Knee pain/discomfort at w4r1 (1st time runner) - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Knee pain/discomfort at w4r1 (1st time runner)


Getting discomfort at back and inside of left knee. Had a week's rest at end of week 3 and it eased off, but re-ran w3r3 and then w4r1 yesterday and its back. I'm sat at desk for long periods during the day - one reason for starting C25K (slight weight loss already is motivating too!). I try to keep knee mobile during the day (have rocking footrest under desk). This eases it, but also hurts on stairs. Have good quality trainers, but may check them again. Doctor given anti-inflammatories and suggested some exercises / core building but would welcome any advice?

Hated running since cross country/athletics in school and stuck to swimming for years, but absolutely love this brilliant C25K programme. Amazed at what I have accomplished so far, and cant believe how impatient I get waiting for the next running day and don't want to ruin things now!

12 Replies

I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been to see a physio today for calf pain and having to miss my planned run this weekend. I’ve been running through it since W4. Be careful

Running-Bug in reply to jlw34

Thanks. It "hurt" me mentally to miss my morning runs and the discomfort has eased a bit


Anything knee strengthening will help a lot, as will core work. Soft running surfaces, shoes (you mentioned that) flat footfall under your body. I had to use a knee brace, coming back from injury, for a couple of weeks. Maybe a physio visit? Sometimes they apply the magic tape.

Thanks for the advice. In a way it's sort of reassuring that it's not just me who has experienced this


howdy. make sure you have proper running shoes and have had your gait analyised so your shoes are the right fit and have the correct support.

its an impact sport so when you first start it can be a shock to the poor knees. on your rest days get down the gym and get a PT session. cross trainer and rower for me any day 😁

Running-Bug in reply to Windoze

Having difficulty finding somewhere that does the gait testing? My target is to complete c25k in five weeks before holiday and would like to take running gear with me and mix with plenty of swimming and winter sunshine. Fingers crossed!


These knees... ! But we k-need them .. do the exercises... they will help... and see how you go. if there is persistent pain then maybe a Sports Physio would be good port of call.

Never run through the pain and don't mask it with the painkillers... rest up.. but keep it moving and do those exercises.. and then, when the pain goes see where to move on from there.

When all is well... and it will be.. then try to land lightly... I call it kissing the ground with your feet... and relax into the runs. Sometimes we hold ourselves tensely and do thump down a just chill and let the run flow:)

Running-Bug in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks. Really don't want to resort to or rely on meds. Managed w4r2 this morning. Definitely relaxing into it more and getting a bit further and faster each time. (First week was more of a shuffle!)

I don't get any discomfort when I'm walking/running but don't want this to lull me into false sense of security and cause more damage in later days/weeks?


Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

Read it carefully for relevant advice.

I did my last run just over 2 weeks ago due to painful left knee. Went to doctors again yesterday to get it checked. Her solution was to prescribe Naproxen and another check in 2 weeks. Every time I think its better in the day it still really disturbs my sleep at night. Really miserable now that this has happened. Any advice?

IannodaTruffeAdministrator in reply to Running-Bug

I would never go against the advice of a GP, but you might find a sports physio can be more specific and helpful with pinning down the cause and suggesting treatment. Unfortunately in most areas you are going to wait months to see an NHS physio, so it might mean going private to get something done sooner.

Don't get too despondent, most conditions can be sorted with the correct input.

Thank you so much. Just spent the last 1 1/2 hours on your essential reading going from one link to the next. Will save the rest for later! It answered so many questions and so much useful info which I will keep coming back to.

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