Couch to 5K
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why is my knee hurting?

I haven't posted on here before but I have been an avid reader since I started C25K in March 2012. I graduated in May and have been running approx 3 times a week since then. But in the last couple of weeks my left knee has been twinging and I am wary about knees, I know how precious they are. What should I do, and why has it started to hurt? Do I stop running - becasue that would break my heart. I am totally addicted. I would really welcome any advice. Many thanks.

4 Replies

Do you have proper running shoes? And a gait analysis? (I am going to assume, yes, since you have been at this for months.)

You don't give a lot of information about what you are doing, what you have tried, etc - so the answer may be a bit vague.

Are you running longer distances now? You should try to increase your distance no more than 10% per week, so if you are going beyond that, your body might need you to slow down.

How far have you run (total mileage) on your proper gait-analyzed well-fitting runners? They wear out and lose padding long before they look bad. 500-800K is the recommended time to replace them. You could take your shoes in just for an expert to see if they need to be replaced, or perhaps have new insoles or something.

Have you gained weight or changed your routine? Added weight puts strain on the joints, especially the knees. Under certain conditions, your knees have to deal with 7+ times the normal torque based upon your weight, so if you are carrying a pack or gained a few pounds, that could contribute. Solutions: more rest, shorter runs, flatter paths. If you perhaps started doing other activities, (yoga, windsurfing, long hikes, etc) they can also stress your knees. You may not feel it during the other activities, so it will show up in the runs. Solution: cut back on the other stuff, or be more gentle with it. More rest.

If you are not stretching really religiously after every single run, start to do so. In particular, include stretches where you bend to reach your toes with straight legs, as well as ones where you stretch the piriformis. (Bend one knee, put foot across other knee, bring to chest.) Finally, ensure you are stretching your quads well (bend one knee, bring foot to bum, keep knees close together).

If you are already on top of these common issues, you might consider adding an additional rest day between runs to see if that helps, or see your GP or physiotherapist.


new shoes was my first thought aswell.

when my knee gives me twinges I add a stretchy slip-on bandage ~ the type you can buy over the chemist. I cut it so that it is long enough to cover from mid thigh to mid ankle/calf & this helps. I dont just wear it on runs, I'll wear it for a couple of days (make sure you take it off for sleeping) & add an extra rest day.

please dont run on your knee if it does more than twinge & it causes noticeable pain ~ take this advice from someone who ran on a dodgy knee thinking it just had to warm up & had to take a month off :)

good luck. & stretching after a run is fantastic for any leg pain & should be part of your run. x


Have you tried applying an ice pack (or that useful standby, frozen peas) after your run? It might be worth you getting to the doc/self referring to the physio dept for advice if it persists.


Thank you so much for all your helpful replies. I haven't had proper gait analysis as I have put off doing that as didn't class myself as a proper runner - but I think it time I did. I also think I don't pay enough attention to my knees in warm up. I will see if it clears up and maybe try the bandage.

Thanks again for invaluable advice.


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