How do folks factor in other physical activiti... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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How do folks factor in other physical activities (hiking and swimming) with their program?


I'm new to running, and am on week 3 run 2. And actually enjoying it. Due to my working schedule, I'm wondering if it's problematic to swim laps on a run day. I also love to hike in the summer, but I'm wondering how to space that out with the runs since I live near the Canadian Rockies and my hikes tend to be fairly long and steep and are probably using/ exhausting the same muscles for running. Any insight would be appreciated.

13 Replies

I do other things like walking & going to the gym - strength not aerobic stuff on rest days.


First of all I'm green with envy of where you live. We visit Kimberly in B.C. to ski and I love it there. In reply to your question I run to the gym and then swim and don't have any issues but I think the strenuous hiking may have to be 'an instead of' rather than 'an as well as'


Hi there, swimming is easy on your joints so you can do that on a run day with no problem at all. As tready says, hike on 'rest' days. Good luck!


Hiking in the Rockies... wow! I'd love that!!

I do also hike a bit when I can. Have done several 20-30 km hikes and I did a 40km where I managed to get lost so it turned into 50km back in March, and have signed up for a 50km this Saturday. But it's not the Rockies, just the Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales which is (more than) enough up-and-down-all-the-time for me.

I've found that if I take two days off before the hike and one or two days after, then it doesn't really impact the running. Yes, it's similar muscles, but if anything, the multi-hour hiking seems to build endurance which comes handy for the running. And of course hiking has far less impact, so it's gentler for the knees.

So this week I'll run Monday, cycle Tuesday (and possibly swim, we'll see), run Wednesday, and then just go for a gentle walk along a local canal tow path) Thursday and Friday. Monday next week I expect to have recovered enough to do a gentle run (where I certainly won't be pushing neither speed nor distance).

As to whether it's wise to swim on your running days, I guess that depends on how much you exhaust yourself when you swim. I find that if I'm really putting the effort into swimming, my body feels like lead for hours afterwards, and I wouldn't dare to go out running feeling like that. But I have a couple of times gone to the pool for a quick 20 lanes in the morning before work, and then gone running in the lunch hour without any issues.

Best of luck with all your physical activities. Let us know how it all works out :)


Hi runswithdogs, I, too, am a hiker - or hillwalker as we say in Scotland. I find that sometimes after a particularly arduous day in the hills, which can be up to 12 hours and with 4000ft of ascent, that I'll take a day's rest before going for an easy 5km run the following day.

I've just realised that over the next few months I'm going to be combining marathon training with increasing my hiking (more big hill days) in preparation for our first trek in the Himalayan mountains.

the_tea_fairyGraduate in reply to swanscot

Where in the Himalayas are you going? I'm green with envy after a life-changing trek in Nepal several years ago. Unspeakably beautiful!

swanscotGraduate in reply to the_tea_fairy

We're doing a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary. This will be our first trip to the Himalayas and I'm so excited. It is a life-long dream to visit Nepal and to do a Himalayan trek. I hope I remain injury-free when training for the marathon, although I'll have a few weeks after the run to recover

Phil-3 in reply to swanscot

Did 12 days round Langtang in April - returned fitter, lighter, healthier and very happy - much more active since - hope you have a great trip!!

swanscotGraduate in reply to Phil-3

Oh, that sounds wonderful. I'd love to explore the Langtang region as it is much quieter than Annapurna. Maybe next year...?

Phil-3 in reply to swanscot

it was beautiful - we did it independently as a couple, using two guide/porters and staying at teahouses - there are over 90 trekking agencies in Kathmandu , all happy to help!

I usually try to get in workouts of some sort in between or walks & also try to do yoga as well!


Thanks a million for your responses - I will certainly give myself rest around any hiking I do.


I use the off days for either working with weights or bike riding.

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