Calf pain!!!!: Need some advice. All the way... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Calf pain!!!!

Poppyslass profile image

Need some advice. All the way through week 1 runs I have had calf pain but carried on. I have just tried week 2 run 1 and the calf pain was too much and I started getting shin pain. I even had compression socks on. I do couch to fitness on my non run days and do warm ups before every run. Never run before what am I doing wrong 😑

28 Replies

Have you read the guide to the plan which gives advice on minimising impact, hydration, stretching after every run, strengthening exercises and dealing with injury.

Rest up and follow the PRICE principles linked to in the guide to the plan.

Are you wearing proper running shoes, preferably fitted after a gait analysis?


Take care.

Thank you, although I can say I have read the guide, I probably didn’t read it well enough or take the information in properly. Which I will do tonight. Thank you for the advice it’s very much appreciated

IannodaTruffe profile image
IannodaTruffeMentor in reply to Poppyslass

I know it is long, but it is all the basic information you need all in one place.

The other FAQ Posts expand on other running topics

Hi, I would like to thank everyone for all the advise that I was given regarding my calf pain. I especially would like to thank IannodaTruffe and Instructor57 i followed advice you gave and I have read the information and have been doing stretches every day and increased my water intake. Although I haven’t run since Tuesday I have still done exercises and today I went on a walk (just less than 5k) and I had no calf pain at all which I definitely have had previously on the route I took today. I’m going for a run tomorrow so fingers crossed I will be fine and I will remember to take it slow and do my warm ups and stretches. Thank you for your support

Instructor57 profile image

You mention you are doing warm ups before the run .

Are these dynamic warm ups ?

Are you also doing the static stretches after the run as referred to in the program guide .

Do not mix these up !

You do not want to be doing 'Static stretches' before you run .

This video may also be helpful.

This is the only warm up I

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Poppyslass

That's great but are you doing the after run stretches which are probably more important ?

Thanks I wasn’t but I will do from now on😊

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Poppyslass

I think it suggests holding the stretches for 15 seconds which is not very long !I usually hold them for 30

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate in reply to Instructor57

I was skipping out the two at the end (lower back and buttocks) for a while.

And that eventually led to a physio visit (for a niggle in the groin) where he diagnosed tight hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to nowster

Worth knowing ! 👍

It looks like I’m not doing the correct warm ups. I will read and watch all the information you and IannodaTruffe has provided and make sure I do everything properly. Thank you for your response it’s really appreciated

Hi, yesterday you mentioned Dynamic warm ups is there a link for these, I have looked in the guide but can’t see them

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Poppyslass

yes, this is the link from the guide

there are several videos at the end of the article, however one of them is now for subscribers only .

i would suggest the James dunne ones that you are doing are absolutely fine

Ok will carry in with that but make sure I do my stretches after the run

Cmoi profile image

Hi Poppyslass, lots of great advice from IannodaTruffe and Instructor57. Just to add that hydration might be a factor too - my calves always let me know if I've not drunk enough water.

Interested too that you're wearing compression socks. Are you doing so on specific medical advice? I wouldn't have thought you needed them for C25K, but as I'm neither medically trained nor have ever used them myself, I'm happy to be corrected.

Hope you can sort things out - good luck with the programme!

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Cmoi

Yes, good point re hydration 👍

Poppyslass profile image
Poppyslass in reply to Cmoi

Hi, I drink anything from 1 to 2 litres of water a day especially at the moment as I am also doing dry January

Cmoi profile image
CmoiGraduate in reply to Poppyslass

I try to drink 2+ litres of water per day, often more in summer. There again I actually like the stuff! No dry January for me as wine is one of my pleasures.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Administrator in reply to Poppyslass

That's not very much .ideally aim for around 2.5 to 3 litres .

take a look at this, again, its linked to from the program guide .

Jell6 profile image

Sounds like you are doing all you can, (and a bit more.) Confession...I am not a stretcher. I have only ever done the warm up and cool down walks. Also, like Cmoi I wonder about compression, unless you have been advised to wear these you probably don't need them. Regardless of this I think you need to let everything settle and heal before going again. If you don't you will possibly do more harm.

And I cannot stress how important these words are from IannodaTruffe GOLDEN RULE NUMBER ONE..........DO NOT RUN IN PAIN!!!

Poppyslass profile image
Poppyslass in reply to Jell6

Hi, I wasn’t given any medical advice about the compression socks just thought I’d give th a go to see if they helped 🙂

Igwynne1002 profile image

I'm now on week 7 but had the same issues on week 1 to 3. The answer for me was shoes. I was running in an unsuitable pair of shoes and it hurt.

Did some basic reading and bought some Asics trainers which had good reviews and it was immediately, noticeably better.

May not be your issue but worth exploring.

I had exactly the same experience as lgwynne1002, reply above) with quite bad calf pain during the run which eventually became unbearable. ASICS and New Balance are recommended trainers as they have specific models suitable to help with foot gait , both for over pronation or supination. What a difference it made, worth checking out

nowster profile image

Igwynne1002 and Joostex

I wouldn't recommend any particular shoe. What's right for you might not be right for someone else. You can see my profile for the weird things that I run in.

The only thing I would say is that fashion trainers are not running shoes, nor are studded football boots good for running on tarmac.

However, we do have a FAQ post which goes into this very subject in a lot more depth:

Clown shoes inconvenience

I am another one for whom changing footwear made a MASSIVE difference. I was about ready to quit by week 3 last year as I was in so much pain :-( It was recommended on the forum to get gait analysis, so I thought I'd give it a go.

The nearest running shop that did it was 75 miles away (I live in a very rural parts of Wales) so I got my husband to video my feet as I ran (well joffled, as I still do!) and sent this off to an online gait anaylsis service. They came back to me to advise that I overpronate when I run (actually I do when I walk too judging from the wear pattern on my shoe soles) and receommened I get a pair of running shoes designed for this.

I looked around and found a pair I liked that also liked my feet and I haven't had a solitary problem with my calves or shins since. It was a total revelation!! Running shoes don't have to cost a fortune - mine were around £50 and they do the job perfectly. I would recommend you see if you can get your gait anaylsed either locally or online and see if it is your shoes causing the problem.

Good luck Poppyslass - you've got this. Come back often and let us know how you are getting on. There's no such thing as a silly question and the support on here is second to none :-)

Oh, and as a PS, remember to drink, drink, drink even on non-running days. 2-3 litres if you can. The reason I highlight this is that the only time my legs are heavy and achy now is when I've not drunk enough in the preceding 24/48 hours and they feel like lead weights :-O

Thank you for your advise I will certainly get a gait analysis done as there is a place in Leeds that fo them. I am going to try the stretches first though and I am currently drinking 1-2 litres a day

Over60sRunner profile image
Over60sRunnerGraduate in reply to Poppyslass

Fab 😁 Stretching is amazing, especially post-run, for me. I was the stiffest, tightest, shortest muscled person imaginable 6 months ago, but I am now so flexible I'm amazed at myself sometimes! I use yoga based runner's stretching - all standing as I have a spinal injury - but there's a plethora of techniques out there, so the world is your oyster 😁💪🏃‍♀️😁

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