Couch to 5K
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Newbie - Question About Calf Muscles!

Hi everyone, I'm quite new to C25k, have completed my last run of week 2 today, although I have a question and didnt know if anyone had any advice?

My breathing and recovery time is improving, however the sides of my calves (on the outside) feel really tight once im about halfway through my run.

I do basic stretches before I head out, but didnt know if anyone could advise what im doing wrong or how to improve so they dont feel as tight?

Many thanks in advance :)

9 Replies

I had difficulty with my calves when I first started running 4 months ago -- I thought at that time they they were my limiting factor. But -- the problem went away after not too long. Your calf muscles are simply objecting to doing things that you have not asked them to do before :) -- they will get used to it after a while :)


Post-run stretches are vitally important. Pre-run warm-up walks are important, but the post-run stretches stop next-day tightening.

It must be worth a try.


Are you doing stretches cold, or after warm up walk? I don't stretch at all and have no problem. But if you do stretch they need to be done after the the warm up walk.

Try doing stretches on your non run days to build up muscle strength and flexibility - there is the NHS strength and flex program podcasts though I don't know what they are like.

Also your calves are getting used to you demanding more of them so there are bound to be a few niggles.

Well done on completing week2 it's a great feeling isn't it


I don't stretch before or after runs but I do Pilates on non-running days and this seems to avoid the problem of soreness. In the meantime, welcome to the programme and well done for getting to week 2. You will find plenty of support and encouragement on this site. Best wishes.


Oh boy did my legs groan during week 2 and 3 of the plan! After taking advice from the good people of this forum I began stretching post run after my cool down walk and it works! I am at the end of week 8 now and I religiously stretch a lot, holding each stretch for about a minute. It's a good habit now.


Thanks everyone for your replies and encouragement! :) My calves arent sore today, its just whilst I run. Will try and do some stretches once I finish to see if that helps, thank you all again!


Hi Newbie. I don't have an answer for you but since no one else replied, I just wanted to say I'm in wee 2 only and feel discomfort and yeah, a slight ache in my hamstrings (back of upper thigh)...they feel better when I stretch them so I guess we can say they are tight. Maybe they are just not used to being built up and strengthened.


Hi everyone, just a little update..! Went for my first run of week three (by the way am i supposed to do 90, 90, 3 & 3 twice or three times?) and my calves weren't too bad, I stretched before I went and stretched after too :)They were tight still but i managed to power through! Thank you for all your advice



i have the same issue. they get really tight and very sore, very quickly. After some research i did, i found that this is a very common problem, with beginner runners. This is because we are using the muscles we haven't used in either a very long time, or not at all in our lives.

The best advice i can come up with and what i have been doing, is stretching before the 5 minute warm up. but also stretching just before the 90 seconds of running. i then come in from the run and my husband massages my muscles, i recommend getting a deep sports tissue massage for these muscles. it will really help.


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