The Journey from Couch to 5K: My First Month of Training

Meredith Bland

Follow writer, mom and everyday person Meredith Bland as she trains for her first 5K using the Couch to 5K mobile app. Read the first installment here

I just finished my first three weeks of the Couch to 5K® presented by Special K training program, and I've already had an obstacle to overcome and a success to celebrate—and I finally learned all the words to Nicki Minaj's rap in the song "Monster."

It's been quite a month.

Getting Started

As I said in my first installment, I started this program in "okay" shape, so week one, a mix of short bouts of walking and running, was actually a breeze. I was even dancing on the treadmill (I'm very lucky I didn’t hurt myself…that would have been difficult to explain). 

But then came week two. 

On my Monday run, I felt a sharp pain on the outside of my left ankle that traveled all the way up my left calf. The strange thing about it was that when I ran, it didn't hurt at all. But when I slowed down to a walk, it felt awful.

How to Deal with Running Pains

Many new runners struggle with some initial aches and pains. Luckily, I have a doctor in the family who was able to point me in the right direction: stretching my calves. I also, after consulting Dr. Google, decided to put aside the brand new running shoes I bought just for this program and go back to my much-loved, comfy, feel-like-I'm-floating-on-air sneakers.

So before my next run, I changed the schedule up a bit. I did a five-minute warm-up walk, then I got off the treadmill and stretched my calves for—not kidding—about 20 minutes. Man, did I stretch my calves. Those calves didn't even know what was coming. Then I got back on the treadmill and did another five-minute brisk warm-up walk. 

Thankfully, doing that before each run seems to have done the trick, and I haven't had any pain since.

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About the Author

Meredith Bland

Meredith Bland is a freelance writer whose work has appeared at Brain, Mother; Narratively; The Rumpus; Time.com; Scary Mommy, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Meredith Bland is a freelance writer whose work has appeared at Brain, Mother; Narratively; The Rumpus; Time.com; Scary Mommy, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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