Couch to 5K
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It killed me, I felt so good at completing week 1 then went out tonight and had to give up 1/2 way round, pain in shins and ankles so bad I had to sit for a few mins and also felt like I was going to be sick for about 20 mins after stopping. What went wrong tonight really hate that I didn't finish run and want to try again. So throw the advise at me please

9 Replies


Put it down as a practice run and do it again on Tuesday.

Could be a number of reasons:

Were you going too fast? Remember slow slow and slower still

Had you eaten or not eaton?

Had you taken your rest day? I quite often take 2 rest days between runs, I find it really helps

Hope the above helps and keep us updated

I'm sure other more experienced runners will be along shortly to advise


I am not experienced but commiserations- perhaps you're brewing a cold?


I am not experienced but commiserations- perhaps you're brewing a cold?


Hard to say without knowing more details. Too much too soon is often the culprit. Pace your self to a good pace where you can breath and still make it through. Take it slow. Get your rest days. Like Slinkyminky said too, if you have to do two rest days after a run that's ok. We are not in a race.

I often have had to take extra rest days. Once I had to take 9 rest days because I pushed myself way too hard and got some pretty bad shin splints. I did six 100 meter full on sprints after a scheduled run followed by bleacher climbs. I got over-ambitious because I felt so good that day. Bad idea. I really had to learn to take it easy and go home after the sessions.

For most people, we need to do run 1, rest day, run 2, rest day, run 3, two rest days. If we need more rest days, it's ok. The body will adapt and progress if we keep going out there regularly. It's normal to need to do a session again sometimes to. All is well. Take 'er slow 'n easy.

If the shin splints are bad, you may want to wait till the pain is gone or all but gone before loading up with a run again.

Gentle calf raises and stretches can help too . Maybe look up some instruction on how and when to do calf raises and stretches. Take those stretches easy too. Feel the stretch but back off if it hurts. 30 seconds each leg.

Also look up some ankle exercises that runners do. Like circles under load or not under load.

Great job getting started and great job wanting to try again! Way to go!

All that said, I am no Dr and we can't tell what's going on from a post but some things sound like what happens to most of us. Listen to your body and ease it into the new routine.

:-) Best to you!


Thank you everyone, will certainly look up and try stretches and ankle exercises. I have woken up this morning with a nasty head cold so think this might be what was making it so much harder


I would feel that you are going too fast.

When we start C25K, the aches and pains and sensations many of us experience are normal...we are asking our bodies to do different things, and we are using all sorts of different muscles.

Make sure you are well warmed up, be mindful of what you eat or drink before running...and be sure that you are not feeling unwell before heading out.

So.. when you next head out... slow down.. right down, and then slow down some more. Try to land lightly; often, again, when we begin, we sort of slam our feet down.. ( concentration and effort I feel). There is so much to think about, posture, initial pace, breathing :)

At this stage...just go gently, think landing on egg shells or... and I love this idea.. kissing the ground with your feet !! Breathe however it feels best for you and just relax into the run.

Go with it... and keep us posted on how it goes. :)


Shins and calves - they killed me in those first weeks! Sadly I didn't find this forum or the fabulous advice until week 5. I was going too fast and too heavy and was even resorting to ibuprofen gel on my legs before each run! A few runs at a much slower pace, with much shorter, lighter steps and the pains gradually melted away.

I did start stretching after runs too and doing knee strengthening exercises which helped a lot.

Hope your cold is a short-stay one and you feel much better soon. Just don't give up. Your body will moan at you every so often while those muscles get used to what you're asking of them but the end result is so amazing. Good luck with the next one and get well soon.😊😊


Thank you. I have no plans to give up


It seems likely that your head cold didn't help on the run. A bad or practice run is also a good lesson so try remember what you ate and drank or rather didn't eat or drink, and how tired you were, did you stretch enough etc.

The next run will be a good one.


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