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Couch to 5K
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Knee Pain and Starting Week 3

Hi all,

This is my first post and I was hoping to get some advice please.

So I started couch to 5k with my partner, and we've been doing really well.

I'm quite a pudding, weighing in at 19st and it hasn't affected me so far, that was until Wednesday.

During w2r2 my left knee started to hurt, we always run on the same cycle path so it's nice and smooth and always do the plan to the T, warming up and cooling down etc.

I kept on running as I thought maybe I was just tired and feeling the effects of changing from 60s to 90s etc.

Thursday I was aware of the pain but it wasn't troublesome.

I decided not to do Fridays run on the morning and waited until the evening to see how my knee was feeling, it was sore but wasn't concerning me, so off we went and finished the final run of week 2.

Whilst doing the run, I had no pain at all, strange!

I'm loving this programme by the way!!

About 30 minutes after getting home, my left knee was in agony, it felt twisted but I haven't twisted it, or not that I can remember.

Today is Saturday and after resting all day and taking painkillers, it's still hurting.

I've tried to use my partners knee brace for support but unfortunately my legs are too chunky and it cuts off the circulation so I've been hobbling around holding onto walls etc.

We always run Mon - Wed - Fri.

Now with week 3 starting on Monday and the run time increasing, do you think I should postpone it?

Is there anything else anybody would suggest I should be doing, or not doing? I've been researching tapes that I can wrap around my knee for support (those pull on knee braces would either cut off my circulation or roll down so tape is my only option I think).

I know my weight won't help the strain on my knee's, so they will be taking a bit of a beating, but until Wednesday I had never experienced pain in my knee before.

I really don't want to postpone the run, as it's bloomin' addictive, and I get really excited to go out and do it, but I don't want to injure myself further either.

But then when I was doing run 3 it never hurt at the time, only afterwards when I got home.

Thank you for reading.

16 Replies

If its a new pain id get it checked out by a doc first Kat in honesty.


Hello and thanks for replying,

I'm going to ring first thing Monday morning!

I'm hoping it's nothing and I've just twisted it or something 🤔

We shall see!

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best to nip it in the bud Kat . I know ive buggered my foot today and have constant issues with PF. Not worth aggravating in the long run youre young with plenty of time. Dont rush :)

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I have had knee problems on and off over the past few years however I had exactly the same thing happen to me through the program. My Physio has found that my knee tracks differently when I run which causes the pain. She’s also worked out I have high arches and probation.

In short it means exercises to build my vmo muscles and inserts in my runners.

Good luck!!

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Hello and good morning.

I will do some research on these VMO muscles you mention, as I'm a total newbie here and don't know all the terms yet!!

I needed to do research on stretches as well, as at present we only do the before and after walks as a warm up and cool down.

Thank you.


It’s the small teardrop muscle just above your knee. Good luck!

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Hi Kat, possibly silly question, but have you had a gait analysis at a specialist running shop, where they film you running on a treadmill, and been fitted for proper running shoes for your specific type of running? Everybody should do that once they are a week or two or three into the program. It makes a huge difference and makes the possibility of injury far less.


Hi Flick,

No not yet.

I have Adidas running shoes which I assumed were fit for the job, that was until I joined this group after starting the programme and saw people keep mentioning this gait analysis. To be honest, me and my partner have just moved in together so money is incredibly tight at the moment.

I will take a google and have a look if I have a running shop near by, and maybe give them a call and seek prices of an assessment etc.

Also regarding gait analysis, will my running change as I improve? As if I make the commitment and try getting the best shoes for me, I would hate for them not to be suitable once I've become a proper runner and my gait (if that's the term) has changed?

Thanks for your reply, it's nice to get other people's opinions and advice on what to do next.


Hi Kat, I understand about the money, but if you are going to keep up with the running, you really can't afford not to get it done from the point of view of safety and comfort. By the way, you would only be paying for the shoes, not the analysis. If you wanted to be really cheeky, you could always get fitted then buy the shoes cheaper online once you know the model and size.

I began c25k in September and graduated at the beginning of January, and my gait was tested early October. I had my gait re tested towards the end of January (my daughter and I were in the shop anyway) and it hasn't changed as regards the way my feet fall, though my tendency to throw my right leg outwards as I run, due to old injuries, HAS improved. The shoes are fitted to your foot type (google pronation), and your arches (which are the deciding factor with pronation) are not going to become significantly deeper or shallower within the lifetime of your shoes. A good pair of running shoes should last you up to 500 miles, which has to be at least 12-18 months at your stage. I would say that if you want to keep running, you really need proper shoes, not off the peg, and not from one of the sports chains where they don't test your gait and don't know much about running and just want you to buy the shoes they produce or sponsor.

Sorry, I sound a right nagging old busybody, but it's possibly the difference between being unable to run through injury and being able to run safely. Obviously shoes can't save you from accident or bad luck, but they really will go a long way to protecting you. Oh, and if the pain persists, I would get it checked :) xx


Hi again, thanks for explaining more about what it is and how important it is that I get the right shoes.

I have managed to remain rested today so will see how I get on in the morning.

Don't ever apologise for giving sound advice, for people like me who are complete newbies to this running world, I need all the advice I can get.

I appreciate every response ☺️☺️


This is a must read: bit.ly/2EYFEl3

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Thanks I'll check that out now!


Your post has generated replies that are such a help to others new to the programme like me, explaining various things very clearly. So thanks for posting and good luck with the knee. BTW, depending on what the doctor says, you might find it helpful to look at the kind of narrow knee support straps that use Velcro to close so are adjustable and much less likely to be too tight. You wear them just below the knee and buy them online. My husband uses them when long distance hiking as his knees can hurt going downhill, made worse by his being a couple of stone overweight. But see what the doc/physio says.

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Good morning,

Oh I'm so glad that you were able to find my post useful, with the replies that it generated.

I'll take a lot at those support straps, I'm glad your husband finds them helpful.

Thanks for the well wishes.


Given how long it's gone on for and that painkillers are involved, I second Rickne, get it checked out by the doctor and I wouldn't be trying other people's braces when you don't know what's wrong with it. You could be locking it in entirely the wrong position. :)

Do not go for the run on Monday. Why? Well, because you tried the, "I'll test it out for the next run" already on Friday. The result was "Ow", so time to go for the other approach of resting it! :P Don't attempt to go for another run until you've had a full day of not feeling sore. It's so hard to fight the temptation to go out there and get on with it, but sometimes you actually end up putting yourself even *further* back because you cause more damage, which takes longer to sort itself out.

You might want to consider running independently to your partner? Could be that she/he is controlling your pace more than you realise and so you've put more physical stress on yourself than if you'd gone out on your own?? That's probably the miserable hermit in me talking though, feel free to ignore me! :P Does mean that over the course of the programme, if either of you get ill, or just life gets in the way, the other one doesn't get disrupted. If you *do* continue together, then make sure whoever is ahead, reruns the week the other is on. Do *not* skip runs to catch up with them!

Good luck! :)



Yes I'm starting to become more concerned as it's still feeling stiff today. So I'm making the decision not to run on it until I've been checked out by a professional and it stops hurting. I agree with what you've said completely, so thank you.

With regards to trying on his knee brace, it didn't fit anyway so it was just simply trying it on, then me screaming at him to quickly take it off because my leg looked like it was swelling with how tight it was!

I understand what you mean with regards to maybe my partner is taking the lead, he's a burly fella too, but I most definitely control the pace. Before we started I told him if I'm gonna do this, I need to take the lead so I don't feel pressured into running faster to catch you up etc. I barely see him out the corner of my eye. He stops when I stop etc, as even though we start the programme and the specific runs at the same time, his programme always runs faster so he ends up running for longer following my lead haha.

Oh don't worry, I would never skip a run to catch up. I believe in following something to the T.

So today, as much as I don't want it to be; will have to be another rest day! 😢

I never ever thought I would be disappointed about not being able to go and run! Wow, maybe I'm catching the running bug lol

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