Log in
Couch to 5K
68,584 members100,992 posts

Tight calves

I often find my calves are tight when I start running (after faithfully completing a brisk 5-minute warm-up walk). I don't have problems breathing, but legs feel like lead weights. What can I do to get past this? I noticed today that it wore off gradually and I was able to pick up the pace for the last 500m; should I do a longer warm-up, or stretch at home?


Love Lizz x

9 Replies

Hi Lizz, you’re using muscles that you haven’t used in a while, it’s a natural turn of events that they tighten up when you first start. You must do your stretches straight after each run and you can also foam roll the calves to ease the tightness.....I use a plastic rolling pin lol

I personally don’t do stretches before a run as I read somewhere that’s its not a good idea.... I may be corrected on that one?

A 10min brisk warm up walk won’t hurt either and I do 10mins pounding on the exercise bike before each run too!

Are you doing any stamina exercises on rest days?


Hi Lizz, you did not say what stage you are at with C25K. i struggled with that for the first three weeks especially after the first run of the daily series. On week 5 now and it seems to have gone away, I have taken a couple of week out for manflu so that rest might have helped too. I agree with TedG it is your body reacting to something new, it might even be complaining. if my calves were really sore I did not do my next run til they felt better.


I just graduated!!!! Today! So thinking about keeping it up, and looking for any tips. I'll probably extend my warm-up walk in the short-term and see if it gets easier.

Thanks for your reply,



Congratulations to you, hope you manage to beam for the rest of the day. As you are so far on, finished even, my reply does not really apply to or help you. Calf muscle tightness does seem to be a common problem on the forum.

1 like

You could try some dynamic stretching as part of your warm up runnersworld.com/ask-coach-...

You might also check your hydration is in the 2.5-3 litre per day region,which if not adequate, can make for heavy legs.

Plenty of daily squats will possibly help too.


No way can I drink 3 litres of water per day so I have to stick to beer.

1 like

Warm up really well..a five minute walk is not really enough.. my warm up walk is often longer... some folk stretch before a run.. other's not.. if you do, make sure they are dynamic stretches.. After every run.. you must stretch.., try these;


Try to land lightly and relax. take it steady and slow as you go :)

1 like

I may sound really stupid, but all of this is new vocabulary for me - dynamic stretching, etc. I need to spend some time learning all the jargon, and getting to know my body better.

Thank you very much, love Lizz xx


Do a longer warm up, at least ten minutes, stretch (especially the heel drop) afterwards and in fact every day.


And invest in a foam roller and use it every day. Heat your calves first with heat pads or soak them in hot water and then foam roll.



You may also like...