Couch to 5K
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Just completed W3R3- not looking forward to week 4

This week has been quite tough, my fitness has definitely improved but my legs want to give up after the first few minutes! Does anyone have any advice to manage aching legs? Or is it something I just need to get used to?

Week 4 starts on Monday and I don't feel ready at all, but I'll give it a go anyway and see what happens!

7 Replies

I think a lot of people would agree that the first few minutes of running feel awkward to say the least. But if you find a steady pace, you'll get more comfortable and the aching will subside over time. That's just your legs getting used to doing something they're not really used to yet. If you've done all the runs up to week 4 then you are ready for it. Just take it easy and keep a steady pace. I found week 4 hard because my pace was all over the place. When I finally got it sorted on R3, it felt a lot easier. Try not to worry and enjoy it! :)


Yeah I always over-do it on the first run so I need to remember to pace myself well. This week was weird though because I usually have sorted the pace by run 3 but I think the stopping and starting doesn't help.

Thanks for the advice, I will try not to worry!


I had a similar experience to Fraz, regarding pacing in week 4. My instinct was telling me to go faster, possibly my brain was telling me subconciously that it would make the run be over quicker! But C25K doesn't work like that! Once you get over that mental barrier that it isn't a sprint it is about stamina and endurance (to quote Laura) and you get your pacing sorted, you will find the strength in your legs improving as a regular pace is less taxing on them than one that's all over the place.

I'm on week 8 and still find my legs lagging behind my breathing, but it does vary depending on how tired I am, but after a few minutes running they tend to wake up and not cause me too much bother. I think it is just something you will experience and improves as your fitness improves. Also I don't know what surface you are running on, but I find my legs cope better on some than others.


I'm running on road/pavement. I tired running in the park but I was in agony after it and found it boring as there wasn't a lot to look at after a while. I think it's just something I will have to get used to. The good thing is that after I've finished the run my legs recover really quickly, it's just while I'm running they hurt and want to stop but I guess that's perfectly normal!


Sounds like me. I prefer pavement too (and towpath, but they can be a little narrow) over grass.

If you have good recovery time, that is a really good sign of improved fitness. The legs will catch up with you I'm sure as the weeks go on!


Yes. I'm the same. It's the legs that don't seem to be keeping up though recovery is good.

Actually just posted a similar question.

First time out on week 4 I didn't quite complete it. The second 5 minute run I hurt so much when Laura said I was only half way through that I walked until the one minute left mark and ran that. Second time I managed it but really thought I wouldn't even get half way when doing the first 3 minute run.


I'm worried I won't be able to complete week 4 but even if I can't do it straight away I will keep going :) It's good you managed it the second time and I'm sure your third one will be a bit easier than the last.

Good luck!


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