Should I run on back to back days?

So I'm a newbie to the c25k programming and this forum. I have always been slender and healthy but never fit or athletic at all and starting to run has been a struggle! But this morning I ran week 3 day 2 and I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it. I now can't wait to do the next one. I usually take a day off between each run but I hate the idea of having to wait until Monday to get out there again.

So my question is should I wait or can I do the next one tomorrow? I know the benefits of having a day off to repair and recover but surely if I'm on a roll a little back to back running can't hurt?


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21 Replies

  • I would take the rest day. The IC is not a place that you want to be all for waiting 24 hours. I remember wanting to run on consecutive days at one point and am glad I didn't. Have also found that 2, or a few more, days rest can really help which sounds crazy I know. Slow and steady will get you through the programme in one piece :-) Happy running.

  • I've read that only after 2 months of regular 3-day-a-week running you can occasionally have 2 consecutive days (for example running 4 days a week). You might get away with it but the risk of injury is much greater.

  • Well done for getting this far! So glad you're enjoying it, the programme is absolutely great! I doubt you'll find anyone on here who will tell you it's ok to run consecutive days. It's one of the few rules of the programme and as we know the programme is absolutely spot on in every other area, it must be like that for a reason! You may feel like you don't need your rest days now but further through the programme it really will do you good and help your recovery. You can do other exercise on your rest days, swimming, cross training? Or you could try the NHS strength and flex podcasts which you can do on the C25k rest days? You're obviously doing really well - it wouldn't be worth it to end up on the IC when you're enjoying it so much.

  • Thou shalt respect rest days and keep them holy😉! The others are right. Good luck!

  • I would certainly wait.

  • Despite enjoying a great run, continue to follow the program as it suggests. In doing so, Sunday will present your body with opportunity to recover, whilst allowing running fitness to improve at a measured rate.

  • You answered your own question! Rest is vital so just believe in the programme. You can put in walking, cycling or swimming if you are desperate to move

  • I totally get where you are coming from. I think the same very often, but running is a high-impact exercise and therefore rest days are critical. A rest day inbetween each run will reduce the risk of injury, and resting allows your joints to recover and your running muscles to repair and strengthen.

  • a little "back to back" type of exercise, is VERY harmful !!

    Doing something too often, causes lots of problems.

    Giving yourself a Break (up to 48 hours), does WONDERS !!

    This includes DESIRE to continue and improve !!

    If you "Enjoyed" today, tomorrow will just be "So-So".

    A day's "break" though, will mean that you can "REALLY ENJOY"

    your next run.



    As one of the "Racing" coaches, we NEVER allowed the racers to

    Race in Consecutive days.

  • Well that is definitely unanimous! I shall respect the rest days and wait for the next one.

    Thanks everybody, I'm really glad I found this forum, everyone is so supportive on here. it's so nice to have people in the same boat as me just starting out on the journey to be a runner along with all of those with more experienced to help us on our way :)

  • It is a great forum Litteboop and as you say there is a real mix of folk on here all sharing experience, trials and tribulations! I graduated last October and still remember the buzz as I progressed through the programme. This forum has been a great support, not only when running but also when injury struck😮! I now run regular 10ks and am hoping to complete my first 10mile race next month. (Up to 8 miles so far!) I still see myself as a new runner though - still finding my running legs and where I want to take my running! Good luck on your journey!🏃🏻

  • I certainly wouldn't advise it at your stage, not least because no matter how much you enjoyed it, you also said it was a bit of a struggle - that won't get any easier if you don't take your rest days, then think how disappointed you'll be! And that's on top of the risk of injury. Running really does take your body a while to get used to, the programme is designed the way it is for exactly that reason...Listen to Laura, she knows what she's talking about!

  • I remember Laura saying on the program that 'rest days will make you a better runner'. That stopped me getting tempted not to take a rest day. After finishing the program and with more months of running 3 times a week you can do more if you want to but it's just not worth risking injury doing too much in the early stages. I run 4 times a week now but still find rest days really improve my performance. Walking on rest days is good too.

  • Hi Littleboop . That runners high is definitely kicking in which is great. But I would say stick with the programme, it is tried and tested .

    There is a danger of injury or strain etc if you do not look after your body so rest days are important, particularly when we begin our journey to becoming a runner. The IC is not a good place to be. 😩 Enjoy your running 👍🏼

  • Hi there. When I started this programme, a few weeks ago, one of the things that surprised me was how much I was looking forward to the next run. I couldn't wait! Funny how you get such a buzz from it. That said, I just did my second run for week 2. For some reason it felt so hard today. Four days since my last fun, for various reasons. Is it too long?

  • I think that sometimes it is just harder than others for no good reason. I just followed the programme religiously and accepted the ups and downs. Just be proud of your progress.

  • If you are young, have been physically active in your very recent past and are generally in good physical condition then your risk of overdoing it is very much reduced, but I would still recommend taking rest days from running and, if you want to improve your running, do some none impact cross training, such as swimming, cycling or Pilates.

    Weeks spent on the injury couch are much longer than those spent running.

  • On my rest days, I often either go for a swim, or do an easy run from week 1, just to keep the legs moving.

    but the body does need time to repair and build up the muscle fibres.

  • as "hinted" prior,

    "Regular Recovery days" are MUCH SHORTER and EASIER than "LONG-TERM Physiotherapy Recovery" !!

  • Hi LittleBoop.

    That depends on yourself really.

    If you are aching at all, then I would advise that you take a rest day.

    However saying that, I often run several days on the trot. But when I do I either repeat the same run again; or I go back to either week 1 Day3 or week 2 day 1 ish....

    OR I go for a swim in my local gym.

    But there is some good advice on here

    But if you are in doubt take a rest day.

  • Actually, Best training methods, include Two days of Exercise, Followed by One day of rest.

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