Couch to 5K

Aching calves, numb feet and week 3

So I started c25k two weeks ago and week one was a breeze and week 2 horrid but doable.

Week 3 though I am finding so awfully hard ;(

I just got back from run 2 and my calf muscles are on fire and I cannot feel either of my feet! I don't feel I'm gasping of really testing my fitness, just my muscles...well, actually just my calf muscles and feet. I almost collapsed during the last bit of running and lost 99.9% of what little confidence I had in this endeavour...

I'm 39 and have never run but I'm fit, do a lot of ballet, walk for miles each day and even seen to have found myself doing karate with my 6 year old every week!

I have had arthritis for 30 years (I'm fine to run and have had no issues with my joints up to this point) so I know that if you just put one foot in front of the other it's amazing how far you can go...but this running lark is another story altogether! I swear my calves hurt more than childbirth

7 Replies

Hi Cheshiregal - I'm currently starting week 4, first run last night. I had one night like that on week 3 - oh the pain was awful. I thought if it continues like this I will not be able to continue this. The next run, it was fine. I just increased my warm up walk a bit, so instead of putting the podcast on the minute I'm out the door, I wait till I've done at least 5 minutes walking, then put it on, so 10 minutes warm up walk, plus loads of static stretching of leg muscles when I get back from run. It has definitely worked for me, others will be able to give you better tips as well (I'm very much a newbie!)....good luck with it! :)


Next time, try tying your laces a bit looser. Your feet swell when you run so having laces too tight means they get constricted.

I find that if I do mine up too tight then I suffer with sore feet and calves. So now I keep them nice and loose and things are a lot better.

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I agree with Peter_B making sure the trainer fit and that the laces are not to tight is very important I have same prob so got a wider pair of trainers and loosend my laces and all ok now, great work getting this far keep going !! you should be very proud everytime you take a step outside the front door.


Agree with the above two comments. Tying your laces too tight is pretty well guaranteed to make your feet/ toes go numb. There are loads of different ways of tying your running shoes, depending on the shape of your feet. Just spend 5minutes on Google and you'll be amazed at the possibilities. Good luck, with the rest of the programme. Go really slowly and you'll be fine, I'm sure


Keep going, you can do it! I had a major wobble in week 3 and came close to giving up. Keep in mind all the amazing progress you've made so far and give it another bash. I promise you it does get easier :-) I've just started week 5 and feel so much better than week 3.

Everyone has a bump now and again, maybe this is yours?

For me the first two runs of week 3 were terrible and I was dreading the final run. But I started and surprised myself so much because it seemed to just click and come together.

Keep at it, you will feel wonderful knowing you have conquered this week! All the best xxx

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Go nice and slow. I think one of the main problems is going too quick. A slow jog is all that's needed

It's not surprising that we ache when we start C25k, it's proof-positive that things are happening and your body is responding. When you're in pain Neurofen or Ibufren taken last thing before going to sleep will help. Also the rest day is important. As you get fitter and stronger the pains will go.

Have you got proper running shoes? I did my laces too tight - and my running shoes were too small - but once I got that sorted I was fine. Most folks buy shoes a half size bigger than their normal shoes. I know that now but didn't back when I started, and I didn't go to a running shop. I wish I had


Thanks everyone ;)

I just did week 3 run 3 with my biggest trainers with the loosest possible lacing (without them falling off!) and my calves, whilst still sore, were bearable and neither of my feet were numb at any point.

I do tend to do far more than the 5 min warm up and cool down as I walk into our national trust park before I start to avoid running in the hard pavements (and be honked at by cars!). Plus I'm so used to walking I enjoy it and I bribe myself with an extra bit of walking at the end to see the swans/look for deer/ sit in the bird hide/go to aldi to buy something yummy ;)

I may repeat week 3 workout twice more as this week has been really hard and I really don't know if I'm up to 5 mins yet! I'll start that next Monday...

So thank you xx


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