Rest Day: Hi I was asked a question the other... - Couch to 5K

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Rest Day



I was asked a question the other day by someone else doing the plan and it got me thinking. When it says have a day of rest before your next run is that a full day. For example, of I run on a Monday night at 8pm, can I run on Tuesday evening at 8pm or so I wait until the Wednesday? I always thought it was one full day. So run on a Monday rest on a Tuesday run again on Wednessay. Can anyone confirm?

14 Replies

Yeah it’s best not to run on consecutive days. Have the full day off in between, otherwise you’ll just overwork yourself!

I did read something about when you can start running on consecutive days but I can’t remember what it was. It’s certainly not during the first 9 weeks though! ;)

I was wondering exactly that. And also does it strictly mean every other day ie effectively not 3 runs in one week? So this week for me has been: running Sunday morning and this morning, and then Thursday morning for my 3rd run and then moving up to the next “week” on Saturday morning.

tiffj in reply to Boolee

I try and do every other day so not the same days every week. However once or twice due to family life I’ve had two or three rest days but kept going. I’ve been quite pleased to have picked up again and not given up!!

Sortyourlife in reply to Boolee

From my understanding you can leave as many rest days as you’d like in between, as long as you feel comfortable. Obviously the goal is to do 3 runs in a week and that roughly works out as every other day. Some people like to leave two rest days in between, some do the first two runs with 1 days rest and then leave two days before doing the final run. Some will choose set days to run too.

I rest a full day ie run Monday rest Tues run Weds. Hadn’t thought about doing it any other way!

LadyP79 in reply to tiffj

Me neither but when my colleague was talking about it, it made me question myself 😊


I think it means don’t run the next day at all eg Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs, Sat. I fit my 3 runs into a calendar week so I don’t run every other day and sometimes will skip 2 days. I don’t do regular days either because if I’m busy on that day I don’t want to have to squeeze the run in and not enjoy it.

LadyP79 in reply to Kamia

I'm the same. I like to enjoy my runs, that WAY I'm not put off 😊


Yes, the programme says always take a rest day and either do three runs a week, or run every other day. I did skip two rest days earlier, due to over-enthusiam, and was told in no uncertain terms by people on here why that’s a bad idea (risk of injury). In fact it apparently takes 18 months for running legs to develop to the point where running on consecutive days is OK.

I did stretch the rules last week, to allow the “every other day” runs to fit my schedule better by leaving a gap of 36 hours, rather than 48... so ran first thing one day, evening the following day, and first thing 2 days later. But again, that is not advisable, and risks injury.

LadyP79 in reply to HoagyM

Naughty Hoagy 😂😂 I'm an every other day girl. I never miss my rest day. I might miss a run day but never a rest day!! 😀😀


The advice is to have a rest day between runs, on which your damaged muscles repair and strengthen, as explained in the guide to the plan

The difference between 18hrs and 24hrs rest may or may not be significant, but I would say what is the hurry? You have a lifetime to run and you will want to spend as little of that time on the injury couch as possible. You will not do any harm having an extra rest day, but you are much more likely to suffer if you do not give yourself adequate recovery time.

Many new runners might get away with running daily from the outset, while many others would quickly suffer from overuse injuries.

Slow and steady progress is by far your best route forward.

Thank you! I will pass this information onto my colleague. It's always good to have an actual reason rather than "because you shouldn't" 😀😀

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm the one that runs every other day. I don't want to injure myself, I want to complete the programme 😊😊 I'm so close to finishing it I'm not risking it. Will pass on the info to my colleague 😊

I run Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday consistently each week. With Sunday being the start of the next week on the App. To give myself a bit of extra time for my muscles to relax after the Thursday.

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