Couch to 5K
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Advice needed

Hi all,

First time posting here but have just completed w5r1 last night and am hoping someone can give me a bit advice before I hit run 3 on Saturday!

I'm struggling a bit on my first split run in each session with my calf muscles, they heat up and are painful after around 1 minute. After the walk they ease off and are bearable for the remaining runs. I'm stretching before and after each run and am also stretching them off last thing at night and 1st thing in the morning.

Also, on my "days off" I'm hitting the bike on the gym and I'm really not keen to stop that as I've lost nearly 4stone in the 8 weeks since diet and gym, then running started!


5 Replies

Firstly, congratulations on getting off the couch. You're halfway through the program.

It sounds to me like you're not giving those muscles time to rest between run days. When I did the program it was stressed over and over to take the days between and rest those muscles. I didn't began cross training until I graduated from the program. I would ease off the bike riding until you complete the program.


Wow, you're keen! Congratulations with already being halfway :)

I think cycling mainly uses the quads and hamstrings (but please feel free to correct me... I'm not much of a cyclist yet), but it could certainly be your cross training doing it. The other thought is that even people training for an ironman give themselves a weekly day's rest. It sounds like you're training 7 days a week, so maybe ease off just a little to give your calfs a chance?

Apart from that, a huge congratulations on the 4 stones. That is impressive!!

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Morning ScOttyb! Goodness gracious! Well done you - very impressive indeed!

From what you say it sounds like your calf muscles are hungry!!!

Losing over 3 kilos bodyweight per week is MASSIVE - i totally understand you don't want to lose momentum but i would advise caution, slowing down, steadying up and thinking long-term lifestyle change not short-term fix .....

As the others say, resting your muscles is as important as working them ... it's all about allowing development and change!

If you're set on carrying on the way you are then try not stretching from cold but do your warm-up walk (extend it to 8 or even 10 minutes, shorten and quicken your strides, think about picking up your knees) then do your stretches then start your run .... and, after you've done your run .... walk out, longer than 5 minutes may prove really helpful, then stretch. No bouncing or forcing just easy stretches! Personally i have discovered many quicker dynamic stretches keep me moving through my training more reliably than long 30 second static stretches but everyone is different .....

Good luck :-) You'll feel great when you've finished W5R3 it's a cracker!

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First of all, welcome to the forum. Secondly, well done on the impressive weight loss.

I think that there are several things that you can look at. First of all I agree with the other posts so far, you need to give your body at least one full day a week of rest. It is these days of rest when your body make changes.

Have you had a gait analysis done? It's free and you are under no obligation to buy any trainers afterwards. It could be that your trainers are not offering the support that you require. This isn't necessarily down to increasing the amount of cushioning within your trainers but making sure that you are supported in the right area. You have to think of your body as one whole joined-up system and just because you have pain and discomfort in one area does not mean that this is the sole cause of concern. For example, calf pain can be due to issues higher up your legs/hips but you happen to feel the discomfort within your calves.

The fact that you are stretching three times a day is great and definitely a good approach.

Another thought. As you are a member of a gym are you also doing any strength training? It seems as if you are fully focussed on cardiovascular work (understandable if your sole focus is to lose weight) but you must also ensure that your muscular system is strong enough to cope with the demands that running places on it. This isn't about turning into Mr Universe but putting in some simple muscle developing exercises into your routine. You will notice a massive difference in your shape over time as well.

Good luck with run 3, go easy and smile big when you finish it :)

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Thanks for the comments guys, plenty there for me to look into and try to implement.

I have 1 rest day a week at the moment, Sundays are spent exactly as they were intended!! Lol.

Thing about the weight loss I find is the more you have to lose, the more impressive the figures appear at the start.....still got around 6 to 7 stone to lose to get to a healthy, fit weight!!

I've also set myself some longer term goals to make sure my enthusiasm doesn't disappear....already entered for a 10k next spring! Thanks again guys, I'll be sure to let you know how Saturday goes.


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