Fitting in 3 runs a week. : So I graduated just... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Fitting in 3 runs a week.


So I graduated just as I returned to work after the school holidays and I am already finding it hard to fit in the 3x 30 mins runs per week. I have been able to get along to parkrun as it's on a Saturday and so I definitely get to do one 5k in a week which takes about 40 mins. Am I better off just doing 2x5k week or should I still be aiming to run 3x a week even if 2 of them are shorter, maybe 15-20 mins instead of 30? I'm thinking of downloading the C25K+ podcasts anyway to try to slowly improve my 5k time but I am definitely not going to be able to run 3x 30 mins for the foreseeable (well half term at least!).

Thanks for any opinions on this. I really don't want to lose this fitness I have worked so hard to achieve.

5 Replies

Three times thirty minute heart rate raising sessions per week used to be the recommended amount, although there are many statements now that we should aim at 5 or 6. I also find it hard to fit in three runs per week in the dark winter months, but I have learned not to agonise over it. Sure, my fitness levels drop if I am not running three times per week, but soon return when I can get back out again before work.

I think the important thing is to try to maintain the habit, even if reduced in number. The alternative is treadmills, which I have no experience of, beyond a gait analysis, so cannot personally recommend, although they work for many.

I have heard somewhere that intensity gives greater returns than duration does. I think that's "athlete advice" to be taken with lots of salt, but if you're pressed for time, you can perhaps get the same training effect from an intense interval session as you'd have done from more time going more slowly. Whether that's really so is something you'll have to confirm either via google or via one of the better informed members of this forum.


Throw in a 20 minute run. You can do fartleks or speed intervals. My 5k time became much faster when I started throwing a 3k route into my routine. Give it a try - getting out there is more important in my opinion than always hitting 30 minutes.


I only do 2, my couchto5k said to do 2 or 3 runs a week to maintain fitness. When I went away in the school holidays I didn't run for 2.5 weeks and I don't feel like I lost much, if any at all, fitness in that period. In fact , my first run back from holidays was one of the best I have had!


Hi. I try and run 3 times a week but sometimes life gets in the way and I only do two. I use the the three graduate podcast. They are ace. If im pressed for time the speed one is good (and tough) and only running for 15 mins or so as its interval training.

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