Couch to 5K
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Should I run on a painful knee?

I finished week 2 on Sunday but afterwards had terrible pain on walking and going up and down stairs. I've rested the leg as much as possible and applied ice, taken ibuprofen for 2 days so far and it's easing (although seems worse on waking). I'm not sure if I should continue to rest it or brave it out and see how I get on with Week 3 tomorrow. I'm worried if I don't maintain my momentum now that I will fall by the wayside before I've even really begun. I am so disappointed. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

8 Replies

please dont try & run on it until you have no pain going up & down stairs & feel as if it is much, much better. I did & had to take a month off!

first of all, if you havent had new trainers fitted at a sports shop where they do gait analysis (they make you run on a treadmill for a little bit & film your running style to see if you land funny ~ different trainers suit different feet) then, once your knee is back to normal, please get this done. it may be that your trainers dont suit your running style & this can make such a big difference.

when my knee was bad I wore one of those stretchy bandages that went from calf to mid thigh & this helped to support my knee. but ultimately, climbing over boulders when me & hubby went fossil hunting was the thing that sorted my knee. probably having to put my knee under different strains did the trick for me :)

good luck. x


I agree with shelley, don't ignore the pain if it's that bad. I ignored some calf pain and ended up not being able to walk home without great difficulty. I've been kicking myself for thinking I could struggle on and that maybe somehow I was different from everyone else you gets injuries! Please wait until you really feel comfortable walking again before you try and run.

As for the momentum, we're all here to cheer you on when you need it - you can start again in a few days or even weeks and the whole programme won't go away. Very best of luck!


don't run if you're in pain. It never makes it better and could make it worse. Always protect muscles and joints and refer serious problems to a Doctor. Hope you feel better soon and can get back out to enjoy your running :)


I've just turned back from a run with running club because of a niggling ankle pain - I decided to be cautious and not take the chance of aggravating it. Your knee pain sounds a lot worse so I certainly wouldn't try running with it - it might be worth a phone call to the doctor. I'd recommend either the stretchy bandage or some other extra support while it is healing. A few days rest now might save you a much longer break from running later on.

A few days rest shouldn't really set your general fitness back much either, although you might want to ease your knee back into the routine with some gentler runs to start with. It might even be worth wearing a knee support once you start running again.

I hope your knee heals quickly and that we will soon be reading your "Back to running" blog :-)


Nope! If you're asking you know inside that you shouldnt. I just did w6r3 again after 7 days off after getting a continuous pain in my inner thigh for 5 days. Ran 25 mins no problem so you will be fine. Dont give up!


i had to hav 10 days off cos the pain in my knee was so bad, walking upstairs and down was a killer, i did wk 6 r1 again yesterday and wore a neoprene bandage, had no pain at all during the run but gradually durin the day i cud feel it gettin worse and had to wear the bandage in bed just so i cud get sum sleep, so i wud give your knee at least 2 or 3 weeks off, looks like i'm gonna hav to giv mine an exra week, hopefully it will be ok soon :)


thanks so much everyone for your advice and comments. I know you're right. I've continued to rest the leg as much as possible and its getting there. Feel so frustrated though. I had decided to try to start running during the school holidays as it would give me 6 full weeks to establish a bit of a habit before going back to school and all the added stress of teaching again. I worry I won't go back to it if I stop so I am hoping that it will recover sooner rather than later. Wish I knew what I had done to damage it in the first place as I am concerned it will happen again. I've bought a compression bandage in the meantime and been reading up about 'how to run' as I wonder if it was about how I was running that aggravated it (that and my inexperience, age etc!).


Hi chipstick, I too have pain in my knee and have had to stop running at the moment. I'm so disappointed as I was doing very well having completed week 2 and beginning week 3. My lungs and heart have been very pleased to let me carry on but my knee doesn't agree!!! It's taken me so long to get going and start and now I've had to stop, so frustrating. I'm hoping that I can get back to it in the next few days so I don't lose that momentum.

Good luck and hope your knee is better soon


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