Couch to 5K
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How long can you go without running, without losing stamina?

Hi, I'm on the B210K but have stopped because I have pain abouve my ankles. I don't want to do any further damage, and am waiting to see my Dr.

So far I have had a week off, but am planning to give myself 2 weeks off, and see if the Dr can refer me to a physio for some strengthening excersises.

In the meantime, my question is - how long can you go without losing stamina? I swim once or twice a week - does that help?

Thank you!

7 Replies

I remember reading somewhere max to go without running is two weeks. If you're still doing some excerise though I think I shouldnt go down too much. I could be wrong though.


*it shouldn't


I've just had 6 weeks off and ran 3k on the first run and 4k two days later. I feel quite confident that I'll be back to 5k tomorrow - but I don't run much further than that, and if you're on longer distances I'm not quite sure how that might work. In theory, you're fitter than I am and therefore your fitness should last longer... right?

I hope your GP can suggest something helpful (you could try a sports physio if not) and I hope you're out there on the programme again soon.


just had 6 weeks off also, due to injury, & have run a mile without stopping then a mile & a half on my second run out. am taking it easy & found that it wasnt my legs that let me down but my breathing stamina. hoping to add half a mile until I feel ready to just go for it again. good luck. shelley x


I think if you perhaps do some low-impact exercise like swimming or Pilates that might a) conserve your stamina and b) make you feel you're still exercising. but do check with your doctor first, and when you start back, start back gently and cut back your pace. I'm sure you'll find it builds up again quickly. I had 8 weeks off with shin splints and started back with W6 but it only took 2 weeks to get back to my normal running.

Good luck, it's s frustrating when you discover how much you love running, to then have to stop for a while. Hope you're soon back out there.


Thank you for your comments, they are very helpful. I have an appointment to see the Dr next week and I'm hoping he'll refer me to a sports physio. A year ago I'd have laughed at the thought of me needing a sports physio, so it is progress of a kind I suppose.


I've had two weeks off B210K (got as far as Week 5 Run 2) simply because I couldn't fit in a whole hour on a busy schedule. I did continue running 3 x a week however with 30/35 minute runs (Audiofuel and C25K+ podcasts). I intend to ease back into the program on Monday but I'll take it from Week 4. I'm sure you don't lose stamina that quickly!

Good luck

PS Just remember where we all were a year ago!


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