Weeks 1 and 2 done, knee injury - Return to we... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Weeks 1 and 2 done, knee injury - Return to week 1 failed :-(


I never thought I would become a fan of running but my Mum mentioned the C25K programme and I thought I'd give it a go... Wow - I absolutely love running! First week managed two runs on the treadmill as the only time I have for gym is lunchtime. Flew through those runs and did W1 R3 on the second week. Experienced quite significant pain on the ball of my foot but sure some adjustment of laces/footwear will eventually sort this - Started W2R1 with an outdoor run (NEVER thought I'd run in public!) which was wonderful. Then W2R2 started getting some knee pain and developed a bit of a limp. Decided to go for W2R3 and could hardly walk. My knee has been so painful - Anti-inflamatories helped but not enough to try a run. Had a week off absolutely chomping at the bit to go for a run. Went for a long walk on Saturday which helped massively, could hardly feel knees. Feet were painful so got some insoles moulded and decided to try a run yesterday starting at the beginning again W1R1. OUCH!! Managed 15 minutes and had to stop my knees were so painful! They're fine again now and had a slight limp afterwards - nowhere near pain of last week - Wondering whether to try next run on anti-inflammatories and with knee bandaged? Anyone else experienced this? Any tips would be gratefully received! I really don't want to give up running!! On a plus note though - loosened laces and new insoles really improved the feet so every cloud............

10 Replies

Don't run with knee pain - you run the risk of making it a whole lot worse and then you're sidelined for months. And guess how I know that... ;-)

This is a good video:


And if you scroll down here you'll find some good knee exercises.


(thanks Mattaitch...)

When you do start running again go VERY SLOWLY. It might be a good idea to go on a treadmill and jog at the same pace you walk at the first time and see how your knees like that. Maybe about 5km/h. It's easier to work up very slowly than to treat an injury caused by doing too much at the beginning.

And happy running - sounds like you've found a sport you really enjoy so it's worthwhile getting it right at the beginning! :-)

MittsGraduate in reply to Mitts

And if you continue to have pain a sports physio is a good idea too.


I'd agree with everything Mitts says, especially the slow speed bit.

I have a history of knee(and other joint) problems, but by going really slowly, as Mitts suggests, I have got right through the programme without any knee pain at all - I finished week 9 last week. And I love running too, for the first time in my life.

Also find out about running form (maybe that's what the video is, I haven't checked) and heel landing / midfoot landing, as that can make a big difference to the wear and tear on the feet and legs.

Enjoy your running again, when you've got this sorted out. :)

MittsGraduate in reply to greenlegs

Hi greenlegs, I was fine all thro the programme too - it was the dreaded post-grad over-enthusiasm that got my knees! Even then I persuaded myself for ages that it was 'nothing really' and by running with pain I only made it a whole lot worse!

But now it's almost completely better and I'm off to the gym!


HI Mitts and Greenlegs,

Thanks so much for your responses. Have been away from home the last couple of days so apologies for the delay!

Brilliant video, am planning to go back to the gym today so will give the roller a go while I'm there. Not sure about the jump squats as my Doctor told me that squatting could aggravate it - I was originally before the pain) doing Powerplate sessions which involved a lot of squatting and she told me not to restart these. Thankfuly though she was very positive towards the running itself - I had been warned that a lot of Doctors advise against it!! The videos and descriptions from Mattach are great - Am sittting at my desk doing them now!! Will get the vids onto my phone so I can do them at home as well!

Sorry to hear about the knee pain but glad to hear that you're both much better - Will go for a slow one today and see how I get on - Have actually had no pain today at all but won't push myslef too quickly.

Thanks again for the advice and information. It really has helped me and it's great to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

MittsGraduate in reply to Hambletron

Agree about the jump squats, they look ideal for runners under 10 but not so great for the rest of us.. :-)

Just keep doing the exercises, plus stretches, and don't run unless you're really painfree and then slowly and you should be fine!


"runners under 10" - Haha so true!

Well I had a great gym visit today. Went back to week 1 but took it nice and slow. My usual brisk walk is around 6 - 6.5 then run 8.5 - 9k but today had 5k walks and sped up to 6k for the "run" so felt more like a walk but bobbing up and down (if that makes sense?)...The hardest part I found was not cranking up the speed but so happy to have had experinced advice from you and Greenlegs so kept myself in check. Had the pain in the ball of the foot again but I don't think I'll ever beat that, I tend to get it quite regularly just generally wandering around so am used to it really.

Anyway, sitting back at my desk now and can't even feel my knees!! In a good way! No pain at all... I have a nice long weekend off so will take the family to feed the ducks and have a nice long stroll. Back to the gym on Monday! Might go back to running shop for a gait analysis for my running form as suggested by Greenlegs. Particularly to see if I'm using the correct footwear!

Thanks again for your advice and support!!

MittsGraduate in reply to Hambletron

Yes do get a gait analysis. Maybe different shoes would help. I found it was the day after a run that I felt my knees most, but that's very nearly completely better now. I walk at 6k/h and run at 7, and I'm going to stick there till I get back to 30 mins running. Next run I'll do 14 run 3 walk 6 run, so it'll take me another 3 weeks to get to a continuous 20min run, then I'll increase by 2-3 mins a week again up to 30. And then I'll increase speed.

I think you're right starting very slowly, and on the treadmill you have complete control over your speed. Do you put the incline at 1%? That's supposed to be good for your knees too.

Happy running! :-) (On Monday!)


Aaah! Thanks for the incline advice, I usually leave it on 0% but will up it to 1% today.... Went for a lovely walk yesterday near the Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe - Was a bit concerned about the steep hills but both feet and knees were completely fine! I've come back to your advice so many times and will be followng it in the weeks to come. Just happy I got in touch before I forced a worse injury! Thank-you!!


PS - happy running to you too!!

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