Couch to 5K
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W5R3 - thought I'd misheard

I am really struggling to do this run - it's such a big jump from the other runs. So far I've managed to keep running for 12 mins max - I'm not massively out of breath but my calves are screaming so badly that I think I'm going to pull a muscle. Have tried three times now to complete this run but can't seem to run through the pain barrier and not sure that I should even try. I am fairly overweight and so have decided to just keep repeating until I manage it, which should hopefully happen soon. Any suggestions please?

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I'm not qualified to judge your calf problem. But I just wanted to say that I love your name. :)

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That's what this plan is all about. You are in charge, do what you need to. If you are getting to twelve minutes then you are doing great and it probably won't be long before you get there. You could try running slower. Do you stretch after your run? It can make a lot of difference, in my opinion and I always do, without fail.

I remember aching in lots of places, up to about W5 and from then on things got much better.

Stick with it! You will get there.

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Great advice - thank you!

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I think repeating it till you can manage it sounds better than trying to push through the pain barrier - like you I'd worry about injury. I wonder if it would also help to have one or two sessions where you run only as far as you can manage without your calves hurting then have a walk break then another run and so on. Then next time out shorten the walk break. (Bear in mind I'm no expert!) Also slowing down helps most problems!

Are you sure your shoes are right for you? I bought proper running shoes not long before W5R3 and they felt so much better.

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Thanks will try mixing it up a bit.

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I think going as slowly as you can and maybe just set yourself the goal of increasing the long run by 1 minute each week might be a good idea. Only you can know your own body well enough to know whether you should 'push through the pain'. On the whole I would advise caution because an injury is such a horrid setback. Good Luck!

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Thank you - yeah don't want another injury - messed my knee up last year for 6+ months.

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Try taking an extra rest day then have another go. Sometimes an extra break helps. Also, if you're running outside a new route may help. And keep it so slow. You'll get there. As mentioned above, why not try two 10 minutes separated by a minute walk or something similar? Did your calves bug you on the previous runs?

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Thanks am going to try mixing it up and just keeping at it.

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Yep, try running as slowly as you can :)

It's not as easy as it sounds - basically you bet yourself you will run as absolutely slow as you can without actually taking a "walking step" :)

Sounds bonkers - but I happened to think of doing it when i too was struggling in my early days and it really helped me focus on exactly what my body is really doing when I run - and was also a literally fun change of pace :)

Try it and hopefully it will help you too figure out why your body is basically saying it doesn't like what's going on at present when you run. Then you can adapt your running style appropriately :)

And - WELL DONE YOU for not quitting :)

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Great advice thank you

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The seeing how slow I could go without talking a walking step is what helped me get started on hills too - ok,not very big or steep but still up rather than down :-)

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I echo what everyone else said. Round about week 4 I got an aching hip once, but it was excruciating. I don't know if it was running or just turning over weirdly in bed but I was in agony. I took a few extra rest days and went for gait analysis at a running store. There was no pressure to buy anything. However I was fitted with shoes that were so comfortable and in a sale. I've had no reoccurrence since then. I took 3 goes to do weeks 4&5 but no looking back after that. I can keep going past 30 mins now!

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Thank you great advice and well done 30+ mins seems a while away!

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Oh my word, this is like deja vu Mrswobblybits! It took me three goes of repeating week 5 to nail this run and like you, my calves felt like they were going to explode. I posted on here, I think I was managing 11 minutes before having to stop with the pain.

If you look on my profile, I'm sure the whole thread is there. I got amazing advice, including slowing down, running smaller steps and lots more. I had always had moderate calf pain and even resorted to ibuprofen gel BEFORE each run.

I really believed that it was not going to be possible for me but eventually I got there and you will too! I also thought that I would never be free of the calf pain but that gradually went too.

Try and run as slowly as you can even if it feels ridiculous. You CAN Do this! :) :)

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Thanks I'll look up your thread. Good to know that I'm not alone 😂. I actually considered ibuprofen after yesterday's failed attempt!

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It wasn't a fail! It was a practice :)

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