Post-graduate how many times a week should I be running full 5k?

Hi y'all :) So I have now run in total 6 x 5k runs over the past 14 days since graduating - but I am soooo tired!!! I always have a rest day between each run, and did have 2 rest days in a row a fortnight ago, and last weekend had 4 rest days in a row. So this week I ran Wednesday and Friday so due another run this Sunday - but today my rest day I'm like incredibly knackered lol.

It's probably just that my body is not used to this much energy expenditure yet.

Should I only be running 5k once a week and 3k or 4k on the others?

I want to run to enjoy it but the last 2 runs felt like a hard slog.

Advice for newbies please :-) thanks

18 Replies

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  • You don't need to run 5K at all..ever, if you don't want to.:) Many graduates have never run 5K...:)

    The whole programme was about stamina not distance or speed.. you can run for 30 mins... you know that...

    NOW, you run for as long as and as far as you like! However the mood takes you, the only thing is, have your rest days.

    I run Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays... Tuesday I usually do a longer run... anything from 5 to 7K... but if I feel less like a long run, I poddle along for about 3 K, slowly!

    You decide... at this early stage, the best bit is, run for pleasure and no pressure! :)

  • Thanks Oldfloss. I think I just put too much pressure on myself. Worried incase not running 5k means I'll lose fitness / stamina but that's probably me being daft :-)

    I will take it easy on myself this coming fortnight. Thanks again :-)

  • You won't lose it..just do your runs to suit you. Have you tried the C25K+ podcasts..they are great fun..and help develop different aspects of your running. I did each one over three wks I still use them sometimes and mix and match,and build into other runs too☺

  • I haven't done them all yet. I did the Stepping Stone one which was about starting at a slow speed and building up to a higher speed but tbh I think I must naturally, comfortably run about 160-165bpm so I found it difficult to run slower lol.

    I will however persevere and listen to the other 2 and try build them into my running :-)

  • Yes the stepping stone gets us all like that...😏 i like the Speed and the Stamina...I use Speed a lot for fun..I enjoy the intervals...but Stamina is v good for my longer runs...You just find which you enjoy.☺

  • There is no rule; just keep it enjoyable and funny, so that you keep going out three times per week, regardless to the distance you cover.

    Unless you're interested in competitive running, there is absolutely no pressure on time/distance performances and whatever works for you, is "the best" for you.

  • After I graduated I actually ran two 20 minute runs a week, and a 5k or little longer on the weekend. Run the distance and speed you enjoy for awhile and focus on having fun.

  • Three thirty minute runs per week goes a long way towards the amount of decent cardiovascular effort that you should put in to maintain a healthy heart and lungs. I believe that five times thirty minutes per week is the recommendation.

    As others say, enjoy it and don't let it be a slog, otherwise you are likely to give up. Your fitness will continue to develop if you maintain that level for a few months and you will feel less tired as a result.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • I have been wondering about this as well. I am amazed at how much different I can see and feel in my leg muscles having completed the course. I am also amazed at how many other areas of the body have improved as well, tummy arms etc which I wasn't expecting. But I want to continue to improve that. I run slowly, and I don't know how to run faster, (ok silly question- is it all about cadence, or should I be lifting my feet more each step?) If I carry on with the 30 minutes three times a week and watch what I eat, I hope I will lose the weight I carry, and maybe that alone will make me a better runner over time. I have done this whole thing without injury, and I want that to continue to be the case. But I feel a bit lost now without the program. I am extending the time for one run a week, and that feels right to me. I am starting to use some weights, and I am trying to do other exercise three days a week. But I can't get my head round rest days for running and doing other stuff, i.e. do I still need to 'rest' my leg muscles or can I train them with squats and other strength building things on the days that I don't run without affecting the runs. By the way Traceyanne83 5k is still a long way off for me, you rock girl! But are you eating the right food before running? Maybe you could look at that?

  • Hi :-)

    Before I started C25K I used to walk for at least 30 mins every day. Sometimes 60 mins and if I missed a day I'd try to do 60 the next time, but bare minimum 30 mins.

    I find that on my rest days I still briskly walk for 30 mins. I also do toning exercises for my abs and arms on rest days (if I can be bothered :-)) so you probably can do exercise on rest days - although maybe that's where I'm going wrong?!! Toning is probably better then exertion for us newbies.

    I still feel my body changing too - legs feel more muscley, posture when walking is great now - find I hold myself differently - across chest and lungs feel great and "fit".

    I even noticed too that my top set of abs are peeking through!! Probably due to more muscles burning more of the fat! Yippee! (I've been doing 10 min ab workout from a dvd for at least 3 years and never actually 'seen' my abs although can feel the muscles toned there.) So I'm not complaining.

    Well done Bulgarianlily I don't think the distance necessarily matters, if you're getting a good 30 mins in every run and are noticing the difference it is making then you should be proud of yourself!

    I think today I will do interval training 5k - walk one song run once song walk one song run one song just to give myself a break from the monotony of running lol - will do a full run next time :-)

  • Running, in moderation, is undoubtedly good for you and you will feel the benefits in so many ways on a daily basis, but also statistically in the reduction of so many ailments that are exacerbated by inactivity. It makes sense to maintain the habit.

    Do not be tempted to increase your stride length to speed up. This will put strain on your knees. Increased cadence is the answer. Over time your speed will increase, especially if you lose weight. Try a run with a rucksack containing a few extra pounds to feel the difference.........lose the extra weight, you will definitely speed up. However running alone will do little to shift that weight and many on here use the my fitness pal app to increase their awareness of their diets.

    As for rest days, they are crucial, as a new runner, but they are rest from the impact of running, so you can still exercise on those days and you will benefit from doing so.

  • Squats and other leg exercises are a really good idea. But don't be surprised if your legs are tired the following day. I need to get back into the gym, but when I was going regularly I'd try and have an easy run day the day following a bunch of leg stuff.

  • Well.. read the other posts, and basically, just continue to run... the podcasts+ certainly helped me with that lost feeling after C25K:) Loads of us were floundering a little,post Laura. Check out past posts!

    The running is not intended, as you know for weight loss, although it certainly can happen, I, for example put on weight. Started at 9 st...now 9st 5 lbs!!! Much to the delight my GP Nurse, as I was,underweight!

    The speed and distance, you can do things about, and there will be plenty of advice I am sure. In my reply above, I said, I run three times a week,I do longer runs, shorter runs, and very short runs, depends how I feel... and I suddenly found I was increasing distance from 5K when I graduated, to 7K+. For example last week I did a 5 K, a 3 K and 7.25 K...:)

    I try different things, use the Speed and Stamina podcasts, sometimes on their own and sometimes within a run at the beginning, middle or end, I try daft things too, just for fun, like running backwards! ( it was just fun fun...) I want to increase my pace a bit too, so have been researching Strides, which I am going to try this week!

    On my non run days, I exercise...I cycle, I walk! I do Yoga everyday, I do strength and flex exercise; not in an obsessive, manic way, but in a way that suits me, and, touch wood, at 66, am retaining the fitness level, mental and physical, gained throughout the C25K programme. :)

  • You are amazing Oldfloss!

  • Tee hee... if you could see my pink face...just got in from a lovely run... (a bit late this morning for me, and warmer...) I think amazingly hot, is more like it :) x

  • I don't always run three times because l am prone to injury. I do two 30 Minute runs or three. One km swimming, and some strength training. Once you have finished the programme it is just a question of maintaining and improving what you have gained. Just listen to your body and be kind to yourself

  • All good what others have said - another suggestion is to look into something that will keep running fun - have you got a parkrun near you? Besides this forum, parkrun is my favourite thing I have found since starting running!

  • @traceyannet83. If i was you i would either ease off distance or run like i do Mon Wed Fri Mon Wed Fri and so on. Doing too much and you could get injured and put you back to the beginning. Hope that helps.