Couch to 5K
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W7R1 Done! But Upper Back pain bothering me :(

I have completed W7R1 yesterday. Two consecutive runs of 25 mins! But I am concerned about the upper back pain that started along with long runs. Hope I don't have to abandon my long runs :(

Sometime in Week 5, I started having minor pain on the upper back, especially in the centre when I touch the spine. Didn't bother me much. The pain increased a bit when I completed Week5 Run 3 (20 mins). After that I felt comfortable during the interval runs in Week 6. But after completing the 25 mins in Week 6 Run 3, the pain increased substantially. The pain is now in the upper back (at the centre near the spine), the shoulder blades and in the shoulders.

When I googled, I found that the most common issues are:

1. Not relaxing the shoulder while running, especially if you are doing it for 25 mins continuously

2. Weak core muscles - I knew this problem because of some other issues I had earlier.

After a break of 2 days, the pain continued to bother me. I decided to ignore the pain and start with Week 7, consciously making corrections for the running style - relaxed shoulders. I also decided to slow down a little further. Thankfully, I didn't have any pain while running and completed the run fairly comfortably. But the pain continues after the run, though it seems to have reduced.

1. I would like to hear from others who had similar issues with longer runs - especially weeks 7, 8 and 9. Hoping that this won't be a big issue

2. I would want to hear about the core-strengthening exercises being done by some others. Do I have to strengthen the core 'before' I continue with the runs?

Thanks for your support!

5 Replies

Now about to finish week 8... I suffered from this problem the first two-three weeks. Then I started the NHS Strength & Flex programme, as, like you, I thought it was probably a "core muscle" problem. It was... haven't had any problems since. I find doing a lot of some back-stroke swimming has also helped. :-)


Ooops... a lot of = some :D


Thanks! I will explore the Strength & flex programme - hopefully I can continue with both the programs and complete the graduation.


I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders, I've found some yoga exercises that help. Do you carry anything with you when you run? Like water maybe or your phone? I used to carry water but it made my shoulder hurt like hell, even though it was only a tiny bottle. If you need water (I found I didn't) then you could try one of those belts to carry it.


Cazvs, you are right! I am carrying a small bottle of water. I definitely need it for my runs, since it is very hot here. That could also be one of the causes - I will try and get a belt to carry the bottle. Thanks!


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