Couch to 5K
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Leg muscles too sore to run first run of week 8

Feeling deflated having had to give up on the first run of week 8. Since I started the longer runs I've really been feeling it in my legs for three or four days afterwards - muscles in my thighs in particular. I'm guessing this is just a result of them being worked harder than they have for many years. As a result I've gone from running every other day to leaving a two and then three days in between. My last run was Wedensday and I've had a twinge in my right thigh since then. Thought it would ease off when I started running tonight but it was actually too painful to run. So I've given up and came home feeling deflated.

Question is, if I leave it for say a week until my legs are no longer sore at all, am I likely to see any of the progress I have been making recently reversed, or should I be able to pick up again where I left off?

Am thinking about having gait analysis to see if there are issues with my shoes (which are reasonably good but possibly not right for me).

Am I just going to have to cut down the number of runs per week until my legs strengthen a bit? Wondering if I should do some other exercises meantime to try and help that process.

5 Replies

right....I had exactly the same proble, I was so bad I could barely walk. I went to a top running shop and had gait analysis done, told I 'overpronated', spent 100 quid on shoes + 1 week with them = no more pain.....strength and flex may help too...... :)


I've had extended rest breaks (and will continue doing so when needed) and didn't stop me from progressing through the programme.

I would suggest look into some stretches - the strength and flex programme is pretty good.

I've not had gait analysis, so I can't really comment but lots of people recommend it and have reported good results and finding great trainers.


Can only recommend what JJ and Spoonie have already said:

1. Gait analysis (I haven't had it, but my shoes appear to be right for me). The wrong shoes can hurt your legs and you knees over the longer distances you're doing now.

2. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) - I use "BioFreeze Gel" on my knees and thighs when they play up (and on B210K they are sore this week!) and it helps a lot. DeepFreeze patches also did the trick for me when I had sore knees at around week 5. Ibuprofen when required... and if you're up for it, some gentle walking to keep the muscles moving..

As JJ says though, if you can I'd recommend making sure your shoes aren't the problem. Depending on how you run they may be causing you a problem... I actually put some 3rd party insoles in my trainers (IronMan thin ones) and they make for an even more comfortable run...

Also - there's no issue in taking a few extra rest days... just set yourself a sensible timeframe for weeks 8 and 9 and try to stick to that, if that means 1 run day, 2 rest days then so be it... no problem there at all... much better than injury!


I've found that my progress of running further is only ever hampered by me having a break of more than 8 weeks (yes, weeks, not days). It takes a lot longer than a few days to lose fitness and condition, so don't worry about taking several days off between runs if it gets your legs properly recovered.

Yesterday I did my first run for 3 months (due to personal circumstances) and I managed to run for a full 30 minutes and only ran 150m less distance than when I was running 30 mins 3 times a week. So it just shows, although I struggled and couldn't wait to stop running yesterday, my fitness was still there, just not quite what it was a whole 3 months ago :-)


Thanks for all your replies.

Was feeling the pain in my right thigh had eased off enough to go out for another run yesterday. After warming it up it did ease off but I only managed about 12 minutes before giving up. I think I might need to go back and revisit week 7 again.

Beginning to think I might have something more than routine muscle pain though as it's come right back in the same spot in my right leg today, every bit as sore as before. Walking about with a limp. Am thinking I will just need to rest it as far as I can for a week or so before going back out.


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