Couch to 5K

Completed C25K - then back went! What now?

I completed the whole 9 weeks of the Couch to 5k programme and (along with weight watchers) managed to lose the final stone that's been hanging around my bottom for the last 3 years!!! So really chuffed!

I had to have back surgery 3 years ago and had severe siatica for 10 years previous to that and one week after completing the running my back went. Three weeks down the line, and plenty of pain relief later, I feel that I am ready to start running again - I am shocked at how much I am missing it (as a total non-runner pre C25K) and just want to be out there in the wind and rain of a british summer!

I'm thinking about going back to week 6.........anyone got any advice as to this is about right - or any hints on how to get back to 5k asap??

All help appreciated!

And for those of you just starting out - it really works!!!!!

Gladbags x

5 Replies

Hi there Gladbags,

its very frustrating being off with an injury ( this is my 2nd time ) but I think you will be amazed at how fit you still are .

I would attempt week 5 run 3 very slowly and if thats ok go on to week 7 run 1, then week 8 run 1 and then week 9 run 3 !

Realistically you could probably do 30 minutes straightaway, but for confidence, and to protect your back........try what I've said...good luck !

Can't wait til thursday when my 2 weeks rest is up and i can get out there again!

:) :)


Gladbags, I think best thing is listen to your body, start running for 10 mins and then if you cope then keep going.

You can do this. I have pain in the pirformis muscle every time I run but sometimes it gets better the more I run, other times I can only manage 4k in 30 mins. And I can't do hills at all at the moment.

good luck.


In addition to setting yourself up for success by starting slow and listening to your body, I am assuming you have some experience with exercises for your back, or at least a doctor you can ask about it. To keep you feeling great, I hope you will consider back strengthening exercises and stretches in addition to running and normal running stretches.

Good luck! You will be great. Whether you feel "done" at 10 minutes or 20 minutes, it will come back faster than you expect. You will be back to 30 minutes in a matter of weeks and it will be fantastic.


Gladbags, I sympathise with you. I had sciatica on and off for many years then a back op for a slipped disk 3 years ago too. I've had lower back pain since the operation and I wasn't sure if running would be a good option. I started C25K six weeks ago, love it and have had less back pain. Is there anything we can do to stop these injuries coming back? I do stretches but haven't seen a doctor to see if I should be doing this.

I know I'm not answering your question (!) but the graduates seem full of good advice for you!I hope you're back on track really soon.


Thanks everyone for your responses. I took "Gypsydepp"s approach and am now almost back on track - although Week Week 8, Run 1 was a struggle (it was VERY hot!).

Nevertoolate - in answer to your question.......I just don't know. My back is still VERY up and down - I stretch it out pre and post run, see a massage therapist for a deep tissue massage 3 or 4 times a year and have a healthy supply of prescription pain relief and muscle relaxant in the cabinet. I find that although my op was on my discs (like you) it seems to be muscle spasms protecting the discs that cause my back problems now - certainly I've not had severe sciatica since my op - but last months back problem was caused by a violent sneeze and my doc said it was a spasm rather than a structural problem! Good trainers is my advice!!!!


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