Couch to 5K
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Knee issues: W3R1 not as bad as anticipated

I was weirdly anxious about moving into week 3 and if my dodgy knees would let me do it, but it wasn't so bad at all. I think the NHS choices knee exercises are helping and I've booked to see a physio for a professional opinion. Fingers crossed. I'd be gutted if I have to stop now!

Also still trying to find a comfortable pace - too slow and it's worse on my knees with my long legs, but a comfortable stride/speed is possibly too fast for endurance...

Is anyone else running with knees that are 20 years older than them, or taken a while to find a comfortable speed to run at?

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Hi, I’ve just finished W3R3 and have had lots of knee issues over the years. So far they are holding up. I am running at a slow pace, partly because I am anxious about hurting my knees and then having to stop the running and partly because I don’t want to tire myself out too quickly! Unlike you I have short legs (I’m only 5 ft 2) !!! I make sure I do lots of stretching afterwards and foam rolls my thighs and calves, it seems to help.

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Thanks Hels. I've started some stretching afterwards. Haven't done any foam rolling... will google that - what does it do, is it massage the muscles?

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Yes it does. I got a small foam roller from TX Max for £10 and it helps to relax the muscles. Only do it when your muscles are warmed up though. Hope it helps.

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Thanks for that. Shopping trip planned :)

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My knees were my biggest concern starting this and I'm just finishing week 8 today. I'm happy to report that other than a little stiffness/minor soreness (not pain) that they have improved and feel better than ever. No more shooting pains when I go up the stairs! Lots of stretching after each run helps!

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That's really encouraging, thank you! Can't imagine being at W8! Are you doing the NHS runner stretches?

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Yes I do the runner stretches.

I'm no doctor, and not everyone has the same knee issues, but I had inflammation and fluid in my knee for many years that caused a lot of pain that came and went. I saw a specialist and they couldn't figure out why. I have pain in my finger joints as well. Since I started running, my knees are so much better! I expected running to make them worse, but it had the opposite effect for me. So pleased about that! Hopefully you'll have the same outcome! Good luck!

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Yes! My knees - aaargh! Week 2 saw my left go. I powered through and it sorted itself out. Now my right is giving me jip! My sports physio buddy said it’s just strength and they’ll sort themselves out. I’m taking tablets prior to runs and have a knee support. I try and rest plenty in between. I’m sure the other knee will be ok too.

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Sorry to hear you're having this bother right now too Tasha. I found my 2 day rest between runs has helped today. I was wondering about a knee support - will ask the physio what they recommend.

Have you found a comfortable speed to run at ?

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“Comfortable” hmmm. I think so. I’m around 6:40-7 mins per km so nothing speedy!

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Sounds reasonable!

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Sounds similar to my knee trouble - I have also been taking plenty of rest between runs and wearing a knee support. Got fitted for new shoes too. Hope my strength improves and knees sort themselves out - I had shin splints in week 2 and a sore ankle in week 3 and they have both got better. Fingers crossed!

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Oh goodness that's a lot to contend with - and you're still running - respect! What's next elbows?? 😜

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Keep up those exercises... and get checked out by the Sports Physio..they are terrifically helpful:)

You will find your pace I am sure..:) Are you able to find routes that are more forgiving on your knees too...?

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I'm running on a treadmill at an incline of 1, so not really pushing myself too much! 😳

I walk miles outside no bother but coming down stairs is my problem. Will see what the physio says x

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Sensible... it is odd how we can do other stuff like walk etc, but other movements really hurt!

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Come down sideways, seriously, examine everything in your daily routine and avoid point loading and one leg stuff until your knees and legs strengthen.It can just remind you of your niggles.🤔🌟👏👏

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Good tip! Thanks will try that

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If you are not able to keep your footfall under your hips,make sure if you are going to lengthen your stride,keep your footfall behind your knees, so they can act like a shock absorber🤔👏👏

If you can just slow down, kissing the ground with your feet, this will automatically and without thinking, in time, build up your cadence, steps per minute.By lengthening your stride you probably will decrease your steps per min.

Initially try and maximise the cushioning effect, reduce any severe point loading maximise your footfall area.🤔

Believe in you and enjoy.🌟👏👏

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Thank you Tbae - so I really should be aiming to increase my steps per minute? Short stride, gentle landings?

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Yes if you can.🤔👍👏👏

We are all uniquicely different with different needs.

Keep it simple and run as you did in your childhood but without the the free abandon.🤔

Pace or speed = cadence x stride length = steps per minute x stride length.🤔

So if you apply the slow and steady and keep your footfall under your hips, the only Freedom is your steps per minute to run as per definition of both feet being off/ leaving the ground.🤔

Of course the slow and steady protects your legs and helps you to get your extra oxygen load that you need to run.🤔👏👏🌟👏👏

Hope this helps. 👍

Plenty time later to bolt on stuff.

This is your established core fall back position for your running life.

It will allow you to run forever having built and continue to build your stamina.Lungs, legs and running brain.🌟👏👏

To be safe on a treadmill with a belt speed that suits you, what I have said is even more applicable initially.🌟👏👏

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Thank you, very helpful 👍🏼

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Not really increasing your steps per minute, just needed to maintain your version of slow and steady and get all the benefits.🌟👏👏

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Notice Tasha’s mins per km.She says that is slow.🤔🙈😂😂

How about 10 mins per km. You can still go slower.🤔😂😂

I know you have thought you want to pick up your pace.

When you are a runner that would be true,🤔👏👏it is actually easier on your body than brisk walking.

I am a novice and just have to grind it out.Could Run all day with slow and steady gear.Great. Think I am running for an hour some days, wind, hills just to do 5k. Great. Never stop. Do not want any mind games, I will never put myself in a position that I have to stop.🤔👏👏🏃‍♀️🌟🌟

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Sounds like you have found your comfortable pace Tbae. I'll have to recheck if the treadmill is in KM & miles I think! Thought it was miles, but not sure now! 🌟

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Gym ones km/ hr. older domestic ones mph.

👍10km/hr pace is 5k in 30 mins. Or 3 miles in 30 mins.

To celebrate my 75th I am going to go sub 30 mins.🙈👏👏

Hey and much much more.🙈😂😂

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Ooh I'll ask at the gym next week - curious now!

That would be a fantastic way to celebrate 75 🎉

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Isn’t it slow? I’m tall. I’m still always nearly last in the ParkRun.

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Same here. But slower 47 mins🙈😂😂😂

Just wait until you get the miles in your legs and you are able to energise those long legs.🌟👏👏

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You're going better than I am, I've had to stop after run 2 week 2 because of knees - my knees are almost 51 years old, like myself 😂 Today I can barely walk let alone run, and my last run was Wed. I'm going to focus on knee exercises and just go back to brisk walking for a while. The exercises seem to have helped you, hopefully I will progress too & get back into the program again 🙏🏻

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Good luck B0wman. Wishing you a safe and speedy recovery & return. Have you had your injury checked out?

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Thanks, no I haven't, rest is improving it, will be fine in a few days if I behave myself 😂

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Rest and chocolate 👍🏼

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Yes! I have never had knee trouble before but since starting week 4 of C25K my knees started hurting, especially the left one. I got fitted for new shoes today and the advice from the running shop man was to continue running but take it easy, and to do other forms of exercise to improve general and core strength. On today's run I went slower than ever and took care to land gently, and it did hurt a bit less. I'm hoping my strength will gradually improve and the knee pain lessen. Good luck with your running and your knees!

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Thanks Helen and good luck to you too! Hopefully your new fitted shoes will help your knees. Did you have a gait analysis done?

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Yes I did, he showed me the video here made of me running which was painful to watch!! I have flat feet and turn my feet inwards when they land (can't remember the technical term!). He recommended Altra running shoes which have a lovely rounded shape around the toes, perfect for my wide feet, and SO comfy!

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Haha I can imagine! 🙈(I've had my daughter videoing my running!) Sounds worth it though & hopefully will save your knees. I stupidly bought a pair of expensive trainers before I found this forum, glad to hear you've found it worthwhile.

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Yes wish I'd found the forum earlier too - I may have taken it slower from the start and avoided inflicting injury on myself! Hope your expensive trainers are comfy, and you struck lucky!

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Mmm. They're certainly comfy for walking around town!

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