Couch to 5K
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Had to stop, how do I restart

I got to week 4 then got shin splints and everything I read said to stop running for 2 weeks.

I'm now nervous about going back out. Do I go back to week 1? What if I get shin splints again, I am getting aches in my leg bones when I am sitting which seems odd.

On the whole I enjoyed my jogging but had a real struggle at the end of week 4: mild but persistent shin splints really got me down.

Should I give up learning to jog on the roads and try the gym instead?

Hate that I am so rubbish at this.

9 Replies

Look back at what you've achieved - not forward to the next hurdle. You're 4 weeks better than you were. Don't give up - the rewards are tremendous. I got new shoes (not saying you should do that as they were v expensive) but it has made a tremendous difference to my success. I had swollen knees after wks 3 and 4 but completed 2 x 8 mins running on Thursday and my knees didn't swell up at all really. It has made a huge difference. I've had trouble with my knees all my life. Shoes, shoes, shoes are the answer in my limited experience. Running outside is so exhilarating - don't know anything about gyms - but 20 / 30 mins on a treadmill? Unmotivating I would have thought. I run at virtually a walking pace - do you run too fast? I have started this programme at the same time as my 24 year old son - he is doing his own thing and getting exhausted / frustrated / achey etc etc - I'm doing Laura's programme and have never missed a beat. Rest, shoes, slow - that's my experience (not advice as I've only been doing this myself for 5 wks so know nothing).

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Buffy has said it all :) you have got to week 4 that in itself is something to shout about :) try a run of week 4 see how it feels and then decide from there :D running slow or slower still is the way to go the aim really is just to complete the timed runs each week ,distance or speed you dont have to worry about ...

New shoes could be the answer along with gait Analysis if you can ..

But certainly dont be dis heartened at all you have no reason to be as alot suffer with shin splints ,it is frustrating i am sure but that doesnt mean you are rubbish in the slightest infact the opposite for actually getting out there and starting :D

Your body will take time to adjust to your new regime , aches and pains are part of that , mine still grumbles , i am 57 , so i guess that is to be expected ..


How can you say your rubbish? Of course you're not, you got to week 4 didn't you? I agree good shoes make all the difference, then if I were you I'd try to start where I left off, if that's too difficult then you could go back a week. Good luck xx


Firstly, you are NOT rubbish at this. Running is high impact on the bones and joints. Shin splints are definitely something that a lot of us struggle with on here and something that can be managed :-)

Like Rob said, getting gait analysis done is a good call if you haven't already, as running in the right shoes will help prevent long term injuries. Also, there are exercises that can help to further stretch calf muscles which some people think can lead to shin pain. Here is a link to some good stretches


Hope this helps :-) remember, you've already done the hardest part of getting off the couch in the first place, you CAN do this :-) xxx


(by the way, I pinched that 'look back, not forward' saying from someone on here) - taking their inspiration.


I didn't ever have shin problems, but boy my knees were bad! I just rested more and ran on softer surfaces for a while (it was summer, so I went to the playing field, though that is super hard this time of year!). After a while your body gets used to running. It just takes time. Don't give up.


Thanks folks, I've done it!

I decide to try week 5 and I did run 1: so pleased.

Looking forward to W5r2 now but mild shin splints again.

I have very flat feet but my trainers came from a running shop after they looked at the way I run.

I might see the GP though


just a thought, but maybe consider compression guards - something like this - i got them when I got shin splints and I havent had much trouble since.

the other thing is, which I know someone else mentioned, stretch! I have found that the aches and pains I was getting before are much less when I do a 15 minute stretching session after a run


I'd say start out slow and don't forget to stretch before jogging. I got a shin splint and it really hurt. So I switched to walking instead.


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