Elderly runners: Hi! Having worked our way... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Elderly runners


Hi! Having worked our way through The programme my husband and I are now enthusiastically jogging round our town before 7am three times a week. We are loving it and feeling the health benefits but I am a bit worried about the strain we may be putting on our joints (mine 69 and his 73 years old). We have proper running shoes and reinforced socks but we are running on hard surfaces most of the time. We are trying taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Is there anything else we could do? I would hate to give this up!

11 Replies

I think the general opinion is that running helps to Stregnthen the joints. I have osteoarthritis and my physio has always said having strong muscles to support my joints is the best thing I can do to help keep myself mobile. I would say any aches or niggles take an extra day to recover and don’t push through on a run if anything hurts, but to be honest that’s nothing to do with age it is the same advice I would give to anyone. Most importantly Happy running,

Great advice, thanks.


Well done to you 2! My wife and I both 63 get knee pain, I get some twinges in the knees, but able to run, I sometimes use a pair of compression calf sleeves, which feel good giving some support, but wife has had to stop her runs for now as the knee pain stopped her in her tracks while we were out running, I've been taking glucosamine and Omega3 fish oils for a while, (although the Omega3 supplement has been slated lately) so maybe that's helping me? am not sure, she has just started taking the supplements to try and wearing knee support, have to try these things at least, have read that knee supports are beneficial if getting pain twinges.

Varying the surfaces that you run on can be beneficial instead of pounding the pavements all the time, do some grass and trails which has slightly more give, (mix it up a bit) but then you just have to watch out for pot holes and tree roots, and of course, good running shoes with adequate cushioning to soak up some pounding the legs take.

in reply to davelinks

Thanks for that. I’m wary of running on grass as I think I’m more likely to go over on my ankle. I’ll look into the knee supports.

in reply to GrannyVal

My ankle has been suspect due to ricking it a few times in the early 70s when wearing high platform fashion shoes, but running has strengthened it especially when running on uneven surfaces like trails where the foot is constantly adjusting to the unevenness, but yes, I watch out like a hawk for pot holes when on grass..


Do you have the option of running on grass? If so it might be worth trying that to see how you get on. I started C25K a few years ago, running on roads, and I hated it so much I gave up. This time I run on paths around a field and it's way better.

in reply to Flyingred

I try to run on grass verges when I can but tend to go over on my ankle on rough ground. I’ll keep looking for safer areas to run on. Thanks.


Head for your local woodland trails. A soft underfoot experience. years worth of pine needles makes a lovely compressed compost to run on 😁.

I am fairly new to running too and had joint issues A friend of mine is a runner and a radiographer. He says not running is bad for your joints 😃. Running lighter is also easier on the joints than carrying too much weight, so is an incentive to eat healthily

There are plenty of older runners out there enjoying themselves. Racing too is a blast, and something I’d never dreamed of doing. Now I find I don’t want to ever stop 😁. I run on the road too but the trail is where I’d rather be 💪👍. Do give it a try 🙂

Will look into that, thanks. It’s just so handy leaving the house early in the morning and setting off on a runright away! We have a country park not far away so could try there.

in reply to GrannyVal

The country park sounds like a good choice, there will be different surfaces to run on, not too rough. I'm a granny too, and a bit fearful of uneven ground, especially rabbit holes, or would be rabbit holes. Definitely do not want to twist an ankle or worse, not having come this far. Running has become roo important to me 😎.

Enjoy the running, I sometimes use physio tape (Kinesiology tape), if my knees are playing up, it's really good. You often see athletes strapped up in the stuff. You will need to shop around for it. It can be expensive, but not if you get it on line. (I don't have shares in it 🙂, just like to share the information).

Happy days 🌻

in reply to Gran4z

Thanks for that! All very useful information. My knees will benefit!

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