Couch to 5K
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How do I make myself run when I ache so much? (W1R1)

I'm not bed-ridden or anything, I am walking around happily (if a little awkwardly) during the day and have nothing more serious that aching muscles. The thing is, I am scared of doing W1R2 this evening because I still ache.

I got back on Tuesday to have a nice long (hot) bath to recover, which helped a lot. I slept like a log too, which was nice. I woke up a little stiff, but generally fine. Over the day, the aches set in until I really needed another hot bath in the evening just to ease the ache out of my legs.

Today is the day for my second run and I still have aches in the muscles of my legs. I think I might have some in my arms, but the body's gating mechanism for pain makes it hard to tell.

So how do I do this? Should it ease off once I start running? Should I take another day off and run tomorrow instead? Should I have a a more gentle run?

Any advice welcome...

5 Replies

Did you go and see the doctor? My suggestion is get out and do it, you are only cheating yourself ;). However, take it easy, the whole point of using the programme is to build up your stamina and strength gradually. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon (well 5K).

You will probably find it easier tonight, and rather than having a hot bath at the end, have a cold bath first, as cold as you can make it. Only for a few minutes but the science is that it should supress the build up of lactic acid in your system. then have your hot bath

Lactic acid is good and as you work at your running will assist you, and in turn you won't suffer from the same symptoms.

So get out and run. JFDI. It will get easier.


When I started running, for the next five days I ached in places in which I didn't even know I had places....but I kept on with it. However I found that when I ran I didn't hurt too much, it was after getting up from the couch that I felt like I was going to die!!


For me, it is walking up and down stairs or getting into and out of chairs. I can walk and even found myself jogging out to the car at lunchtime. The trouble was, I even tried jogging up the stairs and they didn't like that...


After my first run which was on a Thursday just last September, I could not run again till the following Monday because I hurt so much. II was walking around like a 90yr old, I kid you not! After subsequent runs, it was much, much better, the muscles had learned and repaired.

My best advice is to make sure you have properly fitted running shoes (using a gait analyser at a proper running shop) and that you stretch after running. There are loads of good post running stretches out there to be found on Google. Stretch after every run and hold every stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. This sounds (and is) boring but it is a vital part to help reduce post run stiffness.

Honestly, if you follow this advice (and learn to pace yourself!) you should not have any more major problems until you finish the C25k and start building mileage and pace.

Good luck!

Carole C (C25K, B210K, Bupa 10 mile trainee!)


Oh, I was walking funny for two days, but I finally got out and the stiffness eased very fast once I got running. Now I have another two days of walking funny to look forward to before w1r3, but I think the cold bath helped because it doesn't feel quite so awful this time...


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