Couch to 5K
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Today was very difficult (W7 R2). Any advice?

So...despite the heavy rain, I went out for today's run, W7 R2. But I found it difficult from the start (I was going so slowly I was barely running, and I was getting pains on the outside of both calves). I carried on at a snail's pace until 12 1/2 minutes, and then walked the rest, with my calves still hurting. So I think I'll be re-doing W7...

I've been getting a pain in my left knee when I run for the last month or so, but it's never been too bad, and has always actually got better as I've got into my stride in each run. I think it may be related to my calf pain, as the pain was worse on my left side. I'm guessing other people have had the same calf pain...what did you do, and how did you make it go away?

Very glad tomorrow is a rest day, as I don't feel like running again soon. Not sure if it's a good idea to go for my next run on Sunday - any advice? Thanks in advance.

9 Replies

Are you doing stretches after your runs ? That might help. My calves felt "tight" throughout weeks 7 and 8 but seem to be improving now. A friend advised me to do at least twice as many stretches as I thought necessary so I've tried to make a point of it. If I'm at the gym, I follow the stretches with a calf massage on the power plate.

See how you feel on Sunday, You don't need to force yourself to run if your body isn't ready.

Let us know how you get on & good luck !


I think I haven't been stretching enough. I'll give it a go and see if it makes a difference. Thanks :-).


Stretching your calves as sfb350 suggests is a very good idea. In fact, a lot of joint/muscle pain can be related to tight muscles, even ones that aren't hurting. For example, your knee pain could also be related to tense muscles along the tops of your legs as well as the bottoms. Stretching may ideally include your hamstrings (back of upper leg), quadriceps (front of upper leg), hips, groin/inner legs, outer legs, lower back, and calves. When stretching, there are a couple bits to remember:

#1 Absolutely non-negotiable rule of stretching - don't bounce! Slowly get into position (ex. reach for your toes) and HOLD. Breathe deeply and think about relaxing the muscle as you exhale. After 30-45 seconds, you will naturally go deeper into the stretch, you don't have to push yourself into it.

#2 Stretch AFTER warming up and/or after finishing your run. Don't stretch when your muscles are cold. It is okay, however, to stretch after finishing your cool-down walk... just not too long after.

#3 Stretch evenly side-to-side and front-to-back. If you stretch left, also stretch right. One side will be tighter, and that is normal, but do the same stretches on each side. Similarly, if you stretch your quadriceps, then stretch your hamstrings.

If you have continued pain, if it worries you, makes popping noises or other sounds, or is very sharp, see your doctor/physiotherapist. They can help ensure you have the support you need and all that so you don't damage yourself and can run a long time into the future. For mild pain and inflammation, consider "RICE". Rest - Immobilize - Cold - Elevate. In your case, that means take a day (or more off), wrap a bag of frozen peas in a towel and put on your sore bits, and prop the leg up as much as is reasonably convenient.

Good luck and feel better!


As mentioned above, I haven't been stretching enough, and certainly not for long enough. I had no idea I should be holding a stretch for 45 seconds! But I'll give it a go, follow your advice, and see what happens. Thanks :-).


I had similar pains a couple of weeks ago. I took a rest of 4 or 5 days. This seems to have been enough for whatever it was to recover. All is reasonabley ok now just a bit stiff on a night after running in the morning.

If it hurts don't run but rest.


Good to know someone else had the same. I think I'll rest tomorrow, and maybe try again on Monday. Fingers crossed!


Last year when I tried this program, I had major calf and shin issues so I ended up not running at all. I even bought new shoes thinking that would help to no avail. It was the end of the summer and so I felt justified. But now I'm back, same route, same shoes and have no issues. The difference, I'm always hydrated. I drink 60-80 ounces of water a day and I never have any pain or cramping.

Stretching helps too, but hydration is the key. Good luck!


I did it - went out today and ran nont-stop for the full 25 minutes. Don't quite understand why it was so difficult last time. But I did it and am pleased. I'm starting W7 again, as I want it to feel a bit easier before I move on.


Ahat, are you running every other day? This is what the podcasts suggest

I do a few butt kicks if I get pain in my legs. I slow down a bit too, not that I go very fast cos I don't. Good luck with it and just stick with it.


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