W4R3 disappointed - very painful calves - Couch to 5K

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W4R3 disappointed - very painful calves


Well, I abandoned this half way through the first 5 minute run. Calves were just to painful to keep going, and whereas the mental and emotional side of me was game, the physical wasn't!

I'd overslept and more or less went out straight away with only a glass of water beforehand.

My calves do seem to be a big problem. I warm up properly with the 5 minute brisk walk, but almost as soon as I start running, they ache. Once I have done the 5 minute warm down, they stop aching. I wonder if I should do some stretching and leg exercises on the rest-days. Any opinions on that?

I've just bought a second-hand running machine for winter, although I am not using it for this plan as I prefer to run around the beautiful fields right on my doorstep! I could use that in between runs though?

9 Replies

Hi there, you might want to hydrate better before a run, I used to have aches and cramps that went away after I started drinking a lot of water before running. Also make sure you stretch after your runs. Strength exercises help too, a good one for calves is to stand on a step on the balls of your feet, heels not on the step and lift yourself up 10 times.

Regardless of these, just try the same or the previous week again, take it slow and it WILL become easier over time!

Best of luck!


Need to keep hydrated all the time and not just having a drink right before running, that's not going to do anything much accept maybe wanting to pee while running...try gently stretching the calves after running, there are stretching & strengthening excercises in the pinned posts, also you could try limbering up before the warmup walk, some take a tad longer to warmup, I know I do..😊

OldflossAdministrator in reply to davelinks

Me too.. sometimes fifteen to twenty minutes :) Old Snail :)


You should be exercising on rest days and stretching after every run :) You need to unknot those muscles..:)


Try these on rest days and some other non impact exercise.. swim, cycle, do Yoga or some really brisk walking. As the runs get longer you will need to keep everything moving!

SuedenimGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Thanks! Will download these podcasts and fit them in between the runs. Should I do the last abandoned run again, or move on to week 5?

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Suedenim

I would do it again...then move on.. and using your running machine when it is too icy to run outside will be fine..that is the only time I use mine. Ice running is not a plan :)

TheziggyGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Neither are wet leaves (a plan) ! As bad as ice!

OldflossAdministrator in reply to Theziggy

True,,and they hide tree roots too..sneaky little things:)


So true OF, our town has a lot of trees planted in it and around it - they also hide dogs leavings too 8-(

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