Couch to 5K

Prancing pony strikes again. ..or how I found out that it's possible to run wrong

Thought that this might be of interest to others out there. I started c25k in June after having my son and quickly got addicted. After graduating and pushing up my times and distance I pulled my calf and was having trouble with my left hip. Tried physio, tried doing all the right things including not running for almost two weeks only to have the pain return immediately and then start in other calf. I almost cried but kept going and started back on w3. .. still sore.

anyway after reading a fair bit I thought about my running form and that calve aren't there to do all the work. I went out one morning and thought 'lift my legs. ..I am a prancing pony! '... and it worked. Minimal calf soreness hip fine and now back up to 30 min runs and finally feeling like my guys, hamstrings and quads are actually being used.

so moral of my long winded story - it's possible to run wrong and sometimes you can correct it and avoid injuries.

5 Replies

Very interesting ginaw! Where did you read about what running 'form' you should be using?


I have wondered about this. Without someone who knows running watching you as you run, you are in the dark really, about proper form. I too have thought that my calves are doing all the work and my thighs don't seem to be doing anything. Laura on the podcast says don't be too bouncy and this seems to have translated as don't move legs more than necessary with feet barely leaving the ground, (which I find also makes tripping more likely) Perhaps I shall try this action too, see how if feels for me, thanks!


Well done for not giving up and finding a way that works for you. Brilliant stuff


I had Google searched role of calves in running and it became clear that rather than just pushing off, they are there for decceleration and are only part of the muscle team you need to run. I just wasn't lifting my legs and yeah as Laura says you don't want to be high stepping your way down the road but you need to activate all the muscles. My quads and hamstrings weren't doing any work where as now I can definitely feel them after yesterday's run.

as for giving up - not an option. I have an 8 mth old and a 5 year old so no longer have the luxury of leisurely visits to the gym (esp when I go back to work). Running is something that I can do any time, from home and am completely addicted to.


Great stuff Gina! Interesting piece of info that, thanks. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your running and have managed to work it in to your busy schedule. It's an art! LOL


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