Couch to 5K
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Painful calves

Stuck on w1 for 2 weeks. I can only do maybe 2 of the 8, 60 sec runs. The pain in my calves is so bad that it is stopping me completing the full 60 seconds. I'm not particularly out of breath but the pain is dreadful. I'm running very very slowly I could probably walk faster! I'm in my 50s and quite overweight. I'm desperately wanting to improve my fitness and lose weight and feel quite despondent. Help and advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

5 Replies

I also had this but it did get better as I got stronger. Maybe try some stretches after and on your non-running days. I found that going really slow i.e running at walking pace helped too. Well done and good luck. I am trying to lose 5 stone so am watching what I eat - I am sure losing weight will help too.

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I had the same problem and even stopped to stretch out my calves during the walking bits. It gets better and that pain has pretty much stopped now, I'm about to start wk5.


Hi there and well done;)

The weight won't be helping as you know..but you are trying:) There are quite a few folk feeling the same as you too!

If the pain is that bad...then you need to make sure you are warmed up properly and that you really are going slowly. There is always slower..believe me :)

Strength and Flex exercise may help, there is a link on the C25K site.... but if you really feel as if you are struggling too much, what about checking out the NHS Walking for Heath forum ?

It has a programme to follow and you may find, initially that it suits you better... maybe worth a look? Our administrator Realfoodieclub put a plan together on there.. and quite a few of us here, are also on that forum too :) You could always head back here when you feel stronger maybe ?

So, don't feel despondent you are out there and doing it..just maybe, check the other option out ?


PS that should say Health!!!

here is the link :)


I, like you, am over weight and there was no way I would have managed the program coming straight off the couch. I walked first. I would walk 20 to 30 minutes a night and gradually built up my speed (this was on a treadmill), and incline. My legs (every bit of them) burned and ached so badly and if they were really sore I just did a very gentle walk. When I could walk 5kms in under an hour I decided to do the C25K program.


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