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Couch to 5K
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Still Achy, should I run today?

Did W1R1 on Monday night as a complete novice, managed to do the whole thing but I've been quite achy since then. I'm due to do R2 tonight but wonder whether I should wait until I don't feel quite as sore, or whether to carry on? Advices appreciated :)

11 Replies

It depends how achey you are. If it is just the achiness of muscles which haven't been used in a while then go for it. Just make sure you do your 5 minute warm up, and take the first few runs super slow until you get properly warmed up. If you are getting any joint niggles, or pains which don't feel like muscle stiffness, then hold off.

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Yup, sometimes you'll shake off the stiffness add you start moving, sometimes you won't. It's something you have to learn to judge.


I agree with Narmour. If its achy muscles then you might find that going out helps ease them off a bit. Warm up walk important but stretches when you get home are really important too, in terms of reducing the aches and any stiffness. Good luck.


Lizziebeth, what stretches would you recommend? I'm never sure what will do any good so I usually just rely on the warm down walks, but in the latter stages of the programme, the longer runs are taking their toll and I'm really stiff the next day.


Hi Narmour! The stretches need to be done as SOON as you stop your run. You need to stretch calf muscles and quads.

Go to NHS choices C25K and you'll find them.


I do them religiously as soon as I stop running. If I don't I can hardly get up and down stairs the next day!

I used to do Strength and Flexibility on rest days, which helped a lot.


Warm down walks just don't cut it!


This explains why I'm so sore two days later! I didn't do any stretching whatsoever afterwards.


Sit on a bench. Knees at right angles to floor. Place both hands on one knee. Stretch opposite leg out in front of you and gently lean forwards keeping your back straight.

OR: Stand both feet together. Take a step back with one leg Then slowly lean forwards keeping the heel of the back leg on the ground.

Those 2 are for your calf muscles.

This one is for thighs: Stand with both feet together and pointing straight forward. Reach behind you, get hold of your ankle (or your trouser leg if you can't reach) and raise that leg up to your buttock behind you. Keep the knees together and gently stretch the thighs.

I sometimes do the calf one mid run if my legs feel achy.

I have never done stretches before a run but stretching afterwards is VITAL!

Hope this helps you.

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Thanks Beek, the first link is perfect!!


I have just tried to describe them but really can't sorry. I learnt them years ago when I was a member of a gym and I know they are very common. I just do three different types of stretch , all for my legs, and have have no aches and pains or stiffness after I run. Have a look online?


There's a story that olympic trainers go about telling athletes that whenever their muscles are sore/aching they instruct them to push even hard. Something about the lactic acid strengthening the muscles and building endurance even more. Good luck! peerdiagnosis.com/how-long-...


I was incredibly stiff after run 1 week one and so waited 3 days before run two

But I didnt stretch my legs at the end of the session

Since then I stretch for a good 5 to ten minutes after the warm down walk and never had a problem with stiffness again

Good luck with the programme you will do it


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