservoir, which is tarmac all the way round).

I'm thinking perhaps as a cautious start I could try a Week 1 run on a treadmill, which is far more forgiving than the pavement, then build up ( don't want to go through the whole course again, unless by some miracle I can persuade my lovely wife to try it and run with her, but so far she's resisted).

What do people recommend?

9 Replies

Sorry to hear about the back problems, but glad that you are getting up and running again. I doubt you will struggle with week 1 but you can always just do a week 1 run followed by a week 2 run just to make sure you don't injure yourself further - then skip a week or two if you find these are easy.


If it was me, then I would just get on that treadmill and run, and take it as it comes.

If you set yourself a target, you will either be: downhearted because you couldn't reach it; push yourself too hard to reach it and cause more damage; or be really annoyed with yourself later because you realise you set the bar too low, and could have done more.

I'd just give the treadmill a go and try minute by minute..

You know now how your bod feels after the injury, so you could just test the theory out by trying one minute take the rest And then try the 90 seconds and so on...

iain-strachanGraduate in reply to Jancanrun

Sounds like a plan. Also there is a meadow near where I live that is almost exactly 1km in circumference, so I might give that a try. Much prefer running outside to running on a treadmill, though the treadmill is kinder on your body.

OldflossAdministrator in reply to iain-strachan

Try the meadow until you get the go ahead from the Physio?


Hi..I wondered where you had got to!!!

What a horrid time you have had...but you are on that recovery route now:) I would check with your Physio, re the treadmill... ( there is still impact there... I used my elliptical cross trainer when I broke my ribs... no impact and no resistance or incline and I was fine... my legs got very, very strong...

I got back to runs after this last calf tear injury by using walks/runs etc...but I had to use hard surfaces! I think.. check it out with the physio, if it is no go.. then find some slightly softer tracks maybe??


A meadow sounds lovely! follow your physio's advice very carefully. The problem with seeing what you can do in one go is that you might only find out you did too much, much later (and then your wife will be more resistant as running appears to have broken her husband :) ) So try week one and see what the results are over the next few days, then week 2...etc.

Also, do you have a diagnosis? If this is muscular, massage or the dread foam roller might help (but check with a person who knows what they are talking about first!!)

iain-strachanGraduate in reply to helenwheels

It's muscular. I have got a massage stick which seems to help quite a bit!

Welcome back Iain😊.Take care with your recovery.x

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