Couch to 5K
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Leg pain advice

Hi all, newbie here!

I’ve just completed week 3 but have been struggling with pain which feels like it’s between my calf and shin. Not sure if it’s something I need to push through or whether I’ve pulled something? Any advice would be great as I really don’t want to have to stop 😢 FYI - this is the first type of excercise I’ve done in a long time and I am 4st overweight

Thanks 😊

26 Replies
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No, don't try and run through pain! stop and restup.. a lot of new runners get some pain in legs as they are not used to it, and there's a lot of force going through the legs when you slam your feet down running something like 7 times body weight, need I say more..as old floss say's, try and get the feet to kiss the ground..

Check if your going too fast, which happens a lot with new runners and get injured and do your shoes have good cushioning as this can also be a major factor, so first rest up and see if the pain fades in the coming week, if it bad use ice, compression, elevation.. (RICE)

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Thank you so much for your response.

I know you’re right but I’m so disappointed that something is now holding me back now that I’ve built up the courage to get out and run 😢

I have got decent running shoes so maybe I’m pushing myself a bit too much.

C25k doesn’t mention stretching before hand so do you think that will help my pain when I start again?

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You need to rest it for a while, I know you want to keep going but in the long run its better to take a rest. You should look Into dynamic stretches which you do before exercise and at the end of your run do static stretches, one gets the muscles ready for exercise and the latter helps them to cool down.

If you rest for a while it might help to do some light stretching, sometimes it can help with the healing process.

If you are running everyday in the future, don't be afraid to have one or two rest days per week just to let your body repair itself.

I hope things work out for you, don't be afraid to give me a shout, I will try to help you if I can.

Take care.

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Thank you so much.

I’m sure stretches will definitely help so I’ll see how that goes.

Thank you again 😊

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You should always include stretches when you exercise. You will find plenty on YouTube to use. .

☺️

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Some folk stretch before, some not, always dynamic stretching if you do... but, we do stretch after every single run!

nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

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I’ve found stretching after is good , when your muscles are nice and warm. Don’t be disheartened as there are strengthening exercises you can do while resting. Good luck 😁

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Thank you so much! I’ll definitely give it a go before my next run then maybe give it a rest for a week as per above comments.

Thanks again 😊

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These might give you an idea.

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Some of the stretches in the video are static so please be careful.

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Read the guide to the plan healthunlocked.com/couchto5... it will answer many of your questions.

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Thank you. That was really helpful

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I would say do not run through pain.

Rest until it is right again. Once the pain has cleared begin doing strenghing exercises. Do you have good running shoes ? If not go get a gait analysis and get the right shoes for you. There is info in the link given by IannodaTruffe about which shoes and gait analysis.

Be careful of static stretches as a warm up, better to run through a few warm up moves on the joints, head to toe, followed by your warm up walk. Stretching after exercise is good and as you begin running further is something you should always do,

Here is a good site for suggested post run stretches

nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/...

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Do not run! On my second run I got half way through my second 60s and had to crawl back home because of excruciating pain between my calf and shin. The day after walking was almost impossible but rested 5 days and all is ok but I genually though I riped something.

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Give it a rest - maybe some walks to keep you active. I tried running through the pain, and when I couldn't any more was initially diagnosed with a lower back problem which was sorted out with a stretching exercise. Two weeks later I was back to the Physio and this time she diagnosed a knee cartilage issue which I'm still struggling with 5 weeks later. Resting early can mean you'll be back running sooner.

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Sounds like me ! Did first 3 weeks then extreme pain in left calf . I tried to keep going , stopping and stretching etc but ended up that I couldn’t run on it and stopped for 3 weeks due to tightness and pain as was told if I kept going , it could get worse . Had my first deep tissue massage where big knots were found there . Booked in for thorough sports massage tomorrow and find out whether ok for me to carry on again .

Will report back on Tuesday

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No.. do not run through pain..ever! Listen to the advice from davelinks ... we ignore warning signs at our peril. Dramatic I know, but true.

If you are carrying a little extra weight, it will be impacting on your running, so.. rest up.. stretch and roll and when all seems to be settling, then head out for a trial run...:)

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Hi I’ve been having the same problem every time I try a running program and it’s happened again this week on run 5. I think I’ve worked out that I need to rest until they are better then I’m going to start over on the first weeks program but build up really slowly in terms of time on my feet, maybe just do 30 seconds running then 1 minute walking for a while and only a few repeats then build up my repeats before lengthening the running time until my legs are used to it

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Thank you all so much for your advice, it’s all really helpful.

I will, begrudgingly stop for a bit and pace myself.

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You should always rest if you have pain, running through it could make it worse, and then you might find you cannot run for a lot longer! Whenever I am injured I turn my focus to strengthening exercises - particularly core and glute strength, much needed for runners - the stronger the core and the glutes, the less likely you will get injured in the future.

One thing this running lark has taught me is patience! Hope your leg feels much better soon.

Sadie-runs x

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I think it depends on what we class as pain! I used to run regularly - but stopped for a couple of years, put on 2 stone and have now restarted 3 weeks ago - I could only walk at first and did get pain in my legs just from the 30 mins walking every day - but it was just my muscles not being used to it. The pain was about a 4 on a 1-10 scale. After about 10 days that went and now I run 20 steps at a time but am getting pain on a 5 level both sides of my calf - this tells me that again its just my muscles not being used to it so I just slow down a bit. I think if the pain is there only when you are exercising maybe its ok to keep going - just a bit slower. I find thats easier than giving up completely and restarting because at some point those muscles are always going to ache till they get used to it.

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I wear compression sleeves ...sorted me out. I dont run everyday ...i adhere to the alternate day rule

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Ok thank you.

Yes I do too. I do Mon, Wed and Friday

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Same thing happened to me, my gym instructor said to much weight on my poor shins, so i need to lose the weight before the running, argh, catch 22 or what. I am now using the X trainer to get the weight down before getting back on the program.

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I know, that’s how I feel

I’ll have to do the same then 🙄

Thanks for your reply

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Im having similar issues. I have gone back to week one, slowed right down and am doing stretches / strengthening excercises. I've had shin splints before - i know that this is likely what mine is. I think being really patient and gentle till it is gone is the only way. If its painful it wont be enjoyable! Hope the pain goes soon.

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