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Couch to 5K
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Everyone on here saying they’re worried about week 8 or 9. I’ve just looked at week 3 and I’m terrified, mainly due to this agonising pain I get in my calves.

I’m brand new to running and did very little exercise previously (ok, none). It feels like a cramp. I’m sure I can’t be the only one ever to have had this. It’s got to the point that I know it’s the pain that’s limiting my speed/distance rather than my fitness (I’m unfit but I’m not massive).

How did everyone deal with this awful pain?

6 Replies

Morning. I can’t comment really but just wanted to ask if you drink plenty of water? Not only on run day but every day? I don’t think you should be in pain - maybe discomfort to a degree but not full on pain . There are lots of highly qualified people on here who will give you advice . I am on wk 8 and have had periods of aches and mild pain which goes quickly and not when I run . Hope you get the answer you need .


Please don’t be terrified by any of the runs. (Says he, always terrified of the next run from Weeks 1 through 6!)

As Mumsygill says, hydration is really important.

Another thing that might help is a foam roller. There are a few threads on this, one yesterday evening.

You sit on your bum, put the foam roller on the ground under your calf and simply roll your calf muscle up and down on the roller. It is bliss for tight calves and can be used for other muscles.

Aldi have them in this week in various shapes. A “knobbly” one is working well for me. They also have a basic exercise mat for sale which keeps you off the kitchen or bathroom floor!

As for the “scary runs”, if you haven’t needed to slow down yet then you soon will and that is how you beat them. The programme is brilliant and there are no impossible leaps.

Share how your runs are going and have a read of the threads from people who have done the run you are fearing. You will see lots of “terrified” posts and lots of calm replies then a post from the terrified saying how they succeeded.

Enjoy the next one, good luck with the calves.

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Are you stretching after every run?

If you read the guide to the plan healthunlocked.com/couchto5... it gives links to stretches that can be done before runs and others for after runs. In my view it is post run stretching that is going to have most effect.

You could also try a foam roller.


What are you wearing to run in? I was getting pain from my trainers so I went to a running shop, spent more money than I wanted to on a pair of running shoes after having a gait analysis done, and it transformed my running... They fit like a glove and no more pains. Also you might be going too fast for this early stage in your running. You don't want shin splints or Achilles injuries. Slow right down and let your legs get used to this new regime 😉


I've just completed week3 run 2 and never thought I'd get this far. I'm 64 and have never run in my life. Every time I go out I'm terrified I won't be able to complete but I just breath and keep going slowly . Can't advise on your pain but all the comments make sense. If you can't finish a run just try again next time. There's no rush to finish the programme do it your way .

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Looks like I’ve got to get a foam roller! As for the trainers, I recently spent nearly £100 on running shoes (quite a bit for a student haha), I’m on beans on toast for a few days now. I’m stretching as much as I think I can...maybe I’m just not hitting it right?


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