how often should i be running?: Once you have... - Couch to 5K

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how often should i be running?

carerof profile image

Once you have completed all the 9 weeks with Laura how often can you run? Is every day ok if you can manage it or do you stick to alternate days?

12 Replies
Fitfor60 profile image

I graduated before Christmas and only recently upped runs to 4 a week Have been lucky with no injuries so bit scared to run every day Suppose it depends on age / fitness/ health etc My son in law does ultra marathons and still has at least 1 day a week non running Sure someone on here can give you more advice

carerof profile image


misswobble profile image

I was running every other day when doing 5 to 10 k but now am training for 16 k and I have to do 4 runs a week but that still leaves 3 rest days. Rest days are important to let the body recover. I definitely feel I need them!

LMS2110 profile image

I graduated a year ago and pretty much continued going out 3 or sometimes 4 days a week - but that was mainly because I am close to retiring and I worked a few days a week too. Just recently, though, I embarked on the 5x50 challenge ( and so far have done an exercise, run/activity on every day since 30 March - and there are hundreds of people doing this to raise money for charities. So, just to assure you, lots of folk do try to get out everyday, guess it's all down to personal choice, fitness levels and ultimate goals etc! Lots of luck with your post graduation running - as frequently as you feel like it! Take care :D

gingernut49 profile image
gingernut49Graduate in reply to LMS2110

I'm also doing the 5x50 challenge but I still only run three times a week. I walk on the other days - I wear a fitbit and aim at 10,000 steps a day or over 5 miles which is just a little over 8 kilometres. In the 5x50 challenge you can also count 30 minutes of exercise, though I do a lot more a day than that. I don't want to overtax my body by running more than three times a week (at my age).

YJB1 profile image

Everyone is different but a running coach told me that you should never run every day (unless you are at Ultra standard) and shouldn't run on consecutive days until you have at least a year of regular running under your belt. The problem is that you may feel like it and feel that you can do it but the fitness gains from running happen on your rest days. When your body is fully adapted to running (which takes 6-12 month), you can do a 'hard' run one day and a recovery or gentle run the next day. But when you start and for some months after that, all your runs are 'hard' according to your body so by running every day, you will actually hinder your fitness and the build up over time will probably lead to injury or burn out. I hope that makes sense!

sandy8922 profile image
sandy8922Graduate in reply to YJB1

I was glad to see this reply. I didn't know it took 6 to 12 months for your body to adjust. I have been running since january and graduated a few weeks ago. I now do the 5k plus podcasts 3 times a week. My calves and ankles ache at night and i have put on a few pounds too. I hope things will settle in the coming months and have to remember i have only been running for 3 months.

YJB1 profile image

Running is so hard on your body, probably the hardest thing you will ever do. Don't be afraid to take extra rest days if you need them. Some lucky people are 'born to run' and can get away with anything, for the rest of us mere mortals, we have to look after ourselves.

Age has a lot to do with it. I'm 60 have run on two consecutive days on one occasion, but definitely will not make a habit of it! As you get older, your body needs more time to recover. Even training programmes for young fit athletes tend not to include more than 4 or 5 days of running per week and include one day of total rest.

I'm also doing the 5x50 and am finding it exhausting, because it does not let you have any full rest days at all! Sometimes, I walk on a non-run day, or else I swim or lift weights. Doing the challenge is actually having a somewhat negative effect on my running. Yesterday, I went out for 5.5 miles, my longest distance so far, and set intervals of 2 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking all the way through. I was not able to complete all the running intervals, even though I have been out running regularly 3 times a week since I graduated from C25K.

carerof profile image

it is more scientific than the average person realizes isn't it?

It's very bad as a new runner to run every day your body is adjusting to running....which bodily is very at the very least every other day and your body needs the rest but don't be afraid to have more than one if you need it xxx

You shouldn't run everyday. I think even the elite athletes have a day off - to rest their muscles. Do low impact exercise instead like elliptical, cycling or swimming. As someone else said on here running is very stressful on your joints and you can do a lot of damage if you don't let them recover.

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