Hi Everyone - newbie alert: Hi All Quick... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

121,452 members151,834 posts

Hi Everyone - newbie alert

Slo_Mo profile image

Hi All

Quick introduction. I started C25K just over five weeks ago and have been focussing on mid-foot running as I have had knee problems when I've tried heel running previously.

After a few sessions my calves started to ache quite a bit so I did a lot of stretching and resting between runs. Low level discomfort continued with each section but that's all it was until....

Last Tuesday I was just starting week 4 and on my first three minute run of the session when I got a real jabbing pain in my left calf. It was quite clear I couldn't keep running so I limped home, swearing as I went. I felt round the muscle and prodded where the pain was and it didn't feel any worse so I figured, rest, elevation and ice?

I also rubbed in some Ibuprofen gel which worked really well.

I've been gently exercising it up for a week now and intend to GENTLY restart Week 1 again tomorrow as I don't want any more setbacks.

Your thoughts and any ideas/recommendations would be welcome as I intend to make this work and get myself to the local Parkrun asap. ;-)

6 Replies
shakdang profile image

Oh that sounds like me many months ago.

I was a heel runner too, fractured my tibial plateau (knee) on week 1 run 3. 2.5 months of rest and hen I switched to forefoot but it took a long time for my calves to get used to extra stress they were being put through.

Then around week 3 (I repeated week 2 and 1 umpteen times) I started getting really sore soleus and calves, I had to give them 2-3 days rest and even then they were too sore to run on most days.

I tried ice pack, compression and ibuprofen but running on sore calves just put extra stress on my tibia and I stress fractured my tibia this time.

So another 2.5 months rest and back to week 3 but I soon realised I was running primarily using my calves and I was running more 'tip-toe' than forefoot.

It just felt like my body just can't run for longer distance on forefoot or tip-toes.

So change of stance again, a lot of hard work, strength training and discipline and I'm more midfoot now and I let me heel touch the ground to take some load off calves during contact.

Now within a month of switching to midfoot I'm running 6k+ with minimal calf soreness, they are still sore and they give me more trouble than any other muscle group but it's so much better.

So from experience:

- Give them rest if they are too sore to run, you don't want less stronger parts of your legs to take the stress if your calves are not taking the load optimally

- Work on your glutes and hamstring if you think you are a calf runner

- Work on your stance, keep the back straight

- Do strength exercises for your calves and your core! core is important!

- Run with confidence, don't let you body sway or go limp, if you are too tired too keep a stable stance then stop. (top tip that a friend gave me)

Slo_Mo profile image
Slo_Mo in reply to shakdang

Really useful advice and just what I needed. Thanks so much. I'll give it a gentle try in the morning and see where we are. Glutes, hamstring and core work coming up!

Fabulous450 profile image

Hey Slo Mo, well done for getting to W4!! You may not need to go back to W1, as you’ve not been away from running for very long. I’d consider trying the W4R1 first and go very slowly and very gently. You might find that you can complete it this time. Best wishes. ❤️

Hey Fabs - thanks for this. I think I might do half and half if it goes well in the morning. Was hoping to get to 5k Parkrun in Sept. it’s a game of hide n seek with my fitness :-D

misswobble profile image

Running on tiptoes means your calves are too tight. Running is in the calves pretty much, so they have to get stronger. You do simple exercises to strengthen calves and the rest of it, from toe to hip Calf raise with heel drop - done slowly - taking it as high as you can then slow lower into the heel drop, taking it to the bottom til you feel the stretch, and then come slowly back up. Foot lifts too. You can google this stuff and see it being done properly 💪😃👍 Foot exercises and lunges all help Running up slopes takes pressure off so you could find some gentle uphill. Run slowly by the way 🙂

Slo_Mo profile image
Slo_Mo in reply to misswobble

Excellent - thank you. I've been doing gentle calf exercises, standing on the edge of the stairs, holding the bannister rail and exercising the full range of movement as you say. It helped this morning. :-)

You may also like...