Couch to 5K

Has anyone else experienced 'runner's knee'?

I've just completed week 6 run 1 a couple of days ago and my left knee has started to bother me - some dull pain, not sharp. After doing a bit of reading I think I have developed 'runner's knee' and am gutted that I need to take a break, but would rather rest it for a week as recommended than risk further injury. I have signed up to do a 5k - the Sport Relief London Mile - on 25th March so hope that all will be ok to continue training. Any tips or advice for helping with recovery? I run indoors on a treadmill. Thanks!

3 Replies

I suffered with this. i brought it on when I over did it after week 5's fantastic r3. I felt so good I carried on a bit longer, and ran down a hill. The next day I was having trouble walking and running was not possible. I spent two weeks forcing myself to walk further and to cycle. The knee pain eased off to allow some running and I went back to week 4 and continued.

The knee pain didn't quite totally go away. I got fixed up with some shoes via a shop that offers the fitting service (I needed more support because of a fallen arch and a twisted heel).

If I run a long way (10k+) I feel something in my knee but not as bad as the problem I had originally. It has been getting less of an issue as I exercise more. When I did my first half marathon I was not really able to walk about normally for a week and running was not on my agenda at all.

If you are getting a lot of pain or just want to get reassured you might want to check with your doctor. There are exercises you can do to build supporting muscles to avoid the runners knee strain. Google those.

So, my experience was, yes I got a painful knee. It was a huge disappointment at the time but it has mostly eased off with more running. I put it in the same adjusting category as adjusting to shin splints, tired muscles, sore feet. As my body got used to the exercise the problems went away. I run 3-4 times a week now with an average weekly distance of 22km. I don't have pain anymore but my knee is still adapting to my new lifestyle - If I choose to run much further then it can flare up. I am working up to bigger distances as I might try for a marathon this year.


I did the same. overdid it after c25k using the treadmill & running faster than normal & with a bigger incline than I was used to. confidence...

I had to take a month out as I stupidly thought that the pain would ease if I ran & warmed it up! I was able to use the cross-trainer at the gym, but swimming wasnt any good as this hurt & made my knee feel as if something was wobbling inside.

I am still aware of it sometimes, especially now as I am slowly moving from treadmill to outdoors. I wear one of those stretchy support bandages if I feel it niggle.

take time out to let it recover fully & please dont make the mistake of trying to run with any pain.

one positive thing though, it makes you realise just how much you enjoy running & makes you even more determined to get back out there.

hope the knee gets better soon.

& dont forget the RICE thing. rest, ice, compression?? elevation. the icing of the knee really helps (I was told by a nurse friend that ice, followed by a hot water bottle is a good combination. ice takes away the swelling & warmth makes the blood flow to that area). just a few times a day :)


Thanks so much for both of your responses. I'm not in a great deal of pain but I can tell that something isn't right so I do think it is best to rest it. I didn't know about RICE - but that makes a lot of sense and have already iced and elevated a bit tonight! I will look into getting a support bandage tomorrow and will google some stretches to help me recover, and also to help strengthen afterwards as well. Shelleymcb - I completely agree that this has made me realise how much I enjoy running and how focused/motivated I have become, which is why I am so disappointed in having to take a bit of time off, but I hope that the rest/ice/elevation/stretching will help me. Fingers crossed!


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