Couch to 5K
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Calf muscle pain whilst running - stretching issue?


I've just started Week 6 of the Couch to 5K plan, however, I realised that during my last run of W5 and this first one about a quarter of my way in my lower leg muscles really ache and are in pain - and I've had to stop becuase of that pain rather than being out of breath, which is leaving my disappointed.

I was wondering if anybody else has suffered with this - and what the problem is/how to avoid it? 

Before running I do stretch, I do leg swings and walking lunges - what do you do to stretch before and cool down?

4 Replies

Try stretching afterwards rather than before.  I do warm ups before leaving the house so am hot by the time I hit the street for the warm up walk.  I do high knees walking in the spot for a count of 30, arm circles, jump rope ( without the rope), skaters, jumping jacks.  I do that routine twice.  I do my brisk cool down walk and then stretch properly when I get home.  I stretch my calves, gastroc,  arms, shoulders, hamstrings, neck, quads and lean over sideways to stretch the obliques.  For your calves, as well as calf and gastroc stretch, you can use your stairs to do calf raises and then into a heel drop.  Do them very slowly so you get a deep stretch. Do all your stretching slowly and carefully, and not too far that it hurts.   It should feel good ☺


Do these after your run and use a foam roller for your calves. It really helps.


Another vote for the foam roller! 


I do dynamic stretching as you describe before the run but always work through the stretches on this site afterwards. I find it really helps prevent stiffness - give them a try. Foam roller definitely helps with aches - although it is a form of exquisite torture.


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