Couch to 5K
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Strength Training & NHS Strength and Flex Plan

I've been thinking about adding in some strength training alongside the Couch to 5K plan (I'm currently in Weeks 4-5) and came across the NHS Strength and Flex podcasts and plan.

To be honest I'm put off by the time commitment involved: 35-45 mins three times a week on top of doing the three C25K runs seems a lot of exercise, especially as it can already be a bit of a challenge to fit the three runs into my week.

Has anyone done the Strength and Flex plan? If so, did you do it alongside the 9 weeks of C25K or only when you'd graduated?

Does anyone have an alternative strength training plan they can recommend to go alongside C25K? Ideally something a bit shorter - maybe about 10-15 mins?


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I started these on the alternate days, taking one day off both, while I was doing C25K week 2. I've continued them through the end of C25K. They are fairly mild exercises, and they didn't interfere with completing the C25K or make me feel exhausted. I have found them helpful in keeping me limber for the runs on the alternate days.

After the five weekly podcasts I just continued to do the same exercises from week five. You will by then know them well enough to do them without the podcast. This shortens the time required significantly as a lot of the time in the podcast comes from Laura describing each exercise before you do it. Not down to 10-15 minutes, but maybe 30. You could probably similarly shorten the time during days two and three of each of the five initial weeks once you learned the exercises for that week using the podcast.

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Thanks 'onward' that's really helpful. In addition to the time involved I was worried about pushing myself too hard and not giving my body a chance to recover on rest days so it's good to know the exercises aren't too tough! :)


Worth doing if you can find the time. I quite often did them after my run.

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