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Couch to 5K
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New Year New Start ☺️

Hi all, I started coach to 5k on New Year’s Day. I went to the gym 4 days in a row and didn’t take the recommended 1 day break in between. I am also now on week 2. I really just want to get cracking and get on with it, after every run I’ve been swimming 20 lengths which I feel has helped with my running. I absolutely hate running, never liked it and I could never do it, but I really want to lose weight and get fitter so thought I have little to lose after reading all the reviews. Should I carry on without any breaks in between and jump weeks or should I pace myself? I don’t feel exhausted or tired, in fact I feel good. Any help will be appreciated - thank you in advance.

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In a word... no!

Rest days are for healing muscles... so you’re putting yourself in danger of an injury which could mean months on the couch.

Rest days are also for your body to build muscle, so you wouldn’t end the programme as strong a runner if you do it in half the time.

When you run you put small tears in the muscles (microtears) which heal as you sleep... and once repaired another nights sleep adds strength to the repair and builds muscle up. It’s not recommended to go back to back days for at least 6 months to a year.

You need to be careful... you came here to get fit, 3 months or so on the couch won’t help you to your goals.

Likewise skipping a week... this plan was designed by people who know what they’re doing, to minimise injury risk... you know a lot less than they do, so trust them.

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Thank you for that I think I needed someone to drill that in to me, I’ll keep to the plan as recommended and if I am in the gym consecutive days I won’t run instead I’ll do something else entirely.

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Jump on the spin bikes... that’s great cross training. I didn’t want to sound too negative, but better you ask and take the advice than sit out weeks and start over... can’t fault your drive, so you’re gonna get through this for sure.

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Hi Sal, well done for starting! I assume you were fairly fit to begin with if you can manage the run and swimming after. My advice would be to take the breaks. You’re trying to create a long lasting habit. I was exactly the same as you when i started, found it all so easy, had a couple of days where I did it consecutively in the early weeks but when the runs started getting longer I found that I needed the extra day cause I was getting fatigued muscles/aches and pains. I think having set running days help me keeping going because I know I’ve ‘gotta run today’ and it creates a routine which makes me keep at it. I would also recommend not jumping weeks. I consider it at the beginning but it’s all part of the process of creating a routine and improving fitness. I was the same as you, just wanted to smash through it but I’ve found that in week 6 I’m considering repeating the week just cause I don’t think I’ve done it well enough - it is really about the journey rather than getting through it asap

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Hi Meg, you are absolutely correct I am getting aches and pain but they are the good kind of pain so I just get through them. I’ll take the advice given and rest the days I need to rest and try not to jump ahead. Thanks a bunch for your response ☺️

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Rest, how will your body recover and rebuild??

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Thanks Shah - I’ll do just that.

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Please read this post for Newbies... and never miss a run or a week... This is a nine week programme and whatever our fitness level. or however we feel, we still follow the plan.

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Hidden injuries are just that, and much has been posted by folk who ignored the rest days...many disappear and many learn to their cost how foolish it is.

This is not a weight loss programme, but linked with a healthy eating regime will pay dividends...

Your rest day exercise, non impact will help, but needs to be balanced for core strength and stamina...otherwise all you will do is exhaust yourself.

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Thank you so much I’ll read through these posts and take it easy 😉

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Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

I can send you a dossier of sad tales of those who ignored the advice and structure of the plan and ended up not exercising at all, because of injury.

Rest days are part of the plan. Deviate from the plan at your own risk.

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Thanks Ian! I’ll take on board your comments.

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