Couch to 5K
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still feeling the pain

Two weeks ago started a running course and c25k is recommended to follow between sessions. Missed last week as in Switzerland, no running but a lot of challenging hikes. Back to course last night and alothough the distance and pace were managable, am still getting pain in calf muscles. Last week, was getting some pain whilst walking, but it generally wore off after about 30mins or so. Decided I needed extra warm up, so arrived early and walked around for a good 30 minutes, but still made no difference to the session. I have had gait checked and have new trainers. What next can I do I want to get through this, and to be able to run, but without the encouragement of the group and trainers, I am really struggling to get motivated to do more at home due to the pain. Last night they also recommended doing some other exercise to break up the running, so thinking this may be a way to be able to exercise and to get fitter to help running. Am over weight, so know that this is possibly not helping, so also trying to loose weight to lessen pressure on legs, but know that this is more a long term change. Brought myself a FitBit a few weeks ago, and am aiming to reach my goals each day, which I am managing more often that not. Anyway, rant over. Needed to get my frustrations out somehow!!!

12 Replies

Proper stretching and a foam roller.


Thanks for your reply. The course has showed us the streches to do and I am doing these. I am also taking it very slowly and listening to my body when it says enough is enough. The pain in calfs started before I started running, coming from no-where about 4-6 weeks ago. Just feeling a bit frustrated at th emo.


Hi Caro - Are you sure you're not overdoing it? How many times a week are you running? Remember that rest days are really important for your muscles to recover, especially at the beginning of a programme. It is normal to get some aches from tired muscles when starting to exercise but if these are not really settling then you have to beware of injury. Some pains are not meant to be ignored and mean you need to rest up and seek some medical/physio advise. Take care and I hope you feel more comfortable soon.


During the first week, I was not able to do anything else apart from the session. Last week on holiday, I did a lot of walking and although was not pain free, it did subside after a while. I did the session last night and will try again tomorrow to see how things go. I am definately not over doing the running if any thing I am not doing enough!! Just frustrated with my body at the moment - mind is willing, but body is not.

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I don't quite understand your first sentence - are you doing C25K and/or/plus some other running course??

I dare say that you haven't done much walking /running for a long time?? If so - you won't be alone here amongst other beginners. The "pain" does go away -- with time, more running and rests in between. I used to get quite nasty shin splints - which ached all night. I also used to get tight and sore calfs while running - But all that is long in the past now - mind you, I have now been doing this for 18 months.

Keep at it -- go slow and easy -- walk if/when you have to -- aim to make this something that you do naturally as part of your life - there is no hurry - you have time to keep on doing it until the day you die :)


Thanks for the encouragement. The idea is to do the class as one c25k session. They are really good and encouraging, but also keep telling us to go steady and at a pace that is comfortable for us. I am hoping it will go away with time, but it is a struggle right now. This will be my 3rd or 4th attempt to complete c25k and have never had calf pain before. Just a bit frutrared at the moment.


If the pain started before the running there must be some other cause. Why not check in with your doctor? Could be a side effect of medication (statins?) or something.


Thanks for your reply. I am on various medications, but have been on these for a few years with no recent changes. The tighness in my calfs only started a few weeks ago. Will keep going and hopefully I will find out how to prevent it.


Your doing a running course as well as c25k? Whoa! So maybe your not having adequate rest.

Have a good rest from any excercise, just do some gentle proper stretching.

Then only do c25k, and you must have your rest days! You could just do some gentle swimming or static cycling on the rest days, no running!

Hope you have this sorted soon..


Aim is to do running course and 2 days C25K and not the 3 days. The C25k is to keep us going inbetween. Am def not over doing it. Think my weight may be an issue, so watching what I am eating to see if that makes a difference.


OK, I'm a couple of stone overweight, (which is gradually coming down with the 30 plus minute runs) but don't get aching, just a bit of tightness in the calfs, so makes me want to stretch, so maybe my excess weight coming into play there, are you drinking enough water?

Let us know how you go caro...


Sounds similar to what I had and it gets worse if you carry on.

Im not sure what causes it or how to treat it. Here are the things I did to get rid of it.

REST: I planned on a week break from jogging but it turned into 2 due to a cold.

STRETCH & MASSAGE: Did light calf stretching followed by a massage with a tennis ball(you can use a foam roller too) Dont stretch while your muscles are cold though.

MAGNESIUM TABLETS: Required for the proper function of nerves and muscles. Its recommended to pregnant women who suffer leg cramps.

Im back jogging and the pain and stiffness have gone and seem to be staying away.


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