Couch to 5K
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Looking forward and worries

Hi so I ve done week 3 a bit sore and now have too days rest. I have real problems sleeping with my achy legs does any one else? Have just loaded up week 4 ready for Monday and totally panicked at it all a3 min run straight off followed by a tiny recovery period and then 5 mins and then do it all over again! Really worried this may be as far as I can go

6 Replies

First, try to stop worrying. When you began the programme, you probably thought you would not get this far?

Achy legs/ itchy legs, jumpy legs etc.. can all be experienced in the early stages and even after! I had what I call, electricity legs a week ago, after a longer run...:) Your body is getting used to all this new exercise!

Try also, to focus on what you have achieved... the now, and not the next. Follow the programme, very,very slowly, (think, very, very laid back snail),

You can do this... I'll watch out for your post after Monday!

" If you believe in yourself... anything is possible )! :)


Hi, well done for completing first 3 weeks, I have not graduated yet and had same problem, advised to do post run stretches and this really helped. The website has some to use. Good luck, I really trust this programme, it's working for me who was a complete non runner 😊


I had really achy legs around weeks 2 and 3. I remember thinking at the time that perhaps I would not be able to do the program---I was worried I was just too unfit.

However the good news is that the achiness went away as the weeks progressed.

I think it is just the body adapting to new exertions.

Take it slowly--repeat weeks if you feel like it. If any run feels really hard you can repeat it and also take walking breaks as often as you need to. Run like a snail.

You will get there in the end and it does get a lot easier.

Good luck with your running.

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I can picture what state I was in after every run, I started off getting back into the house and barely being able to walk, then throughout the day at work I'd be hobbling about! It does get better though :)

I'm on week 8 now and I can casually stroll into the house and walk around for even longer. I don't ache much anymore throughout the day, more of that slight feeling that my legs have worked but are still ok and feels good type of feeling.

I also definitely recommend some stretches when you get back, I can tell when I haven't done them, and not just a quick 2 second stretch, give yourself 5-10 mins to stretch out those legs. I always find it quite relaxing and satisfying after a run :)

If you need to take 2 days to recover it's not a big deal, I did that a couple of times. You'll soon get itchy feet to go out there again!

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It is unlikely in the extreme that you have reached your genetic ceiling. Stop looking ahead, just do each day as it comes and you will master it.

As to achey legs and sleep, this is, as others have said something to be expected, but the effects of post-exercise muscle soreness can be greatly reduced by adequate protein intake. Your muscles need amino acids to repair, and most people's diet ins not protein-centric enough to support this when increasing exercise. This is particularly true at night - if you eat your supper at 6PM and then don't eat again until breakfast at 7AM your protein synthesis will slow right down overnight. This is one of teh reasons we wake up achier and more tired than when we went to bed. If you eat some protein about an hour before you go to sleep it will pay huge dividends in your recovery time and perceived comfort level (is also excellent for supporting weight loss, but that is a different story). You don't have to be chowing down a steak, something easily diestible is best. If I have had a heavy gym day I have a couple of scoops of whey in the evening, or some cottage cheese or a bowl of Greek yogurt. Just stay away from the carbs because a massive insulin spike just before bed is not what you are after.

I know it sounds odd. You're sitting there thinking "This guy is telling me to eat hardboiled eggs at bedtime? Is he bonkers?" but it does work and is actually sciencey not internet clickbait woo.

Try it for a few days and see. Record your results - make a note of how you felt at night/in the morning. Be astounded at miraculous improvement. Thank me later.


Bathe in Epsom salts, it really helps sore muscles. Have you proper shoes???


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