Couch to 5K
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C25K: A method of injury recovery

OK... Let's establish a few background facts:

1. I was previously a semi keen runner who had completed a Half Marathon in c2 hours and used to go out 2 to 3 runs per week for 40 mins.

2. The above is factually correct but for every week/month where I did regular runs they'd be stretches where I do NOTHING.

3. I had no core strength or running technique. Imagine a tub of lard combined with a frog in a blender and you get the idea.

Back in December 2012 I was doing a 7 mile run when I realised I had nothing left. I hadn't really built up to it and was relying on the mental knowledge of knowing "I could do it" as opposed to slowly building up to that distance. In short I wasn't treating my body with any respect. For the next week I had a slight pain in my ankle and then the following weekend my back went. I was diagnosed with a facet joint injury. A week of unbelievable pain, Tramadol and Diazepam ensued combined with a trip to the physio. My physio a.k.a My Back Hero (MBH) informed me that prior to the age of 30 "you can run to get fit, after 30 you have to get fit to run."

Several trips to the physio ensued and I'm now having monthly physio led Pilates as well as joining a weekly Pilates class.

The old adage of "you'll miss it when it's gone" couldn't be truer than when it comes to running. That's why when, two weeks ago MBH said that I could get back to running but it needed to be extremely controlled I jumped for joy even though it meant I would be 'restricted' to C25K.

I'm now at the end of Wk 2 and I can genuinely say that I'm so pathetically happy to be told that I can run again that I can put up with the highly questionable music and being at the whim of Laura as to when I can or can't run. What my new regime gives me is the confidence that, for the first time, I will have the core strength to underpin my running and that, thanks to C25K I'll be building up in a controlled manner.

I completely empathise with everyone doing C25K. 10 years ago I couldn't run 5 minutes. I slowly built up minute by minute. Running, in my humble opinion, is 40% physical, 60% mental. Believe in yourself and believe in Laura YOU can do it.

8 Replies

Great blog, brokenrunner! What a journey you've had to get here and the best of luck for c25k. Keep blogging and let us know how you're doing! :)


Welcome! You will be a fount of knowledge about not overdoing things! (Lots of that goes on here, even when we really know we shouldn't.)

Hope you'll be feeling much less broken very soon. Do please keep blogging, as it is very interesting to hear from someone with a viewpoint a bit different from those of us who have never run before. :)


Welcome and wishing you a wonderful C25K experience! :-) Gayle


Wow what a journey.....It's good to hear your back running. I am one of those people on here that tried to do too much too quickly :) Luckily some wise bloggers put me straight before I could injure myself. It is so true about taking it steady and step by step. It is definately a mind over matter issue when it comes to running, but having a bit of fitness also really helps. Welcome back to the running world and keep posting ;)


Keep blogging you have such insight and I can't wait to see your progression best of luck


Great blog, and what a fantastic effort you are making to look after yourself. Please jump in here to point out the error of our ways to those of us who are tempted to push a little too hard :) I look forward to seeing your progress - keep posting, and take care :)


Thank you so much for this wise and wonderful blog Brokenrunner!

"prior to the age of 30 you can run to get fit, after 30 you have to get fit to run."

This is such a wise quote and I couldn't agree more. I don't post on here often but read the blogs most days. After completing C25K last summer (age 33) I have struggled no end with injury and consequently, progress has been slow and frustrating. I'm finally beginning to accept that I need to get the rest of my body strong enough to support the running, which for me, means adding circuit training and Pilates into the weekly mix. Since I've started doing this, I still have occasional niggles but so far, no more injuries (touch wood!). We also need to be prepared to increase distance and/or intensity really, really gradually and listen firstly to our bodies and secondly to the general rules of thumb (i.e. - the 10% rule, which I find is still too much for me!)

Hope this is the start of a healthy running future for you!



Brokenrunner its so good to see you. I hope you keep on improving and stay on the forum to share your knowledge with us all. I'm older and I would like think a little wiser than in my younger days. Loads of us have taken for granted that as children we could run with no restrictions so once we have got going again as adults we have just assumed we can do the same, its not the case!! (learnt that 2 years ago the hard way) Our bodies should be treated with great respect as they do breakdown sadly only too easily for some of us.

Please share your wisdom, share your experiences of your return to running and I wish you all the luck for a continued ongoing recovery. My a great believer in Pilates too and have followed Joseph Pilates on a regular basis for over 14 years now. :)


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