Week 1 run 2 after an enforced 2 day rest - Couch to 5K

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Week 1 run 2 after an enforced 2 day rest


Friday night (rest day after run 1) I had a flare up of a condition I have, so I took a second rest day yesterday to recover properly. I was looking forward to getting back out there again tonight, but OMIGOSH was that run tough!! Lungs started to burn on run 4 so half jogged, half brisk walked it. Managed to jog the remaining 3 runs but now my legs are wanting to commit murder to avoid further pain lol. Is the second run in a given week generally this tough or is it because I took the extra rest day? I don't want to slip back timewise on this program at such an early stage, but do you think I should take 2 rest days after run 3 as I would have done originally or just push on to week2?

Sorry for all the questions! :)

17 Replies

I often found the 2nd run of a given week harder than the first.

I also often had 2 rest days between the first and second runs of a given week.

I always put finding the run harder down to subconsciously thinking that I'd done it before so it would be ok, even though I consciously tried to be realistic.

Maybe that was my problem, I found the first run surprisingly good with no aches or pains afterwards and was perhaps expecting this 2nd run to feel the same!


Hi Ufon, I wonder if it was the flare up of the existing condition that caused the difficulty with the run. An extra rest day shouldn't cause a problem - I frequently took an extra day and found the next run easier as a result. I tend to agree with what KittyKat has said - some good advice there. I repeated quite a few runs in the early part of the programme and that served me well. It's tempting to push on when we would be better off resting - I fancied going out today but it is a rest day. Pushing on can sometimes put us at risk of injury. Being patient and erring on the side of caution at this stage can pay great dividends in the long term. Good luck and best wishes.

ufon in reply to Hidden

The condition wouldn't have caused the problems I faced today, but it is encouraging to hear that a lot of people take extra rest days and repeat the early runs. Would you recommend being comfortable with the run before moving on, or just feel that things are slightly easier than the first attempt?

Hidden in reply to ufon

This is a difficult one because we are all different. If you are completing the runs in any given week without struggling or having to give up part way through then you are ready to move forward to the next week. If you are struggling, feeling pain, etc., then may repeat a run or two. In the early days I was, in any case, doing each week twice due to my age and level of unfitness. I pushed on to week 3 without repeating week 2 and came to grief with it. Then came to grief with week 2 when I reverted to that. I didn't run for almost two weeks. I restarted at week 2, completed it then did it again. I then did week 3 with no problems. At that time I thought I would just give week 4 a try and did it with no problems. I've moved on without repeating anything since then and have now finished the programme. It's really a case of listen to your body and take it from there. I'm going out tomorrow but will just do gentle walk/jog intervals whilst I explore a few new paths and will not start the follow on podcasts until Wednesday at the earliest - I'll be raring to go by then. You might find that something like yoga or Pilates for your rest days will help - that's what a few people do as it helps to keep us mobile and loose. Cheers.

ufon in reply to Hidden

Thanks Fitmo, I used to dance a lot when I was younger so my rest days I will do some of the old stretches from back then. I'll try the third run and then see how that goes before making any decisions :)

Hidden in reply to ufon

Good idea, then you will know how best to proceed. Good luck.

Nilzed in reply to Hidden

Oh Fitmo, your history is Exactly me for the last month!

Hidden in reply to Nilzed

And you can see I got there in the end - so will you. Good luck.

the extra rest day shouldn't be a problem, due to my medical conditions I've taken up to a week out before, then done one run and taken another week. Some runs are just harder than others and the important thing is getting out there, also don't feel like you have to complete each stage within a week especially if you have a conflicting medical condition. You went out, you did it, be proud of yourself.

Could you possibly just have gone at it a bit hard as you found the first run relatively easy?

I've just completed wk1 and R1 killed me. I found 2 and 3 much easier as I made a conscious effort to go slower. Oh... And I remembered to breathe! Focusing on my breathing really helped and stopped the burning lungs!

Good luck with R3 whatever you decide to do.

ufon in reply to MightDieTrying

I don't think I went any harder, distance wise I covered less than the first run! I guess the third run will reveal more ;)


Hi ufon. Sorry to hear about your enforced extra rest day but at least we will graduate together now ;)

ufon in reply to paul2014

Let's hope that there are no more hiccups for either of us! :)

I can´t give you any advice, I just did W1R1 but my good luck and best wishes!


It gets easier as you body adjusts so keep at it as the benefits of running both emotionally and physically are wonderful! Xxx

I've been fairly inconsistent with breaks between runs, just because fitting the time in is sometimes hard with work etc etc. Sometimes it's been 1 rest day, sometimes 3. I started in January, so have been at it for 6 months now and have reached week 7. So definitely more than the 9 weeks of the programme due to extra rest days (and holidays) but I'm happy that I haven't given up and am progressing.

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