Couch to 5K

Im on week 2, day 3 of the couch to 5k running program. But my knees are killing me. Any suggestion?

I am a large lady and this is the first time I have run. I am following the running tips, running with my heel making contact first, being careful not to run on the sides of my feet. But my knees ache terribly. Am I running wrong or is this normal since I am a beginner and quite heavy at this point?

4 Replies

I know exactly how you feel. When I did week 2 it really hurt and I felt every one of my 216lbs in my knees. I found the 5 mins brisk walk wasn't really enough of a warm-up for me so I now I do some stretches and a few leg swings and half squats before setting off. I have also found a "Deep Freeze" cold spray which really helps after a run. If my knees are sore I try to run on grass rather than the pavement because it doesn't jar as much. It's supposed to be easier on the knees if you run on a treadmill but I haven't tried that.

Don't give up it does get easier.


There seems to be quite a body of opinion that says that stretching pre-run does more harm than good, so it may be worth looking into the whole subject before deciding whether to try that.

My best sessions are done in woodlands - I'm where you are and the runs I've done which have been all hard surface have been much harder work and less fun. I feel as though I am bouncing along when I am dodging the tree roots and bogs - and I think it is easier to go at a sensible pace rather than too fast.

You might need to check out your shoes too.


When I first attempted running a couple of years ago I found it really painful for my feet and knees. I went to a local running shop for an assessment for better running shoes - they watched me on the treadmill and diagnosed that I needed a lot more arch support. I then tried out a few pairs of recommended shoes on the treadmill and chose the comfiest. When I next ran on tarmac the improvement in comfort was amazing. For various reasons my running efforts fizzled out that time around but I've now been following the C25K for three weeks and my shoes are still brilliant - my legs ache with the exertion but I don't get the sort of pains that make me worry I'm doing anything damaging. I really recommend you get assessed for running shoes.

I just use the 5 minutes walk as a warm-up. I usually follow my run with a bit of a session at the gym and include stretching on the vibration plate in that - I'm convinced it is even more effective than just stretching. In week 3 Laura gives tips for being less "bouncy" and when I try and follow that, as well as the heel hitting the ground first, I think the impact is less severe. I do have to concentrate quite hard on not bouncing though :-)

Good luck with it.


hi, Im quite new to this although some way through the programme now - I would agree that the shoes you wear defintely help... I did wait til about week 4 before buying some when I knew I would stick with the programme and running longer term... but they have been a great investment ... good luck for the future!


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