How long should I rest for? : Hi everyone. I've... - Couch to 5K

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How long should I rest for?

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
15 Replies

Hi everyone. I've completed the full week 2 but I started to get pain/uncomfortable aches in my knees after week 2 run 2 overnight and into next day. I rested and then ran on Sunday (wk 2 run 3) and was fine until the evening and the pains have come back again and still have a dull ache today (Tuesday). How long should I rest for as I don't want this to keep happening or make anything worse. I'm ready to start week 3 mentally but not physically and don't want to lose motivation. I've had at least one rest day between each run so I'm shocked my knees hurt after such a short time in the program. Any help/ similar situations or guidance is most appreciated 🙏

15 Replies
IannodaTruffe profile image

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

Knee pain is common and is caused by impact on legs that are not used it. It will improve if you follow the advice in this guide to the plan, which is essential reading

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

Enjoy your journey.

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you! I have bookmarked that page and will have a thorough read through of the attached/linked articles in it but the initial read through has been very helpful

DylanTheRabbit profile image


Regarding staying motivated if you can't run. I've had a couple of short breaks due to niggles and pains. I've found that walking along my running route on what would have been running days has helped me keep the habit going.

Good luck 🤞🏼

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to DylanTheRabbit

Great idea thank you

Delly-dot profile image

General aches and pains are to be expected in the first few weeks as you ask a lot more of your legs than they have been used to. Good stretching post run and keeping well hydrated can all help with this. Never run through pain though - you will know when something doesn't feelas it should, so listen to your body and take extra rest days if they are needed.Reducing the impact on your joints by following the Japanese slow running technique is a good option. This technique is well-used on the forum and lots of us have found it very helpful in establishing good foot placement and good runnning habits in the first few weeks. Take a look at the link below to find out more. Good luck.

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to Delly-dot

Thank you that's very interesting. I'll definitely wait until I have no more pain and then give this technique a try.

Goldilocks82 profile image

Hey, I found that investing in some knee supports have pretty much sorted all the knee pain I experienced in the early weeks. x

Devon_straggler profile image

I had to take a few breaks and extra rest days due to leg problems. It's better to rest them early and take a few days out (while doing the strengthening exercises that others have advised) than let them get too bad. I've just had to take 8 days off and ran my usual route at the sane pace as before, so there's no reason to think you need to back track unless you take several weeks out.

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to Devon_straggler

Thank you. That's good to know. I'm still resting as I'm still having aches this morning 🙄 but making sure that I don't run again until I'm fully comfortable and ache free. I'll start on the stretching exercises today too.

Skyblueandblack profile image

I did exactly the same on W4R3. But instead of stopping I ran through it. The end result was I was unable to run for six weeks due to the impact injuries to both of my knees.I'd suggest wait for the pain go completely. Ice packs or 'Deep Freeze' will held reduce the inflamation and easy the ache a little.

One useful tip I did find in these pages is to always make sure you land with your knee slightly bent. That's probably quite natural when running on smooth level surfaces. But not so automatic running down slopes or on longer grass.

I had to go back to W3 which I ended up running 6 times before moving on again. I'm now on week 9 with only two more runs to do.

Good luck.

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to Skyblueandblack

Thank you. I am definitely going to analyse my technique when I start back up again and adjust to smaller strides. And yes I'm definitely waiting before heading back out. I was starting to look forward to getting out there so I'm disappointed that I've had to put it on hold for a while. And congrats on your achievements 👏🙌 that's brilliant! Good luck to you too.

Shuffling_Saturdays profile image

Hi, I have found using patellar straps during each run and icing my knees for 30 mins after each run really helpful for my knee niggles. I use a theragun and static stretch religiously after every run, without fail. I also theragun before each run to activate the leg muscles. I keep on top of hydration and always take a day off between runs, often two or even three days actually if I think my knees are feeling niggly. It’s worth me mentioning that I have dodgy knees (hypermobility, patellar subluxation for 30 years, bursitis, dreadful crepitus etc etc) but have miraculously managed to get to week 7 - I did run 2 this morning 😊. I had always avoided running due to my knee issues, so c25k really is my first foray into impact-based exercise and I couldn’t be happier 🙌. So: rest, ice and stretching are key. You might also want to consider getting a gait analysis when the shops open to make sure your trainers are appropriate. Also, look into making sure you are firing your glute muscles when running as these can impact hip position and knee alignment. Lots of great stuff on YouTube by James Dunne etc on this. Or consult a physio (that’s my plan next week!). Sorry for the essay, I just am very passionate about encouraging people to run if they mention knee niggles as it’s been such an issue for me in the past and I am *amazed* that I can now run, given I’ve spent the past 20 years believing I couldn’t or shouldn’t. I know everyone’s knee issues are different, so please do get professional advice (gp or physio) if they don’t get ease. But don’t despair and don’t give up. Good luck, you’ve got this! 👍

Twinkle_toes10 profile image
Twinkle_toes10 in reply to Shuffling_Saturdays

Thank you very much for your reply. That was very informative and helpful with knowing that you are controlling your knee issues. I am thinking of booking an appointment with a physio and will definitely get a gait analysis when the shops are open. And congrats on your running journey 👏😀

Wwps profile image

I had the same - ran on sore knees for w2r3 and put myself out for a week! I’ve started again, repeated the last w2 run just in cake and it felt like a breeze. Have a look at the stretches post run and knee strengthening exercises and rest until it doesn’t hurt! Read on here you can rest for up to two weeks. I’ve just done w3r1 and it felt great.

I’ve also slowed RIGHT down and that’s really helped too, I think I was jarring my knees by going too fast and overstriding - the Japanese video that’s been shared has been in my head ever since and had made a big difference!

Twinkle_toes10 profile image

Thank you. Analysing how I've been running I've decided I've been pushing myself too hard and have been over striding (to be corrected when I'm back in action) and on both of my last runs I did quite a bit of downhill pavement work and I think it's all played a big part in my outcome. I'm waiting until I'm 100% happy with how my knees feel and will get back on it with more knowledge / technique and less brute force 😊

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