skipping rest days: Hi all, new to couch to 5k... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

121,481 members151,852 posts

skipping rest days

bluwnd360 profile image

Hi all, new to couch to 5k having just completed week 1.

I have a question is about rest days - I work shifts which means my runs are never at a consistent time. The app is very insistent on me taking a rest day however my last run was yesterday morning at 9:30AM. I'm really in the mood to start week 2 now the sun has disappeared behind the clouds and my legs feel great. Is it gonna cause any problems if I occasional skip rest days when my runs are morning and then the following evening?

13 Replies
Ab36 profile image

I would say go for it as long as you feel like it, I have had a few times where I have done a couple of days in a row, as long as you take rest days along the way to give yourself time to catch up. You have to make it fit into your lifestyle or you wont stick to it. 👍

bluwnd360 profile image
bluwnd360 in reply to Ab36

I ran straight out the door after reading your reply :). back now and feel great, thank you for your reply

Oldfloss profile image
OldflossAdministrator in reply to Ab36

Not a great idea if it can be avoided.. :)

ArthurJG profile image

Hmm. Not sure. The rest days are not primarily for rest: you can still do low impact exercises like walking or swimming. Non-running days are to give your muscles time to recover and repair from the little micro-tears they get when the impact of repeatedly dropping your whole body weight on one foot is transmitted up your leg. You can’t feel those micro-tears but they are there and need to repair: that’s how your muscles get stronger. Running two days in a row can increase those wee tears instead of giving your muscles time to repair and strengthen.

So the rest days are actually important to the way the training works and omitting them substantially increases the risk of injury. I see you are trying to mitigate that by going from early one day to late the next -36 hours break not 24 - and you say you plan to do it occasionally. Nevertheless be careful: an extra rest day is safer than missing a rest day. There’s no rule that says you have to finish in nine weeks, and any time gained will soon be lost again if you get injured. Your choice but please be careful: far more running injuries are caused by overdoing it than by falls and the like.

bluwnd360 profile image
bluwnd360 in reply to ArthurJG

Thank you for the insight Arthur, I took the first Rep of 90 seconds a little slower than I would like (to test the water) and felt good so went through with the entire session. I Don't anticipate I will be working rest days to often - kids being off for the school holidays meant I needed some serious head rest tonight.

ArthurJG profile image
ArthurJGGraduate in reply to bluwnd360

For completeness I should add that the advice above, which is not my own but which is merely my repetition of what several more knowledgeable people have said, is particularly for new runners i.e those of us who have been running regularly for less than a year. people who have been running regularly for a year (or sometimes only six months if they've been doing sophisticated programmes with lots of cross training) can often get away with running on consecutive days.

UnfitNoMore profile image

Yeah, you’ll be fine if you’re feeling good. The body goes into recovery/build mode pretty soon after the exercise ends, we’re talking minutes, and a lot of it is done in a few hours (especially the build bit)

Your body will soon tell you if it’s not ready. 36 or so hours is fine.

Ang33333 profile image

I think all the advice given is not to skip the rest day. Need a day in between even the early runs to let your body recover and repair. Take care!

thanks for the reply, I am going to need to look up recovery periods; haven't exercised since I was in my teens so have a lot to learn.

Thanks again :D

Ang33333 profile image
Ang33333Graduate in reply to bluwnd360

Read the excellent post at the bottom of the page about how to run 5k.😀

icklegui profile image

You could have a look at this: - this might give some insight into how slow the repair processes are - especially the bones! You definitely are not required to complete the programme in 9 weeks, you can take longer and mitigate injury risk! And as ArthurJG has pointed out, non-impact exercise is recommended for your repair days, increases blood flow will aid all those repair processes.

The final thing that people will point out is that the discipline of sticking to a programme can be good in itself! Good luck and extra kudos for doing it round shift work.

Oldfloss profile image

Not a great idea.. it is the micro tears which need to repair... and hidden injuries are just that..hidden...

This is taken from the post for all Newbies.. tried and tested advice and part of this plan :)

"The rest day from running is not negotiable, but does not have to be spent back on the couch again. When you run, unlike other exercises, you actually damage your muscles and the rest days are when they repair. Any non impact exercise, such as swimming, cycling, weights, Pilates or yoga will be beneficial to your overall fitness and to your running and will aid the repair and strengthening of muscles. The weeks of C25k do not have to coincide with calendar weeks. You may want to run every other day, or you may find you need more than one rest day between workouts…..both are fine."

You may feel okay..but believe me.. you may be harming yourself..:)

Tasha99 profile image

Definitely don’t skip rest days at this point.

You may also like...