Couch to 5K
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Impact Of Terrain

Just finished W2R2 and my shins are aching. I normally run a route that involves going up one reasonable hill, then shortly after coming down the other side. The pavements aren't in terrific condition, either.

The issue, I think, is that - whilst I find the uphill hard - but can manage a steady pace but the downhill bit is a nightmare! I cannot keep my pace down and I end up accelerating out of control (it's about 1:5 gradient). When I reach the foot of the hill, I am sore. This is about halfway into the route.

Should I be changing route to somewhere a bit flatter, or is there anything else I can do before my shins get too bad?

2 Replies

Don't run the downhills out of control!!! I got into the habit of doing that and it's ended up benching me for the foreseeable future. Run down hill very carefully. You can stick your elbows out a bit to help you balance. You might be able to run hell for leather if you're younger and a competent, experienced runner but otherwise I'd give it a miss

You can change to somewhere flatter for the purposes of the programme and it will help you. You could also look for some softer trail routes which take the pressure off your feet and legs

Make sure your shoes are up to the job.

You don't need to run fast for the programme either, so if you are, slow things down

Go steady, take your rest days and one extra if needs be, and see how it goes. You could improve your leg health by cycling, walking and swimming. I have been using elliptical type gym kit that lets you exercise your legs but weightlessly. Ours are in the local park.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on


I ran the third run tonight & varied the route slightly to take out the downhill. As a result, didn't have the same leg ache and actually managed a better steady pace all the way round. Well chuffed!

But how much can one man sweat?! I guess that's the beauty of running in thirty degrees at 7:30 at night!

Week three.....I'm looking at you!


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