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Couch to 5K
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What shall I do?

I embarked on the c25k bac in May. Having never ran in my life & no spring chicken at 46 years I thought I was going to hate it! However, surprisingly for me I loved it & was so proud with myself when I graduated. Give or take a few weeks I have kept up the 3x weekly runs.

I am now on week 2 of the b210k programme which I've kept up 3x week. The last 2 runs involve 5 mins warm up walk followed by 3x15 mins running ending with 5 min walk. My last run was Saturday but since then my knees, legs, ankles & big toe (!!) have really ached. I was meant to run today but have put it off


I'm now thinking

1/ am I too old for this?

2/ should I just keep to the c25k programme & just do 3x30min per week?

My aim was to participate in a half marathon next year but think this is unrealistic. I can't see myself completing the 10k at this rate.

Feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Any suggestions?

10 Replies

Firstly, You are not too old! from what I am reading on here the average age must be between 45 and 55 when people start out on the programme. I have not graduated yet, so can't give advise on post grad runs, but have been having knee problems, and have taken some time to rest, applying ice and taking each run at a steady pace. Perhaps some walking for a few days may help? May just be a blip that many seem to have to deal with at some point during their journey. The main thing is to remember how far you have come since you started. I am sure that after a few days rest, you will be back out again. Good luck and hope you manage that half marathon! (something I am not aiming for as yet!)


> 1/ am I too old for this?

Wheesht! Definitely not! For one thing, you are younger than many of us runners on this site. Have you ever been to a 10K/half-marathon/marathon race and seen the runners there? I have watched several events when my son has been running and there are many runners age 50+ participating in these races. He also runs hill-races too, and there are proportionally even more older runners at these events - 70+ year women and men.

> 2/ should I just keep to the c25k programme & just do 3x30min per week?

No, go for your goal of running a half-marathon, and press on with your training, when you feel better. You may just be experiencing a wee bump along the way (maybe you're coming down with something?) Take an extra day or so to rest, then give it a go. You could do some cross-training while you're not running,


Hi clanger, no your not too old for running, I've never asked myself that question in ernest and never will and I'm 62!! What I would say is now and again we have to rest up a bit, take a few days off and let your legs recover. I'm a great believer too on mixing up my running. I try and do each week a normal steady run of 5K, 1 x speed / interval training which can be as little as 20 minutes but if I'm feeling good I sometimes keep running for an extra 10-15 minutes. My final run of the week is usually a longer run anything between 7-10K but if I'm - a) not feeling like doing a long slog I don't, b) if the weather is foul I do a shorter hill run. This mix gives me variety and also enables my body to cope better with the stress and strain which running can put on my joints. By what you have said you are running 45 minutes running with I guess a walk in between which is quite a lot when you are doing this 3 times a week. I would ease up and mix up and see if that helps but not before you have given your legs time to rest. Check your toe nails too just in case you have bruised them which can be easily done.

Hope things settle down which I'm sure they will, take care. :)


Have bruised both my big-toenails Old Girl , I thought it's cos I ain't got proper running shoes yet -- one nail actually came off!


with regard to the big toe, are your trainers a bit bigger than your normal shoe size? I only ask as I lost 2 toenails when I started out wearing trainers the same size as my shoes. perhaps your feet are swelling up a little bit more due to the longer time on your feet running?

b210k jumps up quite a bit from c25k. Ive read that you should only increase mileage OR speed by 10% a week so perhaps you are just doing a little too much too soon & your body is telling you to slow down. nothing to do with age!!!! just your body reminding you that it is taking time getting used to what you are expecting it to do :)

I am currently training for a half marathon & increasing my mileage by half a mile a week (up to 5 1/2miles at the mo), but only on one run, my long run at the weekend. during the week I run 2x30mins. maybe your body would be happier with that & if you adopted this approach & added 10% it wouldnt take long to build on your 45mins. also, there is another recommendation that on your 4th week of running, you should ease back a bit & run the same as you did 4 weeks ago, before you move on. I think thats what it said??

good luck :)


What do you mean too old? I'm 12 years older than you and intend going for the 10k sooner or later! I've lost a toenail too since running btw -- tmi?


Thankyou all you lovely people for all your replies. Some fab advice above which I will certainly be following. Really appreciate the trouble you have all taken. Xx


Its what this site is all about clanger, helping like minded people to get fit and healthy :)


Clanger I am 53 and like you doing B210k but very slowly so only one long run per week and spaced with either run with own music or 5k+ podcast. I have only got as far as week 2 so far but am enjoying it and not in a rush and enjoy the mix of different types of runs in a week, rather than just the B210k.


Thats great burstcouch that we're on the same week of b210k! I realise now I was overdoing it by running 3x week on the b210k. Like you I'm only going to do one long run a week & 2 shorter runs other days of the week. I will then increase gradually my long run weekly. It will take me a lot longer to get to 10k but like yourself I'm in no rush!


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