Follow Couch to 5k in exactly 9 weeks?

I have just completed my first 3 runs of the programme in week one. I ran every other day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Now, I am wondering if I should take the whole weekend off and start week 2 on Monday OR if I should start week 2 after a single day's rest and carry on with the programme, on Sunday?

Obviously if I carry on into week 2 on Sunday and keep running every other day (rather than stick to it by whole weeks) the entire programme will take less than 9 weeks. Has anybody else done this and would you recommend it? Taking 2 days off at the weekend may cause me to lose momentum!

I feel absolutely fine after the first week.....after the first two sessions I was exhausted during and after the run and pretty much flopped on the sofa afterwards for the rest of the day but after my 3rd run, I found it relatively easy and felt fine the rest of the day!



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15 Replies

  • yes it is less than 9 weeks to complete if you run every other day. It worked well like that for me .It's amazing how much progress you make week to week if you stick to the program.Good luck

  • I have graduated now without injury so hope my thoughts r helpful. I love the pattern u have of Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I would say the 2 day rest and the regular pattern is going to be a great help later on when u r doing longer runs. Resting is as vital as running and ur legs need recovery time. Good planning, please do not be tempted to rush it, slow and steady is the way

  • I don't think there has to be a fixed rule, but as you progress and the runs get longer, you may want to have the odd 2 day break. generally 3 runs per week is a good number, I rarely do more than that - as runs get longer it gets more difficult to fit them in anyway. the main thing is to listen to your body; if you have no aches at all, you may get away with only one rest day, but you may find that after a while you experience sore/stiff muscles the day after a run; this usually disappears again on its own, but you need to be careful not to overdo it. it may depend on your general level of fitness, but I think for most of us startin to run was quite a change in activity and we have to remember that we are asking a lot of our bodies ad it takes them some time to get used to this. All the best.

  • Thanks for your replies. I appreciate it! I think I may start week 2 on Sunday but be ready to adjust it back to a 3 run week pattern if I struggle to keep up with continuous every other day runs.

  • I have always be tempted to do more but stuck to 3 a week. I am happy with it. I think it depends on your level of fitness, how much you want to do and how you can cope with it. for me, three times a week was the best choice.

  • I ran every other day for most of the programme but then a few things prevented me from running and I ended up taking nine weeks. The important thing is to maintain at least one rest day between runs. These are crucial as a new runner and are in fact when your body repairs and conditions itself.

  • My plan was every other day and that worked but then life got in the way and the nights started to get darker so sometimes due to work commitments I had two days inbetween and once I was so tired I had four days! But tomorrow is my last run and it will have taken me 8 weeks. Listen to your body, it knows what it's capable of, if you are tired, ill or injured rest. This is a personal challenge you are not competing (yet) with anyone. Good luck it's a great programme.

  • I always took 2 days off at the end of each week and that worked for me. Gave a chance for my achey legs to recover as I progressed through the programme. Good luck with the rest and well done getting started and week 1 under your belt! :-D

  • As low no as you've had 1 rest day and you listen to your body, you'll be fine.

  • * as long. Silly autocorrect

  • It's up to you really, how you feel and what things you have on to do, as long as you have your rest day, can't see a problem running every other day..

  • I did the every other day thing because I committed to an event only a few weeks away. Ì took 5 days off before an organized run. No doubt taking that break really helped. This forum is full of stories of knee, hip and calf/shin problems, so I believe it's better to prevent those problems. If I was starting out, I would not exceed 3 runs a week, and repeat a week if necessary. My battle was with shin splints, so the extra day could have really helped me, but we're all different and maybe you'll be just fine. Have fun!

  • It took me 12+ attempts and about six weeks to complete Week 1... but I never needed to do an extra run for the rest of the programme and mostly ran every other day so yes, I ran 4 times in some 7 day periods.

    I'd say if you can do a run on Sunday, do it...

  • Today (Saturday) is my rest day and I feel fine! I will decide tomorrow. Thanks y'all for the tips and advice. You are all amazing achievers! Appreciate the thoughtful replies! :)

  • Hiya

    I'm in week two too!

    I run on tues and Thursday mornings and then whichever evening on the weekend works best.

    At least that's The plan. Seems to be working so far :)

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