Two rest days between every run cheating? - Couch to 5K

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Two rest days between every run cheating?


So I have managed with a blip of a sore knee at week 2 where I had to have two weeks of rest and a new pair of trainers to get to Wk6 R1 completed two days ago. I have fell into the pattern of having two rest days between each run. I think this is because of the fear of my knee playing up again even though it has been fine for the last few weeks. I am finding each run really hard and getting home red faced and sweaty every time but astonishingly I am completing them. Can’t believe I have got to this point 😀. Am I cheating myself though and affecting my stamina by having two rest days between every run? Would I build my fitness more quickly if I had just the one rest day 🤔? Wk6 r2 tomorrow for me. Fingers crossed I will get through that one too. Stay safe everyone.

10 Replies

It's my understanding that stamina deteriorates very little within a two week window. So two rest days is nothing and just fine to take.

I developed a light muscle twinge in my upper back, so took two weeks rest. On restarting, I ran a 5k personal best.

Listen to your body, but taking 2 rest days doesn't sound like an issue to me.


I have to have 2 days between runs as the only days I can fit it in are sunday/weds/Friday due to work . It works fine for me . I would say definitely not cheating!!! I'm off to do week 7 run 2 today . Well done you 😁😁😁😁

liveonahillGraduate in reply to bkarm

😊 enjoy your run. I must admit I am apprehensive for the full running from Wk6 r3 😬 but looking forward to achieving it. Well done you too 🙌

bkarmGraduate in reply to liveonahill

Run done ! Was so hot even though it's early , could not find shade !!!😓😓 I melted 🌞but as usual , the feeling afterwards outweighs the woes 😂🤣

In my opinion no it doesn’t hurt to have 2 rest days(I sometimes do if I feel I need it). If that technique is working for you and you completing the runs as required why change a winning formula? Unless you feel ready too. As I understand it the rest days are just as essential as the run days as they are when the body repairs itself thus becoming stronger which improves fitness and stamina.


I had to take a few days rest around week 7 run 1 as my knee was so sore I could barely walk. I thought it would be weeks before getting back to the plan but I managed it a week later. I went really slowly for the first couple of runs. I go every other day just because I want to get to the end, but it would be more sensible to do it how you are- and of course it’s not cheating- - sensible more like!! I am in my final week now- yaaaay my knee made it!!!!!


You plan your runs to suit you... many folk take two days between runs and some longer. The main thing is to take at least one...not cheating at all. My run days before lockdown when I had my granddaughter for two days. Monday, Thursday , Saturday...the two days with her were strength and stamina workouts:)

Pop in some strength and stamina work on at least one of those rest days as the runs get longer and slow down a tad:) If you are finding the runs hard and are getting hot and tired, then you are probably moving to fast, and there is always a slower pace:)


Thank you for all the advice and reassurance. I used to do a bit of yoga before lockdown so I think I will try and fit some in on my rest days and look at some strength and stamina and see how I go.


I run 3 days a week so there is always a 2 day break in their somewhere. I had a 3-day break when I thought my joints were going to flare up - but make sure I get a walk, bike ride or pilates in between. As a "mature" gal, I may need other breaks as the runs are getting longer. If I tweak something then it will set me back which is something that I don't want. This tactic has got me to W7R2 where I am running for 25mins - my Mantra is: This is my journey. I have set off. So I will arrive!


Welcome to the forum and well done on your progeress.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises, all of which will help.

Optimal development is not going to be as good with two rest days, but if it helps avoid injury, then no problem.

Enjoy your journey.

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