Mixing outside and inside running - how? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Mixing outside and inside running - how?


Hi there,

I love running outside and am about to start Week 5 but I do also like treadmill running for toning benefits. Is it ok to do one day outside one day in one day outside etc then have a couple of days rest at the weekend? Or is it really a mnust that you have a days break between each run? It's just frustrating because it means I don't have enough time to do both! Thanks

3 Replies

The rest days are there to help your body recover in between runs. You could do some other kind of exercise - cross-training (whatever that is, haven't worked it out at all), swimming, cycling and walking are all options as well as lower intensity toning stuff like pilates. Treadmill running and outside running both count as running, so you should have a rest day in between.


Rest days are REALLY important. They are when your muscles recover from the impact you put them through during your runs. They are really important for all of us beginners as most of us aren't ready to subject our bodies to daily running just yet (and it's not recommended at all longer term from what I read)... Building muscles requires tiny tears to the muscle that your body repairs during your rest day... not resting means you may risk an injury as your body has no time to repair (ie. build) the muscles you use for running...

You'll find as you go through this programme that you perform much better having had a day or two off anyway - it's just the way we're wired I think.. our muscles are primed and rested rather than constantly tired and stretched...

There's no hurry and as runningnearbeirut says you can always try a low impact exercise on your rest day (walking is fine as it might help sore muscles). Running on a rest day risks injury and that could knock you right off track and off the programme... slow and steady... there's plenty of time - enjoy it!


Aussiegtc talks really good sense, it is worth taking on board what he says otherwise you will get injured and be unable to run at all. Also, your fitness gains come while your body is repairing itself so in the long run (excuse the pun), you will be stronger by taking rest days. I am interested as to why you think you get toning benefits from the treadmill? In fact you should get more toning benefit from running outside because the constant adjustment to the terrain means you use muscles in your whole body constantly whereas the treadmill largely 'transports' you.

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