Couch to 5K

Running more than 3x per week

Hi all,

I'm set to do w2r3 today or tomorrow. I'm in no way in a rush to get through the program fast. However, I'm finding myself enjoying the runs (for the most part) and the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done. I understand that to avoid injury we should follow the plan of 3 runs per week. However, what if we're experiencing no major pains and just want to continue on? Is there anything really wrong with moving on if our body isn't saying "break!'

6 Replies

No, there is no problem at all.

BUT... (there's always a but), experience shows that most us can't recognise our body's warning signs until it is too late. It's definitely a learning curve, and after 16 months I have to be honest and say I am not convinced I have learnt it yet. And that sucks, because once your body says "break" it's too late, often much too late. You need to hear that super subtle gentle warning signal that is so easy to ignore. That's why the programme "plays it safe-ish" with 3 runs and 4 rest days per week.

1 like

I don't know what age you are but if you're young then you could maybe get away with it but all I know is that I increased my running to 4 days a week six months after graduation, I felt great to begin with and then wham! I started to get little aches and niggles. Nothing too much but in the end I had to stop running completely for about a month as my body didn't like the extra day.

Most of us feel like you do - we love running and want to do more but it is wise to be cautious. You are still very new to running and your body has to get used to it.

You can do other exercise on your non running days. Cycling, swimming, rowing, cross trainer, Pilates, walking, yoga, weights. These will all make you a stronger runner.


A week doesn't have to be 7 days. If you want to move on try running every other day (i.e. complete your week in 6 days and then start the next week a day early). However, as Tomas says, watch out for the slightest niggle and be prepared to ease off. A niggle quickly becomes an injury and then you can be laid up for weeks. Lots of us have been there. I'm just starting to get back on the wagon again after 2 months of being laid off after a stupid injury which I decided to ignore. I would certainly think extremely carefully about running every day at this stage in your journey.


I was going to suggest this - leaving one day between runs is probably very good advice for at least the first year of running. It takes a significant time for your body to react to the extra strain and while it does that, you need recovery time. Preferably after every run.

However, if you don't feel you need two days break at the end of the week then why not make your week 6 days and move on a day earlier each time.

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I've been running 2 years in Sept but I've still succumbed to an overuse injury which has benched me since early May. Don't be in a hurry. Grow those running legs slowly and bear in mind that running legs are built on your rest days. This is not just an old wive's tale, it's true.

I moved up to four times a week, not long after doing my first 10k I think it was. I soon knocked it back down to 3 times a week as I just couldn't hack it. I could after a while but just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Your skeleton has to keep up with your running legs, so building your overall strength makes sense, so make good use of those rest days and get some cross training done. It will pay dividends and make you less prone to injury. Start to get to know squats, lunges, Burpees,jumping jacks - all that malarky. All grist to the mill

Good luck


Thanks for the pointers, everyone. First and foremost, I'm a mom to two under 10. So, my first struggle is working a run around them. Sometimes that involves 2 days in a row to get them in. But, I'm finding myself looking forward to the runs and wanting to go out because I'm enjoying it, for now. So, my question came from that more than anything. Happy running!


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