C25k and weight loss: I’m desperately overweight... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

119,488 members150,304 posts

C25k and weight loss

Hannahwooden profile image

I’m desperately overweight and determined to lose the extra weight. I know this plan has rest days in between but do you really need the rest days? Or should I do some other form of exercise on the rest days?

Does anybody have any tips?

40 Replies

I try and do some weights or resistance band training on rest days.I was told by a personal trainer that finding the right levels of exercise for you is important.

Working too hard too often can put stress on your body which can impact negatively on weight loss.

Yoga or pilates can be good too.

I’m going to look into Pilates, I used to really enjoy doing the classes before COVID!

Wavy-chick28 profile image

Definitely need the rest days otherwise you may get injuries! Follow the plan, it’s not really a weight loss plan but getting a healthier fitter approach to life does help.

Thank you!

Penguingirl1 profile image

Hi. Like you I am overweight. I've only lost 2lbs running but others have lost more. But the health benefits are amazing. You really do need your rest days. On my rest days I do a little bit of resistance training plus I am very active at work so get in at least 10k steps a day. Don't push yourself too hard and do something that is easy to maintain in your life. Good luck

Thank you, I’ve started and stopped this program a few times but I know I really enjoy running once I get into it!

Instructor57 profile image

Hello and welcome to the forum and the program.

Rest days are not really the best name for them .

What they are really are non running days .

You are fine to do excercises on non run days ,such as walking , cycling , or other non impact excercises but do not run .

Remember, this is not a weight loss plan and you will not loose much weight by running alone.

If you haven't already then do read the guide to the program.


Enjoy the journey


Hi, if you haven't done so already, I would recommend reading the posts, posted by Iannoda Truffe. I think he is one of the administrators. One of his earlier posts is fantastic and gives so much good information and tips on how to complete the C25K plan. Unfortunately for me, I only read it after completing week 8 but wished I had done so before I had started. Rest days are definitely important, they are the days when your body repairs itself and becomes stronger. Overdoing exercise can cause injury and also make you too tired to get up and get out.

Good luck.

Thanks for the tip, I’ll check it out!

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador in reply to Hannahwooden

I sent you the link for this

Hi, I didn't see your post before posting mine. I can use the same link to read the page again, it is very helpful. Thank you.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Ambassador in reply to Eat-Cake

My response was actually to Hannahwooden , but feel free to respond or use the link 😁👍


Definitely take the rest days. Not taking them means risk of injury or burnout.

I do yoga, some weight training and dog walks between runs.

Give it time. 😀👍

Thank you!

Tasha99 profile image

You must do rest days!

You will need to do a diet to lose weight as this programme isn’t enough to lose weight alone. Good luck 🤞🏽

Hannahwooden profile image
Hannahwooden in reply to Tasha99

I’m eating really healthy with the odd treat now and then by it’s the exercise I need to step up!

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate in reply to Hannahwooden

Excellent 😊

Hi hannah I've recently completed and yes the rest days are important in stopping injuries and adjusting your body. I did flex and strength another nhs app in between and had a full rest day. My best advice if your not following any particular eating plan is to do th 12 wk nhs weight loss plan good lick with your journey. I'm a big girl I started the program at 16 stone 5 but I'm nearly a stone and a half down so it does work xxx

Hi, does the weight loss plan have set meals? I snack a lot and need help with this x

Midlife_newlife profile image
Midlife_newlifeGraduate in reply to Hannahwooden

Hi hannah no its calorie counting heres the link to the app xxx


Penguingirl1 profile image
Penguingirl1Graduate in reply to Midlife_newlife

I did this before starting to run and lost a stone and a half. It really is a great app

Midlife_newlife profile image
Midlife_newlifeGraduate in reply to Penguingirl1

Isn't it fab xxx

Frenc profile image

Hello Hannawooden! Lots of really good tips here, especially don’t run on consecutive days 😊. You can do some resistance training or yoga or even good old walking. Best of luck! 👍👍👍

Hannahwooden profile image
Hannahwooden in reply to Frenc

Thank you!

I did a steps challenge with work back in May for the month and have just carried it on, I do between 10,000 - 12,000 steps a day, was finding working at home for the last 18months was having an impact on the old joints! That’s all I do on the rest days, it’s been great for my brain to think about nothing when walking, I do my C25K and then make up the additional steps

Hannahwooden profile image
Hannahwooden in reply to Greer12

Thanks for the advice!

drun profile image

Hannahwooden You might want to use the NHS 12 week fitness plan that incorporates C25K and Strength and Flex programmes.

More about the NHS 12 week fitness plan here:


GoldenGirly profile image

Hi Hannah!I was very overweight when I started C25K last August. I was relying on ready meals a lot and I loved wine!

The plan took me longer than 9 weeks to complete because I wasn’t fit enough to increase the running time week on week so I repeated runs/weeks over and over until I felt ready to move on.

At the same time I switched from wine to vodka and started to plan meals and cook more.

In the end the plan took me 29 weeks to complete but I lost…31.5lbs!

Your rest days are vital. Running does damage to your body and it needs time to repair itself in between. I’d recommend stretching and just gentle walking (I have 2 dogs so I have to walk anyway) and if you’re ever in pain, rest more. Otherwise you’ll push too hard and end up on the couch (I did it 3 times!)

Almost a full year on I have lost 55lbs in total and I still run 3 times a week for 30-40mins at a time. I absolutely love it. I rejoined WW online to help keep my food/drink in check and because I run, I can eat more.

Good luck and take your time. And I’m the proof that anyone can do this. Happy running!

55lbs gone!
poohbear2608 profile image

I do exercise sessions in between. I follow #Richard @SeekerTraining on YouTube. All of his sessions are free and filmed in his little cottage kitchen. He started as lockdown hit and his sessions improved as we went along. He’s brilliant at improvising using chairs and other household items. No weights? Use bean tins, no band? Use a scarf. No step? Lift your knees higher.

I’m now more toned and feeling great.

Week7 profile image

You have loads of good advice already in the replies above.I have nothing to add other than to say I want to wish you the best of luck on your journey. Take the running very slowly and just keep plodding one foot in front of the other towards your new fitter healthier life.

The rest days are important to allow your muscles to recover. If you can swim or cycle , it might be possible to do this on the other days - but don’t overdo it. Although it is difficult as exercise makes you want to eat more, it’s really important you also manage your food intake as well. Good luck!

newbie-nick profile image

Hi, and welcome to C25K... quite possibly the friendliest and most welcoming forum you will ever find! It is so good that you have found us, and we will help you on every step of the way. One thing though, the name - C25K - is slightly misleading as only about 10-15% of runners do run for 5K at graduation. Running [at whatever speed you do] for 30 mins is the real goal. As for weight loss... running isn't the best for that, but the extra fitness you get from it WILL help. If I may, can I point you at one of my favourite Youtube clips to show what can be achieved? I will issue a tissue warning though. Have the Kleenex to hand! Nothing bad happens, it is just so moving.

Whatever you do, please keep posting about progress and asking questions. One lady on here posted that she has just graduated after 29 weeks, and others ask what may seem very basic questions - but DO ask them, A) if you are wondering about it, others will be too! B) asking is how you find out. No one on here will ever judge you, we all only ever encourage.

Now, that clip...


Regarding weight, I cannot really help, but all I will say is this, I started C25K about Mid June, and have lost about half a Stone. Doing and being committed to C25K has made me eat more healthily (cutting out all crap food) and do more other exercise, biking/walking and now the Strength and Flex exercises, which can only be a good thing???. This will be different for everyone I expect and I'm only on week 4 of C25K so a way to go still.But best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

BS44 profile image

Hi Hannah

You’ve already got some really good advice but I just wanted to tell you what I’ve done.

Alongside C25k I followed Nutra Check where you log all your food. I’ve lost a stone in 11 weeks which is quite a slow loss compared to other people but I feel loads better. There’s also a lovely forum on there too. Hope this helps x

JetsNanna profile image

Hi Hannah. You should ALWAYS take the rest days. Your body needs them. Do another form of exercise on the rest days. There will be links on this forum for Strength and Flex or you could walk on rest days or swim, perhaps. C25K is not, on its own, going to help you lose a significant amount of weight. It needs to be used alongside a change in diet. I have been running three times a week since last summer and I have only lost 10lbs - because I have not changed my diet. I am not trying to dissuade you I am am simply being honest so that you know that it’s a great program but it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss.

LottieMW profile image

Hi Hannah, as already mentioned, the “rest” days are actually *recovery* days…your body needs this to repair itself, but low impact activities are good.

In regard to weight loss, have you looked at our sister programmes? The main one is


Start there and you can find out about different ways of eating, join in the daily diary, and have a weekly weigh in. It’s a *very* supportive forum! I lost 3 stone over about 9 months with the help and support of other members…

Good luck and happy running 🐌🐢🏃🏻‍♀️🥰

It’s very important to rest properly between runs as your body can only get fitter if you rest as well as train. I was v overweight at the start and it’s a combination of eating a bit better as well as exercise. It takes time and you need to be kind to yourself

HiYoga or Pilates is great for your rest days. As you proceed with programme walking the route is also helpful. I used to do this with my dogs.

However as a graduate to 5k I have started strength training in the gym.

Take your journey at a pace comfortable for you and enjoy 😊

Sisteract5 profile image

Hi. I am not really qualified to talk about the exercise bits but, just wanted to wish you luck on completing the plan - it has definitely led to a change of mindset for me, which in turn has led to a stone weight loss, but that has become not the biggest outcome for me, it’s just that I finished the plan and actually can say I’ve achieved something and it feels great. I wish you luck and enjoyment 😊

You may also like...