Couch to 5K

about to give up :(

So, I started running again last week after failing to finish week 1 due to shin pain. I skipped to week 2 after one run of week 1 because it felt too comfortable and it was fine for a week and I managed to finished week 2.

But on my last run my shins really started to hurt again and three days on I can barely walk. I'm only 21, not drastically overweight but I just want to feel better about myself, so I thought this would be good to get me into exercise slowly. But I'm totally sick of being in pain! I don't think I can face the disappointment of trying and failing again.

I don't know what to do to stop my shins hurting, I've tried stretching, icing them, I bought new trainers and nothing is helping.


21 Replies

Did you get your trainers from a running shop? Try googling shin pain and follow the instructions, don't give up, just allow yourself a bit more time, keep doing week 1 until your comfortable, it takes all of us as long as it takes!


I did a lot of research around trainers for flat feet and overpronation before I got them, they are definitely better than what I was using before, I managed four runs rather than 1 before the pain kicked in again.

I just feel put off, I first started this over 2 months ago and I'm no further forward really.

Plus, I honestly don't think I can listen to the music on week 1 again! lol


I got distracted listening to the music and I now use the Crank Round Timer app on my iPod.

I can set the runs and rest times to match the C25K intervals, as well as the number of runs, and the app simply buzzes over my playlist whenever I need to start or stop running.


It sounds as though you may have been trying to work through the programme too fast - I am not sure what 'too' comfortable could be in the context of C25k?

If you had a problem with pain the first time you tried then it really sounds worth *not* moving on before you have completed 3 Week 1 sessions with a rest day between each. It sounds as though it was just when you did this that the problem resurfaced. I do know what you mean when you say you can't face listening to the music yet again (countless times for me) - perhaps you could try a timer or a programme that will cut in on your own music as some others have done, just until you've completed 3 week 1 runs. It may be that you need to do just a few of the run/walk intervals and walk the rest of the session and work up from that. And maybe not stretching beforehand (some think it is harmful)

It may also be worth looking at your pace and making sure you really are doing a 'light jog' and nothing faster, and seeing if you can run on a gentle surface.

Good luck!


It can take a couple of weeks to properly work those pains out once they get bad as I know from my own experience. This is a really common weak spot and it maybe worth investing some time in a strengthening and loosening regime whilst you do it. My experience is that it is muscle weakness that causes a lot of this kind of problem and they need strengthening as much as any other.

This is part of why the program takes you up gradual steps, its not all lungs if that's what was comfortable. Your whole body needs to get used to it including all sorts of little muscles you never knew existed!

If you do want to run you can, it just takes a bit of early time investment unfortunately to get yourself into shape and I don't think there is any short cutting that. There are bunch of the squad here will testify to the gain being worth the effort, if you want it.

However its not for everyone and not compulsory I guess if it's not floating your boat. If it is then take it slow, get the pain gone (or near) and work on strength and suppleness in your legs, it will pay off but this running lark is a long term business!

You can have loads of company here whilst you do it as well :-)


Hi hadahumphrey - can I just pitch in and ask what surface you are generally running on? (pavement, grass, treadmill.....) Might have an influence......


I've been running on pavement, I know it's bad but I can't afford to join a gym and it's been raining non-stop so running on grass is a bit messy at the minute.

I really don't want to stop trying... I'll rest a week or two and then try some strengthening stuff and see how that goes.

I had problems with my feet just before xmas, I had plantar fasciatis and the doctor told me I could need proper supports, so I should really go and get that checked again.

I'm sure I'll feel better about it all tomorrow, just one of those days where it seems an awful lot of trouble for not much progress being made.


I only asked because a lot of people seem to get shin pain from running on a treadmill - and I did too when I did a couple of runs on one (having only run on pavements). So looks like it's not that then......

They do say that building up activity like this highlights areas of weakness you already have (rather than causing them from scratch). I did the Playtex Moonwalk (full marathon walk overnight) a few years ago and then started training for one of the Ribbonwalks, but had to stop due to metatarsal inflammation. I ended up having my bunions done, which I'd wanted for years, and which seems to have totally solved the problem!

So I do hope that you'll find this a way of getting to the bottom of a long-standing health issue. (and if surgery is the answer, embrace it!!)


don't give up, feel for you with it being so depressing, just go steady and may be 2 days rest in-between your runs?


I was looking at this earlier, I'm thinking the band exercises could be a good place to start :)


I've found that the usual stretching, icing and a couple of strenghting exercises (look up Greg's blog) helped and I've also invested in compression socks...they seem to have helped massively!!


I second the compression socks. My legs still feel sore when running but with the compression socks i certainly felt a lot better. It might have been pschological, i dont know but it did.

Also, make your trainer laces slack. Dont have them tight anywhere, even when you tie your laces, make sure they are lose. It sounds strange but it made a massive difference to pain down there.

I am 274 pounds and just finished a 25 minute run today.


Just wanted to add my own sympathies, I have been so fortunate not to have had any pains like that (so far, touches wood). I know I had got up to walking briskly for an hour before I even started which I think helped me - plus the fact that i "run" very very slowly. I am confident that, even if you have to take a few weeks off (hopefully get some swimming or walking in in the meantime?) and then start from scratch and really take your time, you will get there, good luck x


A couple of points I wanted to add. First, make sure you stretch before and after. Second, pace yourself as its not about speed. Third, my shins started to ache and I realised I was leaning forward too much so my legs were having to stretch too much and I was always off balance.

Now I run more upright and let the legs do the work. I still find it tempting when I'm tired to lean forwards and have to straighten up to bring myself back into balance again.

Hope you find what's right for you. But if it doesn't work out I'd still really advise at least getting out for a brisk walk for those 30 mins each day to set up the habit of exercise. You may then find your better able to jog after that.


from personal experience... slow it right down. rest when you need to and try some compression socks. Calf stretches are really important and try toe tapping (sit with your knee bent and heel on the floor and tap your toes - you will feel it in your shin). I have to take a fortnight off running because i overdid it on the road and it's really frustrating. Try to find a park or a trail where you can jog on grass. Dont give up, we are all behind you. google shin pain and you'll find some help and great videos. I also looked up barefoot running or forefoot running on youtube and found some information on good running technique. Shin pain seems to be much worse if you heel strike so try to keep upright and run on the front of your foot more. xx

Reply sorry to hear you're struggling so much with this but man, do I admire your guts! You've kept on trying when so many people would have given up and spent the rest of their lives dining out on sympathy. I too have severe shin pain when I ever attempt to run. I did Day 1 Run 1 (sort of) and am still suffering pain days later, so I know what you mean.

I really hope you can find a solution that works for you because you deserve it! And..go you!


I love Greg_M's advice on this thread that running isn't only about lung power and that we need to strengthen up in general in order to be able to do it. So true.... ;p


This may sound really silly....but one of the things that helped me was to stop using trainers. I just find them very uncomfortable, and I have broad feet, so when my knees started aching I tried running in a pair of old daps (plimsolls).

I don't think this is a solution that will help many people but it kind of points to <b>witchynics</b> post above, about trying to land more on the balls of your feet, and trying to emulate the conditions of barefoot running, so that all the joints of your legs and feet are more free to move and therefore more involved in cushioning the impact of striking the ground.


How's it going out there?


still not great unfortunately, I haven't been out running for 5 days now and it still hurts to walk. I ordered some band things to do proper exercises though and once the pain eases I'm going to start right back at the beginning and take it as slowly as my body tells me too :)

I'm determined not to give up!


Your doing the right thing I think, frustrating as it is I know. I stopped up for a couple of weeks when mine were bad and just became an obsessive stretcher, everywhere I went I was pulling out my leg muscles. I would even find myself doing it unconsciously in the queue at the supermarket! Still got various ice packs in the freezer, my missus got fed up in the end with me sitting down of an evening with my trouser legs rolled up. ;-)

It will work out though. Might be worth a couple of sessions of sports massage as well, that helped me out....though it will make you cry :-D

Glad you decided to stick with it though. That's the big decision, everything else is just patience - take it slow.


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