Rest days, too much of a good thing? - Couch to 5K

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Rest days, too much of a good thing?

Yesletsgo profile image

I learned the importance of rest days by overdoing it in week 3. Don’t want to do that again. As I move on I’m erring on the side of caution and taking 2 days off if I feel any twinges (I’ve got an arthritic knee so need to be careful). I’m now on week 5, about the do run 2.

So my question is, are there any downsides to taking 2 or even 3 days between runs on a regular basis? My priority is to avoid damaging myself while continuing to progress.

12 Replies

Good for you as to looking ahead on preservation. When I had problems with my pain in the shins and knees, I also gave myself an extra day for recovery. It really helped a lot FOR ME, but I’m sure everyone heals differently. It’s wiser to take an extra day, than to overdo it and have an injury. It made my runs more efficient and I felt overall better with an extra day in between.

I hope it helps you as well and keeps you moving along❤️ Keep us posted on your progress.

Yesletsgo profile image
YesletsgoGraduate in reply to Getnoffmycouch

Thanks, I’m just looking at the beautiful morning outside and trying to work out if the niggle in my knee is just stiffness or something that needs a bit more time. It’s so inviting!

John_W profile image

"are there any downsides to taking 2 or even 3 days between runs on a regular basis?"

No - none at all.

Frenc profile image

Hello! I regularly take 2 - 3 rest days, for practical reasons and also because my legs need it, especially after a longer run. I don’t notice any difference except my legs thanking me for it. The longest I took was 5 days due to a calf niggle, but I did get itchy feet! Best of luck! 😊👍🏃‍♀️👏🏼

John_W profile image


A classic C25K running week would be 3 runs per week, e.g. Mon, Wed, Fri with a 2-day rest over the weekend.

Instructor57 profile image

I regularly take 2 or 3 days between runs without any problems 😁👍

Three runs per week is considered optimal to maintain development, but since it takes a couple of weeks of non running for condition to diminish, then the difference is going to be minimal.

Yesletsgo profile image

Decided I’d go out today after one day’s rest. Thanks to accidentally stopping the app I did nearly 10 minutes warm up, but barely a minute into my first 8 minute run my knee started bothering me. If it had been at the end of the run I might have continued but my route is pretty inaccessible so I didn’t want to hurt myself. You certainly couldn’t get a car there to pick me up if I couldn’t walk and I don’t think the Air Ambulance would treat me as a priority lol. Turned around and walked home. On the plus side I’ve walked two miles this morning. I’ll leave it a day or two then try again.

Oldgirlruns profile image

I think you’re being sensible OBK - I regularly took 2 clear days between runs on the latter stages of the programme and still take 2 or even 3 now. Take what you need between runs to avoid injury.

I find my runs are more productive with a 2 day gap between runs, probably because I’m not a spring chicken anymore 😂

Yesletsgo profile image
YesletsgoGraduate in reply to Joggingonthewildside

Not a spring chicken either 😂 if I was 40 years younger I’d probably be graduated by now (except I’d probably be in the pub! 😂😂😂)

Joggingonthewildside profile image
JoggingonthewildsideGraduate in reply to Yesletsgo

Me too 😂

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