Couch to 5K
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Feeling defeated and a little knocked back...W2R3

I was hoping to get to run 3 and be saying how lovely it was to feel like I'd progressed and how much easier I found this one, but no I'm afraid :(

It's making me well-up at work just thinking about this mornings run!! How silly! For anyone following, I got particularly bad cramp on my run 2 (Tuesday), but I managed to complete the run at a slower pace. I spent the next day covering my leg in deep heat, stretching and gently walking around to ease out the knotty bit.

I set off this morning hoping it would not affect me as I couldn't feel it, but I got to the third run and it hit me again. I paused Laura, stretched, walked it off a bit and carried on. The cramp is so awkward it brings tears, but I think they are just frustration! I completed the podcast, albiet very slowly. I feel so down and out about it, the energy is in me, but I'm getting so stuck. My partner said it was painful to watch and at one point told me to go home, but I'm stubborn and wouldn't leave even if I walked the rest of it. I don't want to give up!!

Does anyone have any tips? The cramp completely overwhelms my left calf, to the point where it feels like lead. I've not pushed through it as I'm terrified it will "ping" and I will be out of the programme.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you all!

10 Replies

Grrrrrr!! dont you dare give up! I too am a stubborn little lady. you can do this!!

i think what you had what the seasoned runners call a "bad run". Put it waaaaaay behind you.

I cant give you any tips on the cramp business im afraid. dont seem to suffer from that yet. But stretches before running? im sure others here will advise. but maybe look at the tags on the community board thingy too.

however, please dont be upset. You've gone out there and made such a good start. this is a little blip and will be fixed before you know it.

Best of luck and be thinking of you

:-) ali


I'm not giving up, just getting very nervous again! Trying to overcome this block. I was hoping run 2 was the bad run and this one wouldn't be so bad :(

I've been stretching, soaked in deep heat and following the amazing advice from here...fingers crossed. Repeating W2R3 tomorrow!!

Thank you for your support, feels good to know people care and are spurring you on, I think through these replies as Im running so I know I can do it!

Thank you :)


Hi, you could try eating a handful (half a dozen or so) almonds, and half a banana an hour before you set off. Both those foods are rich in potassium which prevents cramps. Also make sure you are well hydrated (not tea/coffee) before you go, and remember to rehydrate yourself when you come back. And now the best bit, quinnine tablets are also prescribed for those suffering from cramps, so I prescribe a cheeky g&t or bitter lemon each night. Not advocating boozing, but tonic and bitter lemon both contain quinnine, so in your case it really is medicinal! Seriously though, try to always drink pleanty of water to flush those toxins out, (not just at run time), and don't underestimate the humble banana. Good luck, and well done for showin true grit! Louise.

1 like

Oh right, thats fantastic! Banana's it is then (not a fan of almonds). This running stuff can get technical.

I did think dehydration, but I drink at least 1 - 2 brita filters of water per day and 2 bottles of 75cl evian at work...if I drink anymore I'd never be off the loo!! I'll try drinking more just before I go out though and see if that helps. Might be the reason as I'm just running with a water bottle and drinking between runs.

I don't drink any alcohol but will take the banana and water advice on board, thank you so much for taking the time to give me all of these tips, fingers crossed the next run is better :)

Thanks again!


so sorry to hear this is still bugging you Jenn and understand your frustration. It could be dehydration or exhaustion i.e. tired legs. Rfawag is correct in that potssium and quinnine rich food/drink can help as will salt so a good excuse for a bag of crisps with the G&T!

A couple of exercise to help tired legs are:

Standing on one leg, hop forward and land on the other foot, repeat hopping back to the start positon. Jump to the side, landing on one leg, then jump back to the start, landing on the other leg. Do 3 sets leading with alternate legs.

Stand on the lower step of your stairs, jump off landing on both feet then immediately jump forward with both feet. Do 10 reps working up to 25.

Carry on with calf, quad and hamstring stretches after your run, during if necessary and if doing before the run, make sure you have warmed up first so the muscles are pliable. Good luck. Sue


I didn't know about salt, is that because we lose salts in our sweat? That would make my lunch at work today is a turkey sandwich, salt and vinegar snack a jacks, a banana and a big bottle of water!

Thank you for the exercise tips, I will try them also. So lovely to have so much help from such knowledgeable people. I will feed back on my blog about my progress. I just keep thinking, one day I will be able to help someone in my position out of a rut and it spurrs me on!

Thank you so so much!


I think that Ali, Louise and Sue offered incredible advice!! Don't give up, hydrate/eat properly and stretch!! You can most certainly overcome this!!

Good luck and Keep Running!! :-)



Thank you!! I will let you all know how it goes. My calf still feels tight, but I'm doing all I can. Fingers crossed :)


All wonderful suggestions! I just wanted to Jump in and say good luck! Hoping you have a pain free Next run! Gayle. :-)


Thank you! :)


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