Week 3-is this normal?: Hoping for some... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Week 3-is this normal?

Jojoadviser profile image

Hoping for some encouragement as I’m close to giving in! I’m a 53 year old woman who is not overweight and is used to regular moderate exercise.I never have been a runner and am not keen.However ive watched lots of members of my family young and old complete the programme successfully and was finally persuaded.Week 1 was absolutely fine and I almost enjoyed it! However week 2 my quads started to hurt with every jarring step of the run section and by today I completed it but was in tears.I’m going very very slowly and am hardly out of breath but the front of my thighs going into my knees are sooo painful.I don’t know if I’m just being pathetic and should grin and bear it or is running just not for me.I was worrying all night about today and as predicted it was horrible and is doing nothing for my self esteem when I had hoped it would be great for lockdown morale!

Any advice welcome!

17 Replies

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Your issue is not at all uncommon. Rest up until the pain and tension passes.

Stretching immediately after every run, nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/h... while muscles are still warm and supple, pulls out contractions, avoiding carrying tensions into the next run and also improves recovery by improving blood flow, as recommended in the guide to the plan.

Many people do not hold their stretches for long enough or put enough effort in. Hold post run stretches for 30 seconds and make sure the pull is strong enough to be on the verge of discomfort.

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises, all of which will help.

Enjoy your journey.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

How long does the pain typically last for ?

Jojoadviser profile image
Jojoadviser in reply to John_W

Hi

It’s only very painful when I’m running(slowly),even from my first stride today.It’s a bit uncomfortable when walking but more of a dull ache.This lessens on my rest day(s) to the point that I think I might be ok,until I run again.I don’t know if this is normal(I didn’t expect it to be easy) or whether I should stop.I wouldn’t have thought I was particularly feeble but it brings tears to my eyes and makes me scared to try again.I did a few simple stretches before today but these appeared to make no difference.

Thanks for asking!

Jo

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Jojoadviser

Ok, what kind of shoes are you wearing? And do you much walking or any other type of impact exercise?

Jojoadviser profile image
Jojoadviser in reply to John_W

They are Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit.Obviously Covid meant I couldn’t get them properly fitted so I went on the basis of reviews.They feel very comfortable.

Whilst I’m not a “walker” I walk plenty and can happily do an 8-10km walk with no pain or tiredness.Before the gyms closed I would do 2/3 cardio classes a week(tho usually low impact)

Does this shed any light?

Thanks again

Jo

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Jojoadviser

OK, so are you going this slow?

youtube.com/watch?v=9L2b2kh...

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate

nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/h...

Where this says 15 seconds, do 30 seconds instead.

But don't do these sort of stretches just before going out for a run, only do them afterwards.

To prepare for a run you want "dynamic" stretches.

Something like this may be helpful...

youtu.be/sfF4f-QGRn8

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

how is it going?

Jojoadviser profile image
Jojoadviser in reply to John_W

That’s very kind of you to ask and thanks for the video.I don’t think I was going quite that slowly but not far off but there were very interesting tips on how to place your feet.I have to confess to hanging up my shoes for a bit-I actually couldn’t sleep on Mon night as my legs hurt so much and I spent the night cleaning the kitchen(not like me!!).It’s not muscle pain as I know it as I usually quite like the ache that means you’ve worked hard! But I can’t do something that makes me cry and not sleep.I may try again when the pain subsides! It’s maybe just not for me but I never give up on things so this is quite an admission.

Thanks

Jo

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to Jojoadviser

I'm sorry to hear that you've been in so much pain with it and stopping until the pain subsides is clearly the right thing to do. Accepting that running (jogging!) may not be for you is also important.

If you restart, I would suggest using the gentlelest (?) jogging action you can possibly try - maybe the same speed as a fast walk and see how it feels.

Another thing to try is jogging on the spot - so getting your legs, your quads, a bit of time to get used to a new action.

As for jogging, go slow but with quick, light, pitter-patter feet, like that video.

here's another one to consider:

youtube.com/watch?v=kQ5wQ5N...

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

Did you watch "The Truth About ... Getting Fit at Home" last night on BBC1? Very useful and interesting section on running style. Available on iPlayer.

in reply to John_W

Thank you for the headsup to the BBC programme. I have just watched it on iplayer and found it very helpful. So its endocannabinoids not endorphins for us runners!!😁

in reply to John_W

Hey John in his program Dr Moseley talks about an free app from Public Health England which will count your steps etc, but gave no link to it. Any idea what he was talking about. I have looked up PHE website and can find no mention of it.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador in reply to

Which program was that? The original "The Truth about ... Getting Fit" from 2017?

Not aware of any step-counting app from PHE.... is that what you're interested in? Counting steps? Plenty of alternatives:- cheap pedometers available if you search

- there are lots of 'health' apps for your phone - e.g Samsung, Huawei etc. They count steps as well

- or a dedicated running watch, like a Garmin, Coros, Polar, etc.

in reply to John_W

oh thanks for replying. It was Dr Moseley himself in the iplayer programme who said you could download an app from PHE, but gave no details. I t was mainly from curiosity, as I am in very early days of C25K, but once I graduate I think I would be interested in getting something.

Interestingly my husband had spotted it for me so it’s been recorded.Thanks for your continuing help and support.

John_W profile image
John_WAmbassador

I'd also consider looking at videos about Chi running - bit similar to what was shown last night.

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