Couch to 5K

Really bad pains in lower legs

Last night I was out running my 3rd run of week 1 and had a fair amount of pain in both my calves. I have had this a tiny bit since run 2 but it only seemed to bother me in the mornings, put it down to tight muscles and had a soak in the bath but I went out to start week 2 this morning ( I normally have 1 day between runs but because of a tight schedule I had to skip that this once) and the pain was so bad I wanted to give up. I finished the run and in hind sight that was stupid I should have stopped because I could only just walk by the time I got back. Its been a few hours since then and they are nowhere near as bad just uncomfortable but I am not sure if this is normal or not?? I am 24 and about 1.5 stone over weight . I don't think its my shoes. I used to run for very short amounts of time 3 days a week before Christmas and I never had anything like this?

5 Replies

Are you stretching after your run? I made the mistake of not doing so for my first couple of runs and holy cr4p I felt it. I could barely walk the day after my second week 1 run. Some people seem to manage okay with just the warm up/cool down walks but I'm not one of those people! A bit of soreness is to be expected but if it's really bad then stop and perhaps have a gentle walk instead - I actually found running through my stiffness/soreness did ease it up a bit but it never hurt so much I wanted to stop + you need to pay attention to your body.

There are lots of resources online showing different stretches and there's an NHS one here:

I do a combination of the ones above and some others I found through various websites, for about 5 minutes after I get home. Really helped me. I'm about 1.5 stone overweight too (but going in the right direction now :))


I stretch after all of my runs plus on my in-between days and the pain doesn't seem much different when I am stretching which I would expect from muscle pain? I have been resting but today the pain seems worse somehow my legs are also quite warm and I have picked up a cough from somewhere so I don't know if that is just making me feel generally run down. I tried to book an appointment with my GP just now since something just feels a bit off. I am sure its nothing at all and I feel daft for even making a fuss but I usually have a very high pain threshold so this is frustrating me. only problem is I moved and got taken of the GP register so now I need to re-register before I can go in. I'm annoyed with myself that this is slowing me down and its only week 2 :(


Oh boo :( If your legs are warmer than normal that suggests inflammation (disclaimer: I'm not a doctor) - perhaps you have overdone it a bit in that case...

If you're worried you should be able to see the GP as a temporary patient - better to get it checked if you're concerned. I feel your pain with that though, the registration process for GPs is a pain in the bum. They usually make you go see a nurse for a registration appointment too, maybe that would be a good place to start.

Hope you get it sorted either way, and make sure you don't overdo it in the mean time!


Thanks very much for the help I really appreciate it. Hopefully I can get it sorted asap and be back on track in no time :)


I think as a new runner you can expect to ache somewhat as you are using unused muscles. If you do the warm up and cool down walks, and take a rest day in between runs, you'll be fine. Are you following laura's instructions?

Take your time and don't try to go too fast

I hope you'll feel better soon


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