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Couch to 5K
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Crashed and burned on graduating run :(

Last night was Couch to 5k Week 9 Run 3 - the “graduating” Run. I’ve always done my running on the road in my New Balance Vongo shoes during the program, but my wife’s been priming me for the park running she does. So I bought some Inov-8 Parkclaw shoes for the occasion. This was my first run in them. I‘d worn them around the house and they were very comfortable.

We went to the local parkrun site and I did my 5 minute warm-up walk and then had to wait another 10 minutes before starting to run. For this graduating run I ran in a charity 5k on trails, nothing major, but certainly the trails were windy (as in winding around), and the course was more uneven than the pavements I’m used to.

After only 1.3 miles I felt pain in my calf, struggled on a little further but had to stop as it was so uncomfortable. I did some painful stretches to ease the discomfort but it was still majorly sore. Never had this happen in all the preceding 9 weeks.

So many factors could have caused this - new environment, new shoes, gap between warming up and setting off running. If you’ve had something similar happen to you I’d be pleased to hear about it. Or if you’ve got some good advice. Thank you!

17 Replies

Read a few times on the forum, the 9.3 grad run has not gone to plan.

Good thing is you are on top of some things and have done the 30 mins twice at least.

Just completed 10K first time last week,google 10 top tips for 10 k.

Think it was Active🤔

Lots of interesting stuff.Shower to assist your warm up, short distances 5k🤔need longer warm ups, longer distances need shorter warm ups,.Just generally giving your self every advantage in your preparation.

Perhaps you need to increase your static stretching at warm down.

Generally need to keep upping that as we continuously improve.5-10 not sufficient.I do 30 of everything and could no more.🤔

Hope this helps and you will be on your podium and on your next chapter pronto.👍👏👏

Must say Laura’s C25k+ podcasts are just Brillant.What a treat.🌟

Enjoy your consolidation runs.🌟👏👏

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It could be tension and anxiety causing everything to tighten up

Five Minutes is not very long in warm-up terms. Play around with longer times til you find what suits. Same with cool-downs.

It could have been the shoes. Give yourself time to get used to your shoes. Some need bedding in.

Sometimes best laid plans go awry. Don’t dwell on it, just go again. Chances are it’ll be just fine

Go carefully! Have fun 😃👍

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Thanks misswobble, your reply has gone walk about.🙈😂😂

Good advice,I am sure the poster will pick it up.👏👏

Have fun.🌟👏🤔


I agree about Laura. This free app is great One You Couch to 5K by Public Health Englandhttps://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/one-you-couch-to-5k/id1082307672?mt=8

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Yes, stepping stones, speed ,stamina with and without intro.Amazing.I like something structured.Keeps me honest.🤔🙈😂😂

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That could be so many things, don't despair. Rest up, stretch and give the shoes another go. If that, or similar, happens again, go and see a specialist (gait guys ideally) and have the shoes checked out.

That happened to me, also on graduation run. My shoes were terrible, might as well wore the slippers instead. See, what you did in a smart way, stopped and stretched, I did in idiotic way, I carried on through pain inside my foot. Deep, sharp, debilitating, WARNING pain.

That evening I couldn't put my weight on the foot which started to flare up and go red. It took Mastercard and a physio 11 weeks to fix it. And new shoes, perfect shoes added onto the overall cost. Oh, oh, oh, and the special, cut to size insoles, let's not forget those.

Thankfully, yours doesn't sound so sinister but do be careful with those things, it all starts with your shoes.

Ah, and I treated myself by repeating the whole C25K afterwards.

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Gosh that was tough.

You are courageous and you and your story is so Invaluable to the forum.🌟👏👏


I wouldn't even use courage as the driving force here, it was simply a situation where I had no choice, it had to be done. I was livid with anger though, as it was all of my own making. I literary ignored the forum advise, but hey, not any longer, never again, sir.

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I hear you my running friend / sir 🌟

I was thinking more of your vulnerability in sharing your story and that my friend is the most accurate measurement of courage.

You are courageous alright as further demonstrated in your honest and sincere reply above.

Courage is contagious, so keep bringing your gems, experience and advice to this forum.

I just want to try and give something back for what I have received.

In your situation I would have been unable to firstly come back and secondly be so balanced and generous.

That’s just how it is.🤔

Here you are helping others when back then , self inflicted or not ,you must have understandably so, perhaps had different thoughts.

Your contribution is invaluable.💫🏃‍♂️💫

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Thanks great advice from everyone so far :)

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Well those two types of shoe are radically different. The NB are very cushioned and soft; the Inov8s are super rigid. A great shoe by all accounts, but very different to what your feet are accustomed to. I would say that is almost certainly the cause of your woe.

rest a few days then try the run again in your old shoes and see what the difference is.

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Well I’ll just get over this first but will try that. Although I do have to get to grips with the trail shoes because the whole aim has been to get into that type of running. I think my plan should be to start with a very short distance say 1k on the trail paths and build up the distance from there.

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You need to acclimatise your feet gradually to the trail shoes. They should be find on any kind of terrain. It'ss just the change from soft cushioney to hard rigidy. It's like going from driving in a Bentley to driving a gokart, in suspension terms.


Yes I think that was a lot to do with it


Hi Rignold,

General question, when I got my Brooks Ravenna running shoes and Saucony Everun trail shoes UP and Running informed me that the trail shoes are less cushioned🤔 and allow you more feel of the terrain.🤔 Something like that.🤔

What is the gen.🤔

I was impressed how I was looked after and even the fact that I was nuetral they determined I needed to support in my left.

They did not know I have no cartilage in my left knee.Before GA.

Sorry this a deviation from the poster’s concerns.

I have no concerns just an opportune interest.


I think you just answered my question above.👏👏


When running on tarmac or track, a soft cushioney sole is often a desirable option (there are those who prefer the opposite and there are the barefoot brigade, and we won't get into the rights and wrongs, lets just leave it at there are different schools of thought (and weirdoes in toe shoes)). The impact of foot on unforgiving surface has a pretty jarring effect up the leg through all the joints, and this is what is the cause of the majority of long term running ailments and eventually puts most runners out of the game. Running on trail is a different game altogether: natural surfaces are generally more forgiving (fell runners may disagree) and constantly varied. You need a more communicative interface with the ground in order to maintain traction and balance and the soles of your feet are not been constantly repetitively being smacked with a flat piece of concrete.

I am not qualified to advise specifically re your noncartiliginous knee, but I would think gentle to moderate trail running would be better than road running and trail shoes while doing it, on the basis that you will be developing the stabilising muscles that support the knee omni directionally more.

My partner lost her entire left knee to sarcoma and has a donor knee and and associated tendons. When we met she had very limited mobility and was on daily codeine to manage the pain of this. With regular strengthening exercises she is now off the drugs and, while she will never run, is able to walk with a crutch quite normally for an hour or more.


Thanks Rignold for the understanding on the shoes and surfaces.

I am getting on fine with both pairs and on both hard and soft surfaces and 15 km / week and hopefully now with a long run weekly of 10km, and upto 20 km.

I will just see how I get on.

Sorry to hear about your partners situation and great progress to get off her medication.

I cannot believe my good fortune and what I have left behind.

Thanks for giving me your time.

My knee is not an issue as it has been this way for more than 55 years.🤔😂

Just mentioned it in the context of the GA. I was impressed with the sports shop.

Many thanks, much appreciated.🌟👏👏

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