I just started running a week back. I am following a program that starts slowly and increases run interval week by week (c25k). I was fine in the first week but on the first day of week two, which requires running 1.5 minutes at a stretch, with 2 min breaks, 6 times, I felt extreme pain in my lower part of my legs, both on the front and the back side of the legs. This pain started from my first run itself and by 6th I was struggling to walk also.

I know I should go to a doctor soon, but I just want to know if anyone has been through this kind of pain when they started running. Does it sound too abnormal? I am worried. I have been bicycling very frequently till now and can do a decent distance without even a slight problem but I never ran in last 7 years.

I came across some youtube videos showing some stretches and I did the one which uses a tennis ball placed on the ground and you have to put your foot on it, at different points. I also see some sites suggesting ice massage immediately after running.

Any suggestions or experiences are welcome.

  • C25K has a lot of different stretches in a little slide in the app. The answer to this really depends on the KIND of pain you're experiencing. I did the C10K program, starting from literally "couch potato", and I was very sore and tired during and after my runs. There's a difference in an injured pain, and a worked-out pain. If you're just not used to working out, this will be fairly normal, and in extreme cases you might need longer breaks or repeat the workouts. Does the pain still occur the next day following the workout? Commented May 29, 2012 at 16:13
  • @NathanWheeler It seems it is more of an injury pain to me. I on the day of my last run, ran for 1 minute and my legs started shaking in pain. I felt I had ripples of pain in my lower legs, every second or so. I feel the same pain every time I try to sit on floor on toes with heels slightly above the ground. I am on a break since last 4 days and pain is reducing. Commented May 29, 2012 at 21:33

3 Answers 3


Most running programs miss out on the most important foundation - strengthening - and assume that the runner already has a strong lower body and core, and can just go on increasing mileage. This is wrong.

I would suggest you include these in your training

  • Strengthening exercises specific to legs. Do general exercises at first, then if something is painful after running, focus on that. Some areas off the top of my head would be - ITB strengthening, hamstrings, abductor/adductor muscles, shins, quads, weighted leg raises (front, side), toe raises and squats.
  • Core strengthening exercises - abs, back, shoulders, hips, glutes
  • Stretching - you're already doing it

A quick search on www.runnersworld.com will lead you to many exercises for the areas I mention.

Please don't ignore this aspect of running. It'll go a long way in preventing injuries and is what will make running a source of joy.

  • 1
    thanks @talonx, I will try this out. As you said, the program is nothing but an iphone app that does basic time-keeping. Commented May 25, 2012 at 20:21

I do a lot of squats and come out of the Gym with dead legs muscles. I use a supplement called "Glutamine". It's 100% safe and naturally occurring in the body but in limited amounts. I just take a capsule before and after workouts and I noticed a faster recovery rate (felt like i took rest for 2 days). I would suggest few minutes of stretching (Important)

Try taking some for a week or two and if that doesn't help seek medical help.


Are you sure that your running shoes fit well?

When I started running a couple years ago, I would get very strong pain after 5-10 minutes running, in particular on the front side of my legs. So I went to a running shoe store where they took a slow-motion video of my running on a thread mill. The conclusion was that I needed a shoe with more support on the inner side of the sole. Moreover I realized that I have a fairly wide foot. Previously I have been buying shoes based on the length measurement. I was surprised that some manufacturers have multiple shoe widths available. Changing the shoes helped and I have since ran many thousands kilometers without pain.

  • I think the shoes should be fine. I bought these from a reputed running shoe store and the store owner helped me pick a medium stability, inner support shoe.I ran a short run in three different types of shoes to help him figure out my running requirements. Commented May 28, 2012 at 19:15

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