Weight Loss NHS
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Couch to 5K

Hi everyone. I started the couch to 5K routine last week, did two sessions as instructed with a day rest in between and my knees have been really painful ever since. I haven't managed to continue yet. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Have to say, I'm not a natural runner and would normally only do fast walking. I really really need to improve my fitness and lose weight since any advice would be appreciated! Thx.

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I'm only on week two so I won't attempt to offer advice (I presume you followed the C25K advice about footwear, stretching before and after, doing the warm up and cool down walk, and running quite slowly?). If you want to take it a bit slower there are alternative couch to 5K programmes that build up much slower, e.g. beginnertriathlete.com/disc...

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Hi Bella-Zeeva, we're none of medically trained, so could only give you suggestions that may help. If you're concerned, you should seek the advice of a medical professional :)

It may be that you've done too much, too soon, or run too fast. The advice is always go slowly and listen to your body, which is obviously what you've done :)

I've given you a couple of links that may help



You could also try asking the C25K community, as there's probably a lot more pertinent, collective knowledge on there


You could also consider walking, cycling, or swimming for exercise, as they're all equally as effective as a tool for improved fitness, toning and possible weight loss :)

I hope that you get your knees sorted out quickly and are able to resume your running :)


Hi, can I just say if your concerned see the doc, otherwise keep at it, don't rush it, you don't have to stick to the plan. I gave up after week 2 at first. I was only running in circles or jogging on the spot in the house. I then tried again a year later, determined to stick at it. I started off the same in the house but then got a treadmill, couldn't face doing it publicly. It took me about 9 months to complete. I didn't move on until I felt physically and mentally able. Still severely obese even though I'm 5 stone lighter, Iv'e since complete c25k and I'm working on speed and distance. I also do strength training which when I gave up on running, I concentrated on building strength so don't know if that helped build stamina for the running. I still can't do 5k in 30 mins and havent lost weight in over 8 months, however my fitness levels have progressed. Keep up the good work x

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should of said I ached everywhere, I tried compression socks at first, as well as going slower, doesn't matter how slow as long as your not walking it's a run, i shuffled haha or wobbled, still do but at least my feet leave the ground now. It all comes in time. I even went for a sports massage as my legs were so knotted, stiff and aching, was well worth it. Try foam rolling too. The aches and pains get easier and more managable.

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Hi Bella-Zeeva,

Well done for starting C25K. As said above, if you are worried seek medical advice. However, there are some possibilities that spring to mind. Along with "are you going too fast" (- slow down) goes "are you slapping your feet down too hard" (- try running with shorter strides and not lifting your feet too high), "are you running on hard ground" - (perhaps running on grass or a treadmill would be easier), and "are you striding out too far" - (your body should be over your foot when it lands, if you land on your foot and then you need to move your body forward I think this would stress your knees).

Everyone is different and doing a new exercise puts new stresses on your body and limbs which take a while for you to adapt to - it may be that you need 2 recovery days between runs. Lots of C25K people run a 9-day "week", 1 day running and 2 days off, to give their body enough time to recover. It doesn't add much on to your learning 9 week running programme - tiny in comparison to running for the rest of your life, and learning injury free is well worth slowing down.

Good luck with your running, or whatever other exercise you take up.

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