Couch to 5K
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5K Plus is turning disastrous

After an unpleasant experience with step stone on Sunday in which I was going overly quickly, I rested up and went out for a gentle run today.

I plodded along at a really comfortable and not at all fast pace as I didn't want to push my calf that had been niggling and stiff after my step stone. All was well and I was enjoying my new running playlist when I reached the bottom of the hill that marks half way a round my 5k circuit. As soon as I took my first step on the incline my calf immediately tightened up and shouted at me.

I had to stop and it was very uncomfortable and sore to walk on. I hobbled back home (it had to happen half way through when I was furthest from home!) and a very tentative gentle stretch helped a little. I suspect I came back too early and am now thinking I will miss my next run completely which will give me 4 days of rest.

I am really disheartened as I managed all of C25K with no problems and now I am really struggling. I am somewhat scared that this strain will put me off and I wont come back. I may have to rest up and then come back to an earlier C25K week but I want to get back to running and enjoying the challenge again.

4 Replies

Sounds exactly like what happened to me and I know exactly how you feel! I went out for my first run yesterday after 2 weeks and that followed a previous week's lay-off from when I first had the problem.

After the previous failed run, I made sure I iced my calf as soon as I got home and wore a compression bandage for about a week. I tried a neoprene support but it was far too big for my little legs and I've just returned it. Shame as I think it would have been just the ticket!

I did very gentle calf stretches and a few sessions on my cross-trainer as well as walking whenever possible. I wore the bandage again yesterday for my run for an extra bit of support.

Just don't try and rush back like I did. Even today, I'm worrying that my next run could be too much and might go horribly wrong but I'm going to repeat my 5min walk/5min run from yesterday until I'm certain it's all okay. Yes, it is frustrating but a couple of weeks now might prevent permanent damage and having to give up later.

I'm sure you won't give up just because of this setback - just be patient and hopefully we'll both be back on track before too long!


Definitely echo above, my calf muscles are first to protest if I over do it. Rest, stretches, agentle massage (arnica balm/gel is good) will sort it with time. Take it easy when you go back in, post-grad it can take a while to sort out a new schedule but in my opinion it's okay to plateau and not push for a time. Give your body time to adapt.


Sounds much like my experience as well. Did the full C25K with no injury problems. Then had a disappointing experience with C25K+ Stamina then, somehow, did my ankle in and had to give up on my third Park Run half way through.

Eventually saw a sports injury specialist as I didn't want to give up but obviously didn't want to cause even more damage. His advice was to continue with my running but take it easy, try and avoid hills and, if necessary, go back to basics with a mixture of walking and running.

That was back in January and now, finally, I am starting to enjoy my running again. Obviously all injuries are different so may be worth seeing your GP to find out best way to treat yours but I would just repeat the advice of others - do what you can but take it easy and if it hurts - stop!! Also, gentle stretches, Ibuprofen gel and ice work wonders! Thing is, it does knock your confidence so I would just say hang in there - you've done it once - you CAN do it again. Good luck!


me too, did C25k - no problem - then the first stupid stepping stone (speed) session, hurt my ankle (tendonitus) and off for 3 weeks. Seriously annoying! Just getting back running again now, but nervous now of injury!

It has however taught me some patience. (a bit!)

Hope you feel better soon.


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