Couch to 5K
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Calf pain

Started week 9 last week and at about 25mind had to stop with calf pain, have rested for a week until pain free, went for a run this morning and had to stop after 5 mins as the pain came back, any one have any tips or advice on how long I should rest or how to strengthen my calf muscles, feeling really low at the moment as I just want to get out there and run.

6 Replies

I have had calf pain/tighness on and off during the past 3 years. I have no idea what causes it - but I have had some success with it when wearing compression stockings/calf sleeves


I'm no expert and you may already do this, but try spending a fair amount of time giving your calves a good stretch in your warm up and when you cool down from your run.

If I feel a bit achey or rather sore, I find soaking in an Epsom salt bath for just over 20 minutes helps and use magnesium oil spray (from Holand & Barrett's) morning and night. It doesn't feel oily like the name suggests. I read about it in a health magazine and read up more online so check it out and see if you want to give it a go. I bought a large bottle but the small one will do.

Another thing to look at are your current trainers. Review how long you have had them for, whether they are wearing out and no longer providing you with the support you need. A gait analysis could also pinpoint the issue.

A massage is great too and afterwards, I would rest for a few days. If the pain has returned after a week, maybe give it another week's rest after trying some (or all!) of the above before doing a smaller run to test the waters.

The more you force it, the tougher your body will find it to adapt or heal. Take it easy as the worst thing is to keep going and damaging your long term chances of running if you develop a more serious injury. Run for your health but look after your body too and try other exercises to switch it up :)

I hope you recover soon.


An extra thought - invest in a decent foam roller. They usually have them in TK Maxx too for a bit cheaper than standard price.

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Thank you for the tip-I've heard the rollers are good although I understand shouldn't be used more than weekly? Not sure if that's true? WK 7 R2 - gutted had to walk it after a brilliant WK7 R1. Even walking down the stairs is sore 😌


Same here! Graduated and everything seemed fine, increased distance, still ok, then a burning cramp in the calf started when running, like a tightness and had to either stop or walk. No idea what caused it but I just kept running and stopped when I needed a o, then ran some more. Some runs fine, others resulted in a lot of stop, starting. Keep doing the warm up and cool downs, hydrate well, nice steady pace, wait for a good run

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Me too! I've rested 19 days now and hoping for a return jogette today as it's not raining

I tried calf exercises but after a week I was still in trouble so decided the best course of action was to rest again. Lots of ice packs!

It's difficult to give specific advice as we're not doctors, and can't know what's wrong with your calf - if anything. So we can't say "do calf exercises now". It might be the best thing is to rest completely and then start doing calf strengthening exercises after that when the calf injury has had time to heal. If indeed it's a calf injury.

If it doesn't feel better after 3 or 4 weeks then you'll have to see the doc. You could see a physio if you can afford one. It's all a bit frustrating but you can't run on it if it hurts as you'll make matters worse

We graduate and our running takes off but our body has to keep pace with our enthusiasm and often it's not ready. It has to catch up. So we have to go steady

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