Couch to 5K
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Legs really really ache

I'm managed to hang on in there and get up to and over Wk 3 Rn 1 despite having a rough time in my personal life. I was determined I wouldn't cry off this even though I felt so devoid of motivation just recently. The 3 minute sections were a killer last night. My legs feel like lead today and my knees and lower legs are throbbing. It's not acute pain more like mega mega growing pains and I actually want to cry it feels so sore.

It was never like this the first time round doing C25K and I was more unfit then, although about a stone lighter. I've had some painkillers which haven't done much.

Am I pushing it too much? Is the extra weight what's causing the extra pain and I need to lose some before going any further with c25k? Thanks allx

7 Replies

Have you read the guide to the plan? it may answer many questions.

What are you wearing on your feet? Proper running shoes are designed to minimise the impact of each footfall and if fitted after a gait analysis should take account of your personal running action.

Make sure your footfall is under your body and avoid heelstriking.

You probably need to slow down too.

If pains persist consult your GP.


I did give these a read after I'd posted yes, she says sheepishly. Maybe I need to suck it up and stop being a drama queen? I have proper running shoes and had the gait analysis although it was 2 years ago. I remember one of my running mates from before saying I had a tendancy to lean forward and hunch up a bit when I was 'battling' through a tough bit of a run. Trying to not do that but it is probably creeping in!

I will have a word with the doc when I see her in a week or so just to be on the safe side and ask about losing some of the weight with something else - I know running alone at this stage isn't really touching that.

Thank you.


Some good advice I was given was don't forget to stretch after your 5 min warm down walk - this definitely helps with aching legs. I also walk on rest days to keep everything moving and if still feels sore I take an extra rest day. Particularly worked for me in first weeks when I was getting used to running again


That's a great point about keeping moving, even (especially?) on rest days. If I don't, I often feel slightly stiff and achy and runs seem that bit more difficult.

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If your running shoes are 2 years old they may have lost some of the original cushioning , and if your weight has changed your gait may be subtly different too - perhaps you should have it reassessed.

In addition take extra rest days until you are not in pain.

The most likely cause of the pain is running too fast.


First of all, so sorry to hear about your personal problems. Kudos to you for taking up the running challenge again, that's very brave when you probably don't feel like doing much. The good thing is that running does raise your emotional energy levels along with the physical ones, so - as you will know as you've done this before - you will be giving yourself a boost that will hopefully help you cope with your situation.

Do get your gait analysed again. I bought some new running shoes a week ago to rotate with the ones I already have, and asked for my gait to be tested again, in case anything had changed now I'm running longer distances (it hadn't - still a neutral midfoot striker). Up and Running, where I had it done, advise having it tested at intervals, even if you aren't buying new shoes. Are your shoes two years old? They are supposed to be good for 250-500 miles, after which the cushioning compresses and the soles wear, so they can cause problems.


If it's any comfort to you, I found R2 easier.


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