Couch to 5K
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Advice please?

I have a question my much younger sister wants to start C25k and I always promised we would do it together but unfortunately she was going through an extremely bad patch and in too dark a place to start when I did. Thankfully she is coming out the other side now and wants to start. Can I do the programme again on my rest days to accompany her as long as I still have one rest day between my longer runs as I don’t want to lose my fitness I’ve worked so hard for by going back to the start but don’t want to loose her down and want her to feel the highs and benefits of running and get her addicted too ... plus on a bonus point I will have a running buddy. Any help/advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Have a fab Christmas and new year everyone and run it off on Boxing Day 🎄😉

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You might be okay for the first few weeks, but the same damage is being done to your muscles when you run, requiring a rest day for recovery. You are still a new runner and it is generally recommended that you should be running regularly for at least a year before considering running on consecutive days.

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I was thinking I would do a 25 or 30 minute run one day then rest the next and then complete a day with my sister then rest then a 25min or 30min run in that pattern. Do you think this would be ok?

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That should be fine, but Millsie-J has a better idea below.

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I too wondered about this since my wife wants to start c25k as well. I assume since I am W7 next week then doing W1 and W2 runs on my rest day with my wife to help her get started would be ok. But nothing after that when her runs begin to get longer?

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I did some runs with my daughter when she did the programme following her kidney transplant. She ran her week, i did a 30 minute run (could have been intervals, fartlek, just run etc). But we choose a route where we could see each other all the time, a loop usually. You can then turn towards each other when it suits and keep passing / encouraging etc. We had lots of fun with high fives ✋🏼 and many whoop whoops as we each did our own 30mins. Warm up and warm down walks can be done together.

Hope you can make it work.

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I like this approach and gets over the cumulative risk of injury.

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I think this is a much better idea, bravo @Millsie-J

Not just because of the need for rest days for both of you but because of the reason you didn't both do it together in the first place. This way you provide the support but reduce the risk of tipping her back into a dark place (and improve her resilience by providing a degree of independence in her running)

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I don't know what week you are up to now - but personally I have always been of the opinion that C25K moves ahead too quickly (even though thousands of people manage to do it to completion). Starting over again with your sister will do you both good - getting her started (and addicted :) ) - but it will have even more benefit for you. You will not lose fitness by going back to the start - you will gain stamina and strength!! Your ability now to run alongside her and support her will do YOU well - psychologically AND physically. If you do go back to join her at the start , then you will also be able to proceed further with her after C25K graduation. IF for some reason she does not succeed, then you will be able to slot back into the programme at the level where you are now - even stronger than now. I say - DO IT!

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I’m quite a recent graduate graduated in November.

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Even better - many of us here have wondered whether it would be good to go back to the start of C25k immediately upon graduation. :) The theory is that we are very "tentative" when we start C25k and stay that way for the duration. How would we be on the second go-around - we would start out more confident, we would have developed some endurance , stamina and strength. As for me - I did C25K 4 years ago, went onto to 10 K, and then went on to the HM distance. After my last HM of 2 hours and 23 minutes at age 70, I wondered "where to from here?" I realised that all of my running over the past 4 years was based on a really conservative tentativeness and I had always trained for long slow distances. 4 years ago, 5K WAS a "marathon" distance for me. :) So I decided to restart my running career after my return from a trip to the UK by doing a 9 week programme to run only 1 mile. But , the Universe had a different idea and decided that I should fall down in a gutter instead and fracture a bone in my foot - so I am back to kind of doing C25K all over again. I have a 10K "race" lined up for early April and after that, if my foot approves, I will start out on that 1 mile training programme and try running faster than I ever have.

Good luck to you with whatever decision you make :)

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Don't know if my experience is of any use, but I started in the summer and didn't even complete W1R1 the first time (I had chosen a route which included a hill, so I blamed it on that!), but I persevered and had got to week 6 when I injured myself. I couldn't run for about 6 weeks so I went right back to the beginning when I started again in November. I couldn't believe how much easier the early runs were - I finally understood that I had made progress which was a great feeling. I'm just crossing my fingers that I'll get past W6R2 next week and start into uncharted territory. I honestly don't think you will suffer if you go back to the beginning.

Good luck to you and your sister. :) x

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Ah thank you everyone for your posts I think I will give it a go but am secretly hoping as her confidence and stamina builds that she will have the confidence to run on her own at a time to suit her. I am a morning person and she most definitely is not. I quite enjoyed the solitude of doing it on my own and enjoyed half an hour to myself.

I will let you know how it goes but as I have worked so hard to make it thus far I dont want to lose my stamina either 🤞

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Do you do any cross training or strength work? Could be a good opportunity to add in some swimming or weight work on your rest days. Skipping (jump rope) is a really good one to try. You could also finish off your C25K session by doing some strides or other short speed interval workouts. You can be working on strength, speed, and agility all while you help and inspire your sister, and your running stamina will be maintained due to your C25K sessions with her :)

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Maybe think about running one run a week with her rather than every run? Perhaps the first run of her week to encourage and support. Then she does couple of runs alone. It has to work for you too !

You can do it runner.

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I do jump rope in the house without a rope. It’s great exercise 😃. It’s part of Jillian michaels workout dvd 💪👍🙂

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That made me laugh at a favourite memory of mine. Infant school PE in the playground. Races to the wall at the far end. "Skipping race" the teacher announced. "But we haven't got skipping ropes" one bright spark piped up. "You just have to pretend," said the teacher, not really making her intentions clear to that one particular boy. The rest of us all merrily "skipped" (land and hop on same leg then swap, while swinging arms). He took her literally and ran down to the far end whirling his arms round pretending to have a rope....

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Awesome

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