Couch to 5K
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Week 4 Run 1 - advice needed!

Been out this morning for my W4R1. Just about completed it but I had to stop halfway through to stretch as my calves were so tight I could barely walk! I have read this could be due to dehydration or not stretching enough. Any suggestions?? Do I need to drink more before I go out? Do I need to stretch more before I go out? Do I need to be doing more leg exercises on my rest days to build up my muscles? Any advice welcome!!

P.S Super proud of myself for completing it, even if I’m not very happy that I had to stop. Considered just giving up after stretching but Michael told me that pushing on is how you gain fitness and I thought “you know what... I got this!”. Thanks Michael!

4 Replies

Don't stretch before. Do the brisk warm up walk before you run. Over Stretching before you run can cause injury. You are a runner. You are like lots of others who are doing this course. You can do this and you can do it in the way it suits you. If you have to stop for a minute, do so without feeling bad. If you really feel bad about it, do the run again in a couple of days. But you WILL get there.

Have you got proper running shoes? Have you had gait analysis? Both the shoes and gait analysis are important, especially as you progress through the course. If a pole vaulter went for the standard opting for a pole, he wouldn't get far. If you want to compete in rowing races, no good using a boating lake boat.

Same with trainers. Those "fashion" trainers you can buy may be OK for walking about, but most don't have the structure to protect your limbs. You are at the point where running becomes more serious. You need proper fitted running shoes and if you can afford them, moulded insoles. Made a world of difference to both of us.

Most of all, keep on keeping on.


Thank you for reply!

Not really feeling bad about it as I know I completed the run and I know that I need to listen to my legs and not push myself too hard so a little break was necessary. I hadn’t really been stretching before runs so good to know that might not have helped the need to stretch during the run.

I did purchase myself some proper trainers last week. Didn’t go for gait analysis as I felt it was unnecessary for me but I have purchased some trainers with ankle support so I hope they will work well for me.

Most definitely will keep running and thanks again for the support!

1 like

Might be hydration. Drink plenty on your non-running days rather than just before.

If your calves are tight make sure you stretch properly after your run. Running shortens your muscles so if you keep running and not stretching they'll gradually tighten up.

Im useless at remembering to stretch properly so thx for the reminder.

A few calf raises off a step might be good too!


Thank you for the reply!

I’m not very good at remembering to drink as much water as I should so that is something to work on... Also, not great at remembering to stretch after a run (normally just want to sit on the sofa for half an hour) so will and get better at that too!

Thanks for the advice!


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