Couch to 5K
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Newbie with Bad Habits has 2 questions

Hello everyone! Thank you all for your words of encouragement last week. It really helped push me to keep up with the workout.

I'm going to start W2R1 tomorrow. I should be farther along but I got a little concerned after my W1R2. I'm noticing a pain in my lower shins whenever I do the run portion. It's not a sharp, stabbing pain. It's just an ache that seems to climb higher up my leg the longer I run. Is this shin splints? Or are my legs just not used to running? If it is shin splints, how can I overcome that?

Also, I know I should be stretching when I work out, but when do I stretch? I remember the high school track coaches making the team run a lap or two and then stretch. Something about the muscles needing to be warm. Is this right? Or should I stretch before I start the warm up?

On a different note, I'm very proud to say I only had fast food once last week. Go me! My soda intake however, still needs some work. Baby steps.

Here goes Week 2!

7 Replies

Well done for getting out for those runs!

I don't stretch before runs, I just do a few hip swings, arm swings, high knees, jumping jacks and skaters (cardio I suppose) to get me red hot before opening the door to do the warm up walk.

I think you'd only get shin splints from overdoing things, and fast running before you're ready, so I guess it's niggles. Just be sure to run really slowly and take a day or two between runs.

I'd ditch the pop all together, and before long you'll probably not want take-outs either. You can make it at home "with a small aubergine"!

I'll get me coat .....


Hi Sodaonthesofa,

You are doing brillianty.

I think the stiffness you are feeling is probably just your muscles responding to this new workout. Muscles need water to work properly so keep yourself hydrated by drinking water after your run, and enough during the rest of the day. Stretching should be done after your run while your muscles are still warm. So do your warm up walk, do your runs, warm down walk and then stretch your calfs and thighs.

There are instructions on stretching on the NHS healthunlocked Strength and Flex pages if you aren't sure how to do them. I found doing some toelifts and very gentle heel drops helps too...

Just do the runs at a slow, steady pace. Don't worry about your breathing this will settle as you get further into the program. SLOW AND STEADY..😊

Good luck with week 2..


Yes, chuck out the soda! Water instead! And eat more healthy! I limber up before I set off, not stretching, don't try and stretch cold muscles! Only stretch after running. Some take longer than a 5 min brisk warm up walk and go to 10 min, I know it takes me longer to warm up. You may be running too fast, a lot of newbies do, should only be just above walking pace, slow & steady! Hopefully the aches will diminish as you go on, a lot of us get that when starting out...😊


Don't we just get those aches... :)


i think maybe it is your body saying.." excuse me, what the heck is happening?"

It happens to a few folk. I am usually warmed up before I even leave the house.. A good brisk walk and as davelinks says, take longer than the five minutes if you want to...:)

Slow and really steady is the way... I agree also with Bluebirdrunner , the Strength and Flex exercises work for many folk. I used them in conjunction with C25K when I did it, I did them on my rest days :) i found them very helpful, still do, as and when I need them :)


Giving up pop is hard and im talking from experience here. I had a few failed attempts before i got rid, the cold turkey approach just didnt work for me. In the end i managed it by initially switching to no sugar options, then i restricted it to only with meals, then only with my evening meal and now i really only have it if im out somewhere but it took a while.

If you are drinking a lot of full sugar stuff the combined sugar and caffeine withdrawl can be pretty unpleasant if you just get rid of it completely which is why i went for the phased approach.

Definitely worth getting off it though if you can, i feel much better now im rid of it. Nevermind how much money im saving 😀

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Caffeine doesn't really affect me. I can have a 5 hour energy followed by a red bull and some caffeine pills and fall straight asleep. Unfortunately I found this out while trying to pull an all-nighter studying for finals.

But the one time I gave up soda a few years back, I had a horrible sugar withdrawal. A migraine, shakes, sweats. I think I'm a little hesitant to give up soda now because I know how bad the withdrawal might be. I did it cold turkey last time. Maybe I should try your phasing method and see if that works.

Thanks for the tip.

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