Couch to 5K

Post-grad- Three times a week or every other day and what?

Pretty obvious question (and answer probably) but....

When I did the c25k programme (only just graduated!) I was running three times a week.- Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

However, everyone talks about a rest day (singular) between runs. In other words running seven times in two weeks instead of six.

I presume the answer is- it doesn't matter but if any of you more experienced runners can advise I would be grateful.

Similarly, which runs to do? - I would like to improve my speed but I am not particularly bothered about running for longer than thirty minutes at a time. I have tried stepping stones and speed so was thinking of doing them and a straight 30 min run each week. Make sense?

5 Replies

I think it really varies for each person. After graduating I started going to Parkrun each Saturday and shortly afterwards I added an extra run on Sundays which was a longer slower run. So I was running 4 times a week. Parkrun was normally at maximum pace, Sunday was much slower but longer and the two weekday runs were normally slower 5kms. I had a rest day after each run apart from the weekend runs.


I think you need a rest day, well I know I do! I think fitter runners in training for fast runs (and races) will run 6 days a week. If you only started running 9 weeks ago you are still a new runner. Doing too much too soon could result in your getting injured. You could play it by ear, starting off running every other day and then see how you feel. I think on a non-running day your body is getting a rest which it needs for healing and repair.

Have you tried Stamina podcast yet? That's the other one in the trilogy, with Laura. It's good.


A rest day is good but as you become more experienced and after graduation not perhaps quite as important. I do 2 short runs during the week and something at weekends. Sometimes a longer run but this morning I decided to try and up my speed as I am very slow on just returning to my running after a 5 month break. Listen to your body, if your running is hard going you need to ease up and perhaps rest up too. Mix up your runs, to gain speed and stamina do some intervals, Speed Podcast is good for that. Also add in some hill work, its always good and lets face it we can't avoid hills so we might as well be able to tackle them without dying of fright when we come to one. I have found of late that I am running two consecutive days as I'm going out for a short hill run with my gym buddy on Fridays and a longer run or speed running on Saturday, added to that is Badminton for 90 minutes Saturday evening, so a rest day is a must on Sunday to let the muscles and legs recover. Listen to your body and so long as you are sensible you should be OK just don't go over board. :)


if speed s your thing 3 to 4 day with recovery as well run one day then day off and yes 30min run s fine hill train will improve your time s for 5k or go to park and run most of all if you start to ache have a rest good luck


I'd keep having the rest days between runs for now, so you could run every other day, learn to listen to how your body feels (you'll ignore it sometimes too).

As a sessioned runner said to me when I graduated, get some mileage in them legs. Didn't understand at the time, but do now, it feels great to graduate but you still need to treat your new founds legs carefully, so regularly running will further strengthen your legs to a point where if you want to run 2 or maybe 3 days on the trot of different intensities you will be able to.

Enjoy the journey post grad. :-)


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