Ooooh my poor legs!!!

I'm a newbie on week one and am suffering really badly with pain at the front of my thighs. I did the first run on Monday and it's taken me until today to be able to face the second run and I can feel that my legs are seizing up again already.

The stamina bit isn't too bad...I have been doing quite a lot of walking recently so my fitness has improved compared to what it was, but with running I'm obviously discovering muscles I've not used in years!

I warmed up before and after just as Sarah Millican told me....but I'm wondering if this is the norm and it will improve as I progress - or if there's something else I should be doing?

I don't want to give up as I think this is something I will enjoy but obviously don't want to be in agony every time I get out of a chair or walk down stairs. I'm bracing myself each time I need to get off the loo!!

I'm still overweight by a couple of stone having lost a stone and a half recently and am wondering if at 58 last week I've left it a bit late to start running!??

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19 Replies

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  • Welcome to the world of running! Yes, that is quite normal, the pain in your thighs. I came to this from doing a bit of walking and cycling so thought I was vaguely fit, but found that my thighs were quite sore after the first run. You will have niggles as you go along but it will get easier the more you do. You need to keep yourself moving, try walking or going for a swim.

  • Yes niggles are to be expected but I wonder if you are setting off a bit fast. Also I find that if I sit down when I get home I sort of seize up. I do much better if I do some stretches and stand on one leg (and then the other) whilst I work

  • Never too late!! I am 54, overweight, hadn't run since middle school and I have just completed the programme today!! I struggled quite a bit at first with my calves but took advice from Rignold and Oldfloss on here and did lots of calf stretches and ran as slowly as I could. I also found warming up longer that the 5 minutes at first really helped. Just take it really slowly and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

  • Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'm going too fast...if only!! But it's a bit hilly where I live and I think that finding somewhere completely flat would be a better option. I feel a bit self conscious running at the moment as I look really unfit, so I am doing a circular route so I don't have to pass the same people twice!!

    Next time maybe I'll just jog up and down the prom beside the beach and hope I don't look too much of a wally!

    Wow, well done Jaxdreamer!!

  • Ahh hills....

  • Yes, I think it's almost as bad running down them as running up!!

  • Find a flat place😬

  • I found an almost totally flat route & definitely chose that one in the beginning (& often now too!). It does help. I've just done wk6:3 today (& with a bit of a climb too!) :-)

  • Try stretching straight after each run nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

    You are bound to feel it when you first start.

  • After your cool down, try stretching out your quads (muscles at the front of your thighs) by standing on one leg, pulling your other foot up behind you so it's as near your bum as you can get it (holding your ankle with one hand to help you pull the foot closer to your bum, holding onto a table or work surface with the other to help you balance) and then pushing your hips forward until you can feel the stretch all down your thigh. When you can feel it, hold it for a slow count of fifteen, then swap legs and repeat. Works for me, hope it works for you!

  • Thank you. I've just tried this and could definitely feel the burn!

    Is this something I can do a few times a day while my legs are aching or is it just something to do before and after the run?

  • This is only for after your run, definitely not before! Your muscles need to be nice and warm to do it. But you should feel the benefit in fewer aches.

    On a related note, the NHS webpage for Couch to 5K has lots if different stretches, including pictures, if you start to get aches in different places, all for after your run.

    I have found that my legs were achey for the first few weeks even with the stretches, but it wasn't particularly unpleasant (possibly cos I stretched?) And now, a few weeks in, they don't really ache at all. But I am careful to stretch everything and I generally get home, do my stretches, wander round my house doing small things like putting the oven on or unloading the dishwasher for about twenty minutes, then have my shower so I am standing and wandering around for about half an hour after running before I allow myself to sit down. As you say, you can feel it all seizing up if you just come in and flop!

    Best of luck!!

  • You haven't left it too late. I'm 49 myself and need to lose four more stone. The burning in your legs is just your muscles getting used to all the new demands placed on them. Once they get stronger you won't have that problem anymore. I see someone suggest finding a flat place. I'd say stick with the hills. When I started I started running up (small hills) because I knew that was what was going to help me the most in the long run. (it makes running on the flat so much easier)

  • I did W1R1 last Sunday and like you felt the burn down my thighs which stiffened up. I read the advice on this forum and after R2 I stretched and had a hot bubble bath. R3 has been much better and although my thighs still ached slightly I stretched again and today I'm fine. Keep going like the others say your legs will get used to it. Oh and well done for the hills! Good luck 😊

  • I'm actually much better today, unlike after the first run where it lasted about 3 days. Thanks so much everyone for the advice. I will definitely do the stretches after running and not just rely on the brisk walk home!

    I think I'm going to enjoy this.... and even more so if it helps shift some weight 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️

  • You can do this!

    I'm 49 and very new to this yet I'll somehow be completing Week 5 tomorrow. Definitely do stretches afterwards. If I don't my legs seize up.

    Most importantly trust this programme because it's very cleverly designed and really does work. And keep in touch with everyone on here because they're such a supportive bunch.

    Finally, if anyone looks at you when you're running they're either runners themselves so they know what you're going through or they're not and they're jealous 😜

  • You can do this! I found the first 2 weeks I was very achy - particularly in my lower back. I found I needed 2 rest days between runs but By the end of week 3, I was fine with only 1.

    Keep following the programme and you will be fine.

    Congratulations on getting out there !

  • I got the same with my first run. I'm 75 and 5 stone overweight.

    I take a bit longer for recovery time than suggested. I'm now on week two Very slow.Running at about 18mins per mile. I guess many people walk faster than that.

  • You need a medal for even starting this at 75. Good for you!!

    It doesn't matter how fast you go and if you are like me, things will improve after the initial shock!!

    I did a run this morning and it was easier than the last one and I did all of the stretches afterwards and my legs are better for it.

    Keep it up...we'll get there!!

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