How many days a week to do the couch to 5k

Hi Everyone,

I'm complete newbie here and hoping start the couch to 5k this week. I've bought an MP3, downloaded Laura's weeks running, got my trainers, sort out my diet plan, but now I need to know how many days a week are we suppose to do the training? 

I've already started my diet on 1st April and have lost 9lbs so far I've got 6 stones to lose to reach my target weight of 8 stones. I'm determined to make it this year, every time I've tried diet and exercise but work or Home life got in the way then I ended putting the weight  back on but this year I will reach my target weight.

I shall come in the forum and share my progress.



Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

18 Replies

  • It's based around 3 or 4 runs a week. 

    You should have at least one day's rest (can do strength and flex training etc) between runs. 

    I stuck to Mon, Wed, Fri and had weekends 'off'. 

    Some people have managed alternate days through the programme. 

    Some people have kept 2 or 3 days between runs. 

    Start it, see how you go, see if you get aches and pains- don't run until they settle- and you'll find out what is right for you :)

  • Well done for taking the plunge! As jt 24 says, the programme is based on three runs a week. My advice is take each day and run at a time. There is no rush,  go steady and slowly,listen to your body and don't compare yourself with others. I took longer than the 9 weeks to complete the programme because of work commitments, holiday, weather and also because I redid some of the runs. Make the programme work for you. You can do it! keep posting your progress - everyone is very supportive in this community. Best of luck to you.

  • Thanks jt24 and skyhigh26 for your replies, I'll start with 3 days run for now once my body take to the exercise I'll increase the days to four. 

    I will definitely post my progress in the forum, I've taken a before photo on the 1st of April and will take one at each beginning of every month hopefully to see changes to help me to keep with the exercise until I reach my goals.


  • wow well done on your weight loss so far.  I do between 2-3 runs a week and sometimes just 1 - often life gets in the way and I was beating myself up that I couldn't fit in 3 runs one week and someone advised me not to worry too much about it so now I simply move on to the next run - this way I don't feel like I'm failing when I can't complete 3 runs - if I did I would have probably given up by now

  • Congratulations on starting! I had tried running before but with no real plan but C25K is soooo much better than 'making it up as you go along'. Yesterday I did W3R1 and amazed myself in being able to run for 3 minutes without collapsing in a heap! The advice and support you will get from this forum are invaluable and you will be amazed at what you are capable of. I look forward to hearing how you get on and wish you good luck on the journey.

  • Thank you I'm already enjoying the App normally I would just go for long walks but I find with Laura gearing to carry on is helping I don't think I would I've been able to do this type of exercise by myself.

  • I stick with the programme & run 3 times a week, Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday. W8R1 is tonight & I'm a week behind when I started due to a very small injury but hitting the streets tonight hoping it feels ok. It's the best thing you'll ever do. I couldn't run for 60 seconds when I started 9 weeks ago & I'm now on 25 mins. 

    Restarted slimming world 2 weeks ago too, I want to lose 3 stone so onwards & downwards with any luck :)

    Just remember slow & steady is the way to go as everyone on this fabulous forum will tell you.

    Good luck with it all & keep us updated


  • Thank you Vickyb those are the days I've chosen as well. I pray I'm able to keep to those days and able to do this program religiously, my main problem would be having to travel for my work. I'll make sure all appointments would be done on the days I'm not running unless if one of my clients cannot see me on my days off it'll have to be worth while lol because I intend to stick to the days I've chosen.

    Good luck to you also and will certain update everyone. xx

  • Well done on starting the programme (and on your weight loss so far). I started off doing 3 runs a week (Tues, Thurs and then either Sat or Sun) but as the weeks have gone on there have been some weeks where I've only managed to get in 2 (pesky life getting in the way!). What I will say is, as you get further into the programme you'll be amazed at how much you're itching to get out and run - when I first started I never thought I'd feel enthusiatic about putting on trainers and getting out there - now I get antsy if it's a day I'd planned to run but can't , this programme whould have an 'Warning - Addictive' message on it :) Good luck!

  • Thank you Louisella,

    That's what happened to me  on my first run of W1R1. I couldn't pause my MP3 when I stopped for some water I had to abandon the first run because it started all over again my body just would not accept to do the 5 minutes brisk walk again besides I got myself in a rhythm.  Yesterday I did the 2nd and tomorrow I will do the last 3 but next week I will start the W1R1 all over again as if it will be my first ever.

    That's what I'm worrying about life gets in the way, I'm very busy with my work and sometime have to travel too just have to do the best I can and finishing each week accordingly.

    Good luck to you also. x

  • It suits some people's lifestyle to have set days on which they run. This means that they will run 3 times a week.

    Others will run every other day if they can, and this means that some calendar weeks they will run three times other weeks 4.

  • Thanks for letting me know this gives me some ideas how best I can use the app and not having the need to do the three days run per week that I can catch up in the following week.

  • Majority of us do three runs a week with a rest day in between , doing other exercises on the rest days , welcome to the forum , lots of help ,and  tips on here , to share your journey with, good luck  with it , 

  • I found that 3 runs per week worked really well for me.  I graduated in Nov 2014, and I'm still running 3 times per week.  I do 6km runs on tueday and thursday mornings, then a long run (currently 18km) on sundays. I like the extra day rest before my longer sunday run.

    I've tried various numbers of runs while recovering from injury last summer (4 times, every day, etc) and since September I'm back to 3 times per week as it seems to work best for me :)

  • Thank you I like the sound of three days run per week for me I think it'll keep me in a routine and my body to accept the exercise. I've just start this week but as mentioned before I had to abandon the first day. Tomorrow I'm doing day 3. But will start all over again next week.

    Congratulations for graduating I hope I make it seems a long way away for me yet.

  • You'll be surprised how quickly the weeks fly by :)   I think that the best advice that I can give you is to run more slowly than you think you need to, especially during the first 10 minutes.

    Happy Running  :)

  • Well done on the weight loss! And for getting ready to start c25k. I have done three runs a week with a two day rest at some point (really fitting in with other commitments) and that's worked well for a month or so till I strained my calf 12 days ago so enforced resting now.  Will restart when I'm pain free and see how I go but I think three a week is a good plan 

  • Thank you HilaryC,

    I'm doing the couch to 5k at the moment. Is there a C25k? Yes I prefer the three days a week though I've barely started but I think the 3 days a week will work best for me. I'm just hoping I get to the end.


You may also like...