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Couch to 5K
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My knees are protesting!

I've managed to complete 2 of the week 3 runs (to my surprise and delight!), but my knees, especially the left one, are aching quite badly. I've been stretching after every run, and doing the knee strengthening exercises, but the pain seems to be getting worse.

This is a bit disheartening. I have been allowing 2 days' rest between runs 2 and 3 each week, so I thought I'd rest for 3 days this time, before attempting week 3, run 3. Any thoughts or advice? Should I keep doing the knee strengthening exercises on rest days?

Thanks for any tips!

18 Replies
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Hi JoP, Well done on completing Wk3 R2... and sorry to hear you have knee pain.

How are your running shoes? They may not be supporting you correctly, now that you are on Wk 3 this is where a gait analysis will sort out any problems caused by not having the right running shoes. If you haven't been fitted correctly the strain will show up in your knees. My hubby got knee pains at Wk 3 and found that his fallen arches mean he overpronates and needed running shoes to support and correct this.

Rest from running and elevate and ice it ( bag of frozen peas in a towel) then go to a proper running shop and they will film your feet running on a treadmill and be able to advise you.

Here is the link about gait analysis

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

I hope this is useful😊x

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Hi and thanks for your advice.

My shoes are proper running shoes but not specially fitted and I haven't had a gait analysis done. So it sounds as though that should be the next step. Though I feel a bit nervous about going to a "proper running shop" as I still feel like a beginner.

Just off to get the peas out of the freezer!

Thanks again!

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The staff at a 'proper running shop' are usually runners themselves, and in my experience supportive and knowledgeable. Lots of people have gait analysis, its quite normal. You could try and go at a quiet time of day. Take your running shoes with you.

Good luck😊x

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Good advice, thanks!

x

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Not sure of gender but (if appropriate), don't forget to wear your sports bra when you go to the running shop :)

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Ha Ha! OMG I wouldn't have thought of that! (Gender guessed correctly!)

Thank you for reminding me - my sports bra is essential for keeping things in check, if you know what I mean!

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Could be a number of things. Are you running on pavement? Maybe try swapping one run on grass. Do you have hills on your route? Read up on running down them. Are you slapping your feet down hard like a duck or running like a ninja? Overstriding? Try smaller steps. Play with it a bit - I often have to remind myself on all of these things throughout a run as I can get very focused on completing the time/distance and let the form go out the window.

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I am running on pavements/paths - not a lot of grass around here to run on! However, it's all flat - no hills at all. I'm trying to keep the footfall as light as possible, and have shortened my stride so that I'm taking quite small steps. I've been advised to get gait analysis - it's quite noticeable that one knee is a lot more painful than the other, so not sure how they would cope with that!

Anyway, I shall persevere once I've given the old knees a bit of a rest.

Thanks for suggesting these various angles. Much appreciated!

By the way, how does a ninja run?!

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Like a ninja.....

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My knees ache after a run, they’re fine when I’m actually running though, and the next day too.

I’ve started taking COD liver oil because I’m paranoid about my joints and I’d heard it can help...no medical back up to that mind!!

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That's interesting. My knees don't hurt more when I run than when I'm not running. I know a lot of people swear by cod liver oil, so there could be something in that!

Thanks for your thoughts. x

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Can’t hurt to try it!

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Read this post about shoes healthunlocked.com/couchto5...……………..which-shoes

"Proper" shoes, regardless of price, may be totally inappropriate for you if not fitted after a gait analysis.

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Thanks for your reply.

I've had a quick look at that very informative post, and will read more thoroughly in due course - lots of useful info, thanks!

When I said my shoes were "proper" running shoes, I just meant they were sold to me as shoes suitable for running, as opposed to being, say, slippers or football boots. I understand now that I probably need to get the aforesaid gait analysis in order to understand what type of shoes would be best for me.

My problem may be just that I am quite old, and haven't run for years, so the knees don't work very well. Anyway, I will try the gait analysis next, and see how I go.

Thanks again.

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Many find that the correct shoes make all the difference.

You have been given lots of good advice above. The only other thing to reduce impact is to slow down.

I used my dodgy knees as an excuse for not running for years, then started taking glucosamine with chondroitin, which I swear by.

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That's interesting - I had assumed that you were a lifelong runner! I shall keep going (slowly), and will also try the glucosamine with chondroitin.

Thanks!

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No, I started running 4 and a half years ago, by doing c25k just like you and thousands of others.

Don't expect miracles with glucosamine it can take several months before the effects are noticeable. There is little scientific evidence to prove it works but plenty of anecdotal stories and as I said I swear by it.

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Well that's quite encouraging! Though the knee pain has set me back a bit and I'm starting to think that I was foolish to believe that I could do C25K. Am going to rest for a few days and then have a re-think.

Thanks again.

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