Couch to 5K
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Slowing down - week 6

Hi, I was finding it all so great up to now, though I’ve noticed I’m really having to slow down more than I’d like.

My shins and calves are the reason I want to slow down and make me desperate to stop (but I don’t... except today).

What’s going wrong do you think? I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with stress and not slept so well last week or so. Could it be as simple as that?

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Runs are like anything else, you will get good days and bad days. There can be many reasons for this. Don't spend time worrying about this. Take a break, the next run will be different.

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Think was just hoping for a few more good ones, especially these ‘easier’ ones on week 6 compared to that long 20 minute one at end of week 5.

I still did what was required so I don’t know why I’m so bothered!!

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Most people find week 6 tough. Read some old posts if you have time. Mostly because we all think they are going to be easier after the 20 min run, but if you look into the science behind the plan you will understand why it's harder.

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*goes off to google the science behind week 6* 😁

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That's really interesting. I was mystified as to why we go from 20 'back' to the 'easier' runs which actually didn't seem any easier at all. Where can find out about the science behind the plan?

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Well I am no expert and can only relay it as I understand it from reading articles via various sources, but the answer to W6 is that longer runs allow your body to adjust and find a rhythm, when you can relax into the run and your heart rate settles down (usually around 10mins.) The intervals on the other hand keep breaking you out of that cycle (making it more challenging), this is to stimulate your metabolism (aerobic) but rest your body to reduce lactic acid build up - plus the overall walk/ run time is longer so you are constantly moving for longer.

There are plenty of sources of information out there. So apart from the NHS C25K site (which has plenty of tips and advice), I also found this to be a good starting point: lifehacker.com/how-exercise...

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Thank you for taking the trouble to write this. I'll follow it up!

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I used to suffer from tight calves when running, I bought some ankle supports a while back that I still use, I still suffered from it until I bought a new pair of trainers recently, now I don't get any issues with my calves.

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Tight calves are my absolute downfall. No matter what I do. I’ll try new trainers perhaps too.

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Roll, and more rolling!

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It could be..:)

Plenty of stretching, and warming up.. the runs are getting longer, so make sure your exercise on rest days for stamina and strength is ramping up a tad too...The body has to keep up with those legs.

Just try to relax into the longer runs... start slow and stay slow..as you run, imagine all the stress floating away behind you... breathe steadily and just enjoy the run:)

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Hi jandotty,

Well done for reaching Week 6😊...

For the stiff calfs drink plenty of water on non-running days as well as after your run. Your leg muscles need it.

You can do toe lifts and heel drops after your warm down walk and stretches. Stand on the bottom stair as if you are going up with your feet overhanging the step. Raise up onto your toes, hold , then down , and lower your heels gently, hold, then back . Repeat a few times. You can also do this one foot at a time.

Good luck 😊x

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Ah thank you! Water has also been less than ideal... that may not be helping. 😊

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Sleep and Water, I definitely feel the difference if I've not been drinking enough and also if I have an "insomniac" moment the night before I run - both seem to really sap the energy - it doesn't stop me running and has yet to stop me completing the run I wanted to - but definitely makes the process less enjoyable. So (and I need to take my own advice here) get a decent nights sleep, and drink lots of water the day before your run, and after your run to ensure you recover quicker.

Good luck.

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I think this may well be it for me too.

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