What do you do on the alternate days? - Couch to 5K

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What do you do on the alternate days?

Hi guys, I'm into Week 2 of the C25K routine and I'm wondering what you guys do on the off-days in between. I run at a local gym and enjoy using the strength and resistance machine a little. Is it ok to workout on the alternate days without putting any undue pressure on the legs? Or should I be giving my complete body a rest?

Cheers and hope your running goes well.

10 Replies

Don't have an answer I'm afraid but I'm also interested in the question as I am thinking of swimming on the alternate days.

PS currently on week 1 so you're a week ahead of me :)


I do a 20 minute Zumba session on the Wii with the little un not really taking it very seriousy though.


I do yoga during the week and a bit of rambling at weekends.


Anything non-impact is ok Sidin. Cycling, swimming, weights, rowing machine, cross trainer, yoga. This is called active resting (as in resting from running, not other stuff). Doing light weights on the leg machines is a good thing as it strengthens the ligaments and muscles, but don't overdo it.

Then there is passive resting (when you just go about your daily activities, it doesn't mean sit on your rear on the sofa stuffing chocs lol).

I did swimming once a week as well as the running, and one night I do 45 mins rowing, crosstraining and light weights in the gym. It's all good as long as you're moving!!


Well on one of my 'rest' days from c25k I go to a zumba class in the evening, but I am careful with jumping around so not to injury anything. Not had any problems during the last 3 weeks :D I love zumba too much to give it up completely.

I also do yoga most evenings (one proper class a week) and I'm often seen having a boogie (which completely counts as exercise if you get sweaty lol)

I'd like to do swimming but not a fan of the local pool and can't afford a gym membership - always a future possibility though.


Thank you so much guys. I don't think I've ever had so many useful responses on an online forum before! Awesome.

I do a little rowing, and upper body exercises on the alternate days. Or active resting, as CaroleC put it.

Week 2 Day 1 was quite a jump from W1D3. Those extra thirty seconds of running really make a difference. Right now I am quivering in fear about Weeks 4, 5 and beyond.



I don't do anything except enjoy the smug glow of having run the day before!

Its my reward! :-D


because my job is sedentary I have to work hard to get exercise into my non running days.

I have so far avoided the cost of gym membership. I'm not sure they have much to offer over exercising outdoors unless you really want to work on serious strength training.

I have learnt that having a healthy amount of muscle mass (and fighting the natural wastage of it as we age or diet) is important for keeping us healthy. To help me with this I got a set of dumbbells and use those 2 or 3 times a week. I use them in combination with a workout game for the Xbox - that has worked well although it quickly became frustratingly repetitious - I think I might need to invest in a newer game with different workouts. I never enjoy these parts of my week but it is for such a small time each day (a half hour max) that I can force myself though it.

I also try to cycle as I can factor that in as something useful in my day - with a small back pack I might have to cycle to the shops many times rather than use the car (and there is no substitute for the car or bus if you have to carry bottles or other bulk goods) but just a short half hour to an hour on the bike 2 or 3 times a week seems to keep me in good form for running.

I have a personal view - that is unverified by anything I have researched but I think cycling can be quite a good form of High intensity training as you go from working really hard up hills to downhills. My bike cost £80 and is 10 years old - I want a new one but logic tells me that something lighter and easier to ride defeats the object of cycling for exercise. i should probably be adding panniers full of bricks :-)

If I am really not feeling up to cycling (or it's raining hard) then I might just do a short walk.

If I let my cycling slack off then I can really notice it in my running - my times reduce and my general feeling good about running gets eaten up by it feeling a but unpleasant.

For me, cycling and running seem to be perfect partners, they seem to complement each other.

I would like to try swimming but its quite expensive, inconvenient and I haven't done it often enough to be good enough to get over the unpleasant feeling of being out of breath and trying to avoid swallowing too much water.

Apart from the weights which i have to force myself to do I have found the cycling the easiest thing to keep up because it serves a practical purpose and is also quite good fun.

Good luck with your choices.


Wow. Thank you for the detailed response Random1984. Which game do you use on the Xbox? I use Your Shape once in a while. But since I am a writer and work out of home as it is, the short walk to the gym is a refreshing change.


Hi Sidin,

I too that YourShape. Its one of the better ones I think. I use the Menshealth fat burner most of the time.

I work from home too - I found that over the year before i started running I was getting almost no exercise. Now I have to force myself to take an hour of exercise most days - even if that is just a lunchtime walk. It can be so tempting to start working as soon as I wake and then not finish until the family get home but that's a recipe for ill health longer term. I think I might start doing some gardening this year to add to my routine.


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