Couch to 5K

c25k week 3 Calf Pain

Hi I am new here.

One of my friends who started from here and doing 10k recommended here. I am in week 3 and the most difficult hurdle is my calves. they hurt like hell I drag myself on the park not to let go of the good work any ideas suggestions most welcome. Before running I used to walk atleast 10000 steps a day outside. I am worried whether I might give up the following weeks as it progresses the pain might progress...... SOS rather save my ...

9 Replies

Couple of observations, but no firm answer.

1) Running is quite different from walking from a bio mechanical perspective, so this might simply be your calves complaining because you're asking them to do something new. Or it might not.

2) Aches and niggles can be ignored (for a while, at risk), but genuine pain typically require medical assistance from a doctor a physio.

3) Far better to take a week off now to get things sorted than having to take a year off later on.

So. Only you know how bad it is, but if they really "hurt like hell" then you should probably seek help from someone more skilled than us strangers on the web ;)


I have 2 questions:

1) Do you have properly fitted running shoes?

2) Do you stretch thoroughly after your runs?

I know running shoes can be expensive, but properly fitted shoes really help! A good shop will film you on a treadmill and explain your gait, and a good shop assistant will seem like they can think of literally nothing better to do with their lives than get you the best fitting pair of shoes they can! They are saints!

As a cyclist I thought I'd get lots of calf pain (apparently cycling shortens your calves and running stretched them! Thank you, science!), so I made a really big point of stretching. Most places say do it for 10-15 seconds, I do it for 10 deep breaths which usually comes to more like 30-45 seconds for each stretch. There are a bunch of recommended stretches here as well as many other stretching related articles on the nhs website that are pretty good. As a result of good stretching (I think!) I've never had sore legs after a run, even when I really push myself.

The only other tip I can think of is take a hot shower/bath right after you finish stretching. The alternative is an ice bath but they both have roughly the same effect, so given the choice I'd go with nice and warm!

Hope you find a solution to your problem before you really hurt yourself!


I would echo the points about well-fitted proper running shoes & stretches. At least 30 secs for a stretch, & also do a few more during day if sore, not just after your run. Rest for a few days/week or remain at the same week/ point in programme until you feel a bit stronger. If it is really bad & persistent, see a physio/ doctor. Hope you find a way forward, there are many aches & pains with running, especially at the start, but so many benefits it is worth it, honest!! X


I would also say about good running shoes, but they can be expensive. I'm very much on a tight budget so here's what I did, I tested my gait and if I over or under pronate, I got a plain piece of paper, wet my feet, and stood on the paper, take a picture of your foot print and compare you gait online to judge your own, I found by doing that I needed support shoes as I over pronate, I gave myself a week off running on holiday in the sun, and no more calf pain 👍


Kate, gait analysis is a dynamic observation of your running stride, showing alignment of joints and movement through your stride and foot strike, normally conducted using a video camera. Your test, if I understand it properly, has shown you whether you have high, normal or low arches to your feet and does not necessarily relate to pronation/over pronation.

Many running shops do not charge for gait analysis.


No but my shoes soles, show obvious signs of over pronation. Just thought I'd say what helped me when time, location or money prevent from going to a running shop 😊


As a self confessed tight wad, I congratulate you on your resourcefulness. I just wanted to clarify for others that your wet paper test is not an indicator of pronation/overpronation.


Oh ok lol I forgot to leave out, it's quite obvious by my shoes, the way they've worn on the sides, glad I'm not the only tight wad though 👍


Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your support. I am surprise as I didn't get notifications I wasnot sure how to find my post 1st.

1.Proper running shoes tick Thats the 1st expensive shoes I ve bought :) From a specialised running shop as I have over pronation flat feet bunion. etc etc

2.Stretching tick May be I need to spare more time like you suggest 10 breaths

Week 3 finished and I am wondering how ever am I going to run for 4 minutes when I cant even wait for Laura to tell me to stop.


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