Couch to 5K
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Integrating physio advice with the programme

Hi everyone

I ended up taking a break from the programme due to injury. I had got to run 3/ week 3 and was really enjoying it but got overzealous and ended up with painful, swollen knees. Several weeks of physio later and Im now read to get going again. I've just treated myself to some new trainers, recommended after gait analysis too.

My problem is how to integrate the pretty strict instructions that my physio has given me with getting back onto the programme. I am at 7 minutes of 1 minute running and 1 minute walking on the treadmill. Physio says I need to do this twice weekly then increase to 8 mins and so on with 1 minute increases until I reach 15 minutes. He says that at that point I can change to a 10 minute continuous run and after that increase it by 10 percent each week. This is all good, but I want to be on the programme with the support of Mr Smooth! Im a bit lost trying to work out when to cross over and what stage to start at on the programme etc. Any ideas?



5 Replies

As you're under the physio (with pretty strict instructions), I don't want to make any proposals about how (or if) to incorporate C25K. Sounds like you have 7 or 8 weeks before you can run for 10 minutes, and so in your position, I'd be using that time to walk daily, and do leg strengthening exercises (and squats) to prepare me for the return to C25K.

Alternatively, why not print off the details of C25K, and show it to your physio the next time you see him?? Ask what he'd be comfortable for you to do in conjunction with the physio.


I think you should follow your physio's advice to the letter!! - Otherwise there is no point in consulting him and you could end up with a larger and longer lasting problem. I would do you want your physio says and then show him the C25K Program and take his advice. Meanwhile make a playlist of your favourite music for physio running- or use W1 as a time counter but do the physio routine.

Best of luck getting going again. Remember, when you feel frustrated, some running is better than no running! 😄


Thanks to both of you. I know your right, it makes sense not to look for shortcuts at this stage.The physio signed me off with this plan to follow (plus a lots of exercises to continue with), but I have been struggling with motivation without the structure of the programme. However, it is the best way for me to build up my strength and stay injury free. I will head back to the gym - at least with new trainers!

1 like

MarkyD has hit the nail squarely on the head.

Out of interestm what exactly was the diagnosis of your knee injury? Did the doctor give you an indication of what happened to cause it?


I think it was an IT band issue on the right knee and runners knee on the left. I hadn't run for years - only using a bike for fitness. For the first couple of weeks of the programme, I had been running on a treadmill. The swelling and pain started after an outdoor canal run, with lots of variation in the running surface - tree roots, stairs etc. I was also really dumb and had enjoyed it so much that I ended the run with a wee sprint. Swelling and pain started a couple of hours later and persisted despite ice and rest etc. As well as giving me the plan to work too, the sports physio also suggested that I stick to the treadmill for a while before slowly trying grass and eventually harder surfaces.


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