My Calfs, my poor poor calfs: Hi, I'm new here... - Couch to 5K

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My Calfs, my poor poor calfs

GingerSoph profile image


I'm new here, any advice would be really really helpful!.

So today I completed my first ever week 1 run, but halfway through my calfs were in so much pain I had to stop. I kept going but was unable to complete the last run. I don't understand why as I am fairly active (I attend regular yoga classes, and I'm always getting told off for working far too quickly - I can probably walk quicker than I can run).

Any help or advice would be great! Thank you

11 Replies
GoGo_JoJo profile image

Water is the first one. Muscles need water and lots of it. How's your hydration normally? You need to increase your hydration on the day prior to your runs and with weather like this right up to your run.

Some self massage will help. Either using your hands or gently thumping with the thumb sides of your fists (gently) or even with a rolling pin.

Running uses different parts of the muscles. I thought I'd be pretty ok as a cyclist but my shins were really bad for a few weeks and my calves got tighter. I swear by a massage stick 👍😁

Baybeebug profile image

I have a roller massager the best thing I ever bought, it really loosens my tight calves.

Oldfloss profile image

Stretches are the answer... and lots of calf exercises... massage stick is amazing..but make sure you know exactly how to use it...

Learning to land lightly right from Run 1 is the way to go too...

Pecora_Nera profile image
Pecora_NeraGraduate in reply to Oldfloss

Hmm. I don’t think I land correctly. The woman in my ear told me the bit about other people seeing your head bob up and down. I don’t seem to be able to change that.

I think I just throw my feet down

Rua8 profile image
Rua8Graduate in reply to Pecora_Nera

How does one land lightly and correctly? I’m not sure I’m doing that right either.

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Pecora_Nera

Thumping down is a tendency at the start... think... what I call, kissing the ground with your feet... sounds daft... but it works:) Just think it... and it happens... I still do it nearly three years on :)

Rua8 profile image
Rua8Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

Right, I will try and remember the kissing tomorrow 😅

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Rua8

Ha ha.. just the ground..not the folk you meet :)

Rua8 profile image
Rua8Graduate in reply to Oldfloss

I met nobody except loads of traffic speeding past, so I was safe enough from the kissing of people! But the kissing of feet did not go so well. I think that style of kissing if applied to people would knock a person’s front teeth out. Will try again on the next run!


Do you have flat arches by any chance?

Hi Soph - I didn’t get problems with my calfs until W3 (but I had a break of nearly 2 weeks just before 😳). My run tonight was much better and I think it’s because I gave myself time for proper stretching. I have back problems too and the one I found most helpful for both back and calf muscles was simply standing in front of the stairs with feet just over shoulder width apart, standing tall, stretching up with hands then slowly reaching down to first step (not particularly flexible) and ‘bopping’ there for a little while. Another one I do is just stretching on to my tiptoes and doing a few reps of those. Didn’t notice any issues with my calfs today (W4R1) 😊

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