Couch to 5K

Week 4 Run 1

I did (attempted) run 1 of week 4 yesterday. My goodness me, it was hard, it was a massive step from Week 3 in my opinion and i'm not sure I was ready for it. I kind of did, I had to walk for a few seconds in both of the five minute runs. I found it very hard. My calves keep knotting/tightening after a few minutes, it really hurts. I have been advised to stretch before as well as after. Not looking forward to tomorrow's run, its forecast to rain as well. Moan over!

6 Replies

I sometimes do calf stretches midway through a run if my calf muscles are tightening up. Breathe long and deep as your muscles need plenty of oxygen.

Are you well enough hydrated too?

Rain is lovely to run through.

Hope you enjoy your run tomorrow!

(Moans are allowed) ;-)


Thanks Beek. I take a water bottle with me to sip along the way. Tomorrow I am going to stretch before I go, drink water before and have a banana. I have trouble pacing myself as well, so any tips appreciated.


Hiya. I thought it was a big jump up from week 3 as well, I'm finding it tough too (got my 3rd run to do today). After seeing a few posts on here before I started the program suggesting pre-run stretches could do more harm than good I don't stretch before the run, just really good stretches after and haven't had any problems (apart from the first couple of week 1 runs, when I was walking like John Wayne after 2 days in the saddle). As far as pacing goes rightly or wrongly I ignore the beat of the music and just run at a slow, steady pace that feels right for me. And I don't carry water either - I don't think it's needed at this stage if you drink plenty of water regularly through the day, and just having a water bottle in one hand to carry makes me feel off-balance. Try not to dread the next run - just accept it'll be what it'll be and give it your best shot on the day each time. Very best of luck to you, you can do it!!


I'm not quite sure what you mean about pacing yourself. You are aiming at striking a step for each beat of the music. Not sure if that is helpful for you.


I found it a huge step up too. I had to stop myself thinking about how much of a step up it was, but really you go from 9 mins or something to 16 mins running. So I think it's a huge accomplishment really!

I also have very tight calf muscles. I have always had it and get it when I walk fast too. Stopping to stretch them is different than stopping because you're too tired to run, in my mind anyway! So I still think you did great. I sometimes stretch a little mid run (I read it's not good to stretch cold muscles but fine once they've warmed up). Also, I have found my calves less tight the more I've been doing this, hopefully you will find the same!


My (very non-expert) advice would be: don't stretch with cold muscles, but try pausing the podcast after the 5 min warm-up walk and doing some stretches then. Probably better than stopping mid-run (psychologically anyway). Also, don't feel you have to take a pace with each beat as someone suggested - for me these are sometimes really off-pace with my natural stride and I get off-balance, and it pulls my calves. Just run however feels natural, making sure that your foot lands comfortably. And never short-change yourself on your post-run stretches, hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds. Hope this helps.


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