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Couch to 5K
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Week 3 Run 1 Completed - Knees in agony

Well, I completed W3R1 this evening. Unfortunately, before I even started running, my knees were in agony. They've been that way since beginning of Week 2. I ran on (slowly) and managed to get through. I very much hope that the knee pain eases otherwise the next 6 weeks could be interesting. Any advice greatly appreciated 😊🏃

9 Replies

Are you wearing running shoes? Properly fitted shoes can make all the difference.

Running on grass reduces the impact on your knees.

Your footstrike should be under your body (shorter stride) not out in front.

Try to land as gently as possible, preferably not heel first.

I take fish oils as well as glucosamine with chondroitin after having knee problems years ago.

You could try these exercises nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

Take an extra rest day.

If you are really in agony you should not be running but consulting your GP or physio.


Thanks so much for this helpful advice. Greatly appreciated!

I'm hoping that it's just my knees getting used to a bit of exercise, but I will monitor it.

I'll also give the exercises a try.

I started taking glucosamine at the weekend, but I imagine that it will take a while before I feel the benefit.

Thanks again and kind regards


As a new runner, aches are to be expected but not agony!

Glucosamine can take months to be effective.

My bet is your shoes.........if you haven't had a gait analysis, then your shoes may be inappropriate for your running style and gait.


Yep, as IannodaTrufe says, check your shoes first! I know, as I didn't, and the knee ended up, as you describe, in agony. Please do it sooner rather than later, preferably straight away. My knee put a three month stop on my running early in W2, those injuries happen very quickly.

All the best!


It could be that you over pronate and need extra support from your running shoe. As lannodaTruffe suggests go along to a proper running shop and they will watch your footfall on their running machine to see how your foot strikes the ground. My husband started getting knee pains in Wk 3 and this was down to his gait.

You will need to leave it a few days to let your knee recover before having this done. It will be worth getting this sorted though. Gait analysis is normally offered for free, you do not need to buy the shoes if a bit pricey, but should take note of the type of shoe they recommend and maybe find an older model.

Your running shoes are usually half to one size larger than your normal shoe size.

Good luck😊


Thanks so much for your advice. I will get that analysis done. I did buy good quality shoes (asics GT 1000) but I certainly didn't have any gait analysis done. Always a learning journey ☺️

Thanks again

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Take your shoes with you for the gait analysis.


IannodaTruffe has given you some great advice..try these exercises too...


Really do try to land lightly...kissing the ground with your feet, is what I call it. We do tend to thump down a tad when we start... sheer concentration I feel:)

Lots of stretches, ( dynamic), before your run and also after finishing your run too.. a hot shower and rubbing massaging all around those knees as well.. it works for me:)

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I began couch25k slowly because of previous knee and health issues. My knees are now much more stable. At the beginning I used a knee support, but found it bulky and kept slipping. Then someone recommended kinesiology tape. It is so much lighter and works for other aches and pains too.

As others have mentioned good shoes are a must as well as rest and stretching.

Good luck and have fun.

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