Couch to 5K
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Calves very stiff - any advice?

I've just completed run 3 of wk 6, having stuck properly to the plan, and in literally the last minute of the 25 min, I could feel my calves really tightening - from about 2 inches above the ankle area all along the next 7 or so inches of the back of my lower leg. No discomfort anywhere else. I did the 5 min warm down and stretched out carefully at the end. Today I'm having problems walking properly - and coming down stairs is particularly uncomfortable!

Is this normal? Any advice for future runs or recovery afterwards?

Thank you!

7 Replies

I just replied to your other blog but here goes for an answer here.

Lots of people seem to swear by ice-packs and ibuprofen.They also suggest you have gait anlysis done to see if your shoes are adapted. I personally haven't done this and am still using a cheap pair of running shoes I bought at the beginning of week 1. So far no injuries but I'm hoping I'm not saving up problems for the future.

I'm no expert and thats what I'd try first. Have you tried looking on sports injury websites? I know there are replies on here somewhere that suggested links. Try the tags on this site perhaps. So sorry you're suffering!


I suffer from this very problem, but I don't have much discomfort after my runs.

I've just bought new trainers (Brooks Beast) which will be delivered next week - hopefully this will help with the stiffness as I am almost sure that it is to do with flat feet and lack of foot support.

I shall keep you updated!


Epsom salts in the bath and arnica gel rubbed on the aching bits. xxx


I've not had the pain during a run but I did suffer badly between runs when I first started this programme and it returned a week or so ago. What I do is; hydrate, hydrate, hydrate... Muscles need water to mend. I do steady walks to warm up my legs and then 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching each day. I also just purchased a foam roller (google it if unsure) and I've been using that a few days now. Today I got out of bed and for the first time in weeks I could straighten my legs without having tight calves!! Ive taken a few extra days rest this week as well.


I didn't know that about water - I'll try it. Probably don't drink enough water daily anyway. Thanks


I swear by : lots of water to drink, particularly the day before, ice and ibuprofen when I have pain or straight after the run. Good luck and hope your calves recover. :)


Thank you everyone for the advice and encouragement - I really don't want to do something stupid at this stage that knocks me out of running for a few weeks! Glad to hear it's pretty normal.


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