Couch to 5K
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Ow! Ow! Owwww! & Sherbert!

I had a days holiday today so ran at 10:00am for a change. Perfect frosty & sunny weather.

What a great run everything going well & a much better pace until 25mins in when my left calf started hurting really badly. I thought "I am not stopping now 3 mins out and I might run the pain off" so I carried on to the end and I still got a much better time.

That was 3 hours ago and the pain hasnt stopped. I have never pulled a muscle before and am wondering if this is what it feels like?

Intense stiffness / cramp. A dull ache all the time and more pain if you flex it.

I dont want this. I can taste the 5k and want to get there. Any recovery advice welcome.

6 Replies

Ice, ice, baby!! (I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist a bit of Vanilla Ice from the 80s!!)

Kidding aside, I would definitely give it a good icing...or several good icings.

Best Wishes and Keep Running!! :-)



Thanks for this. You obviously have experience long should I leave it before going out again? The pain is fading and I have stopped limping although it still feels as if someone has tied a knot in there. Also what caused it? after running for 25 minutes I would have thought all my muscles were warm enough by then.


I am so very sorry that I won't be as much help as you may wish. :-( I know that ice will help with tight, sore and strained muscles, but I haven't had much experience with needing it. I would continue to ice it occassionally and stretch as much as you can to see if you can eliminate that knot.

What caused it? Hmmmmm, my own guess would be lack of warming up PRIOR to starting to run or over exerting that muscle while running if it is a pull. If it is more of a cramp I would have to suggest hydrating better and eating bananas. I think that it is the potassium (not sure anymore) in bananas that helps with cramping. I know that proper hydration and proper warmup prior to running can help avoid many injuries. Sometimes though, we just outrun our bodies and can cause temporary injury.

When to run again? Let me preface this by saying that I am not a doctor (although I like to play one on the internet at times! :-) ) and you know your body far better than anyone else does, but I would try to stretch and ice that lump out and then go for a short trial run. I wouldn't push it too much and cause it to get worse, but I would give a short trial run a go just to see how my body reacts.

I wish that I could be of more help here, but again, you know your body far better than anyone else does. Trust what it is telling you and listen to it. Take it slow as you return and please, keep me updated!

Best Wishes!



Thanks for this Steve, I will give it a go. Its a real shame just 4 runs away from the 30 minutes. Its still not right tho' so I guess it will be a New Year task after all.


Hi, try RICE, rest, ice, compression and elevation Ed


I get really sore calves when I run or more accurately when I have finished, I know you are meant to ice it but it is so cold I use a hot water bottle on mine and that has definately helped, although it hasn't stopped me running so not as bad as yours. Hope you are recovered soon and back running :-)


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