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I need some advice. I am a new runner, in fact...have hated the thought of running all my life. But I find myself now weighing 240lbs, and busy with 3 young kids, so am doing the couch25k just to see if running is something I could ever enjoy. So far, I really am liking it! But started having some issues and I don't want the issues to become so bad I can't continue the program, here's the recap...
I completed weeks 1 and 2, and although running portions were in no way easy for me, I completed both weeks and felt great about it. Then week 3 came, and I really felt challenged and unable to run for the entire run portions, plus started to have knee pain. So I purchased new running sneakers from specialty store (more $ than I've spent on any pair of shoes in years!), and decided to repeat week 3. Completed a second go of week 3, and still continue to have knee pain (not quite as severe, but definitely still painful) and struggle to run for the entire 3min running portions.
-Should I move on to week 4 or keep repeating weeks until I am able to do them well?
-And any advice on what to do for knee pain?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
First off, conratulations on starting the C25K program.
You're likely to get numerous and conflicting bits of advice on this one, but were I in your shoes, I'd take a week off and then restart at either week 2 or week 3. I've found that early on during a running program, the old adage of "running through the pain" is a pretty bad piece of advice when said pain is in the joints.
So, give your knees a rest, and take it easy when you restart; getting in good shape is one of those "slow to start, sure to finish" propositions.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Repeating a week is always an option when you're having difficulty. The other thing I would suggest is to slow down a little on your runs. Going just a little slower can make a big difference.
As fo the knee, a few days off may be very worthwhile. Meanwhile, check your stride. Try to use the following as a guide. "The most common injury-causing stride flaw is overstriding, or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body's center of gravity, instead of landing flat-footed with your foot directly underneath your head. A simple way to correct his flaw is to tilt your entire body very slightly forward from the ankles (not the waist) as you run, as though you're constantly falling forward or running downhill." (from Runners World) You should never see your feet unless you deliberately look down. And make sure you keep your knee flexed as you plant your foot.
Congrats and good for you! I'm a mother of two who started running mostly to deal with keeping up with my kids and for stress relief, it's an AMAZING difference once you start running!
I definitely agree with running slower, and I repeated sections of Couch to 5k without even having pain, it just took me a few times to be able to complete some of the workouts successfully. Now I'm training for a half marathon, and I think that's in part because I was willing to give myself the time I needed to improve and not be scared to rest or repeat when needed.
Best of luck to you
I write a running blog geared towards other new runners at http://www.iamrunningthis.com!
Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012
First 10K, June 2nd, 2013
First Half Marathon, September 2013
Thank you for the great advice. I decided to attempt week 4, day 1 yesterday (prior to reading your responses). But with a much slower pace and concentrating on form. Knee pain is greatly reduced after this run. But honestly, I wasn't able to run continuously for the 5 min stretches. So I think rather than pushing through the program, I am going to go back to week 2 or 3 and repeat until I can accomplish them successfully and with no pain! I definitely got wrapped up in feeling like my pace had to increase (even if ever so slightly) each time, but I'm realizing that my concern should be with being able to complete the run portions even if at a much slower pace. I think I need to stop looking at statistics on phone app while I'm running, and just run and enjoy it!
Any other things to do to help reduce knee pain? I am taking glucosamine supplements already. Any value in wearing knee braces?
Thank you all for your replies!
Sometimes knee pain can be attributed to weak hips, especially in women. Here is a link to an article on Runners World that discusses it. It is a great article because it gives you some simple tests that you can do at home to determine if you have weak hips and it gives you some simple exercises you can do at home to help.
Graduated C25K 08/09/2009
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