Couch to 5K
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Getting started after injury

Hi Runners! I have a question for your combined wisdom and experience. I was doing so well. I had just completed the second run of week 8 and was looking forward to graduating when I injured my knee.😒 I think it was because I had changed my route in order to allow for the extra minutes needed and my new route was a little more hilly. I have been a good girl and I’ve rested my knee until it feels recovered. I do a lot of walking as I have two dogs so I know it doesn’t hurt any more when I move. I think I’m ready to run again but I’m not sure how to ease back in. I don’t want to hurt my knee again but I don’t want to lose any of my new hard earned fitness by taking it too easy. What do you suggest? Has anyone experienced this?

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I recently had a knee injury and while it was fine walking, it took longer before I could run on it. In my case I checked with my physio friend, who said that cycling would be good strengthening exercise all in one plane of movement.

When I did my first run back it was on a circular route of about 3.5k and I managed a very gentle jog all the way, but being prepared to stop running immediately if I wasn't comfortable.

Bear in mind that my injury was not caused by running and that my running musculature is probably further developed than yours after four and a half years of running, so better supports my knees in general.

You don't say how long you have been out for. If it is less than two weeks then you will not have lost significant condition. Any longer and that needs to be taken into account as well. Perhaps try a very gentle 20 minute try out run. If that all goes to plan, then I would maybe do 25 and then move on up to the 28 minutes of W8. Caution is always wise.

Keep your pace very gentle and avoid hills. Going downhill can cause your legs to carry the equivalent of up to six times your body weight on each footfall.........not what your knees need.

To strengthen the area and avoid any susceptibility to injury in that area, you could try some knee strengthening exercises. nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

Take it extra easy for the next few runs.

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I’m going to try these exercises for a week then do an easy run and just see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

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You have to get back in, you know that, so either pick up where you left off or repeat a week.

I would try and pick up where You left off. you’re only going steady I assume.

Your knees strengthen as you keep running . Mine did! I had a knee issue but I don’t now 💪👍😃🏃‍♀️✔️

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Oh I hope it gets stronger and stops hurting. . I’m going to try some strengthening exercises. My right knee is fine .

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How long did you have off? If it was more than a few weeks, I'd suggest starting at week one, and do one run from each week and see how it goes.

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It’s about ten days I think. I like the one run from each week idea. It’s the programme on fast forward!

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I would take it back a couple of weeks. Go for a 'test run' for a short distance very slowly and see how you feel.

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Thanks, I think that’s a good idea.

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Good luck Dw58 !

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Thanks! I’m feeling a bit depressed- my knee seems worse and all I have done is walk the dogs. I think it’s time to see the doctor.😟

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Aw, Dw58, it is perfectly understandable to be a bit down when you cannot run because of injury. But you will recover, and will get back into it again, as long as you react sensibly. Do go see your GP, and if you can afford it, and sports physio. I haven't run for a week because of pulling a hamstring and having a virus and feel so sad right now! But trying to be pragmatic - resting and planning a physio trip myself if no improvement in a week. It doesn't hurt me to walk, but the minute I run it twinges again, so I know I need more time. 🙁

As runners, we WILL get injured now and again, no matter how sensible. It's how we react and how we treat it that is key. Hang in in there - you will be able to run again soon.

Wishing you well.

Sadie-runs 😘

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