Couch to 5K

Running more regularly?

Hi, I am on week 8 now, and wondered how to go about upping my days running. I know the program is running every other day, and I just about manage that now, along with some strength exercises a couple of times a week. :-) But I spoke to a dietician who said for weight loss you need to do an hour of aerobic exercise at least 5 or 6 times a week, with strenght work on top of that.

I know I'll have to build up slowly to that, and would appreciate any advice/program to get there. Heaven help me, as much as I enjoy running, the c25k seems to be as much as I can do at the moment! :-) :-)

8 Replies

Have you perhaps thought of running twice in one day? Once in the morning, once in the evening? That's what I do right now.

However, if 30 minutes is your limit, remember he said aerobic exercise. So you could do anything from skipping, to the cross trainer at the gym, rowing machines, swimming, cycling, anything like tennis or even dancing if you fancied something like Zumba. Don't be afraid to mix things up! There's no reason why you couldn't say do half an hour of running in the morning, then perhaps do half an hour of dance in the evening.


I stayed with a friend recently who has an amazing figure, and I always wondered how she did it, because she had said that she can pretty much eat or drink everything (I know, sickening). Anyway, I found out why because this is what she did:

Day 1: 45 minute run

Day 2: an hours tennis lesson

Day 3: lane swimming for an hour (whilst her daughter was having a swimming lesson)

Day 4: walking (power) with friends from her childrens school, for an hour;

Day 5: biking 45 minutes (on an exercise bike she has at home)

Day 6: 45 minute run. All with warm up and cool down walks and stretches and stuff.

I don't know what she did on day 7 because my holiday ended then. She did it so effortlessly, not in an 'I've got to exercise' kind of way, it just fitted in with her daily life. I have to say that she didn't work (full time mum) So, I think that doing an hour a day is a great idea as long as you mix it up so that different muscles are used and don't make it all weight bearing because it simply puts too much stress on the joints. I definitely wouldn't advise running more than every other day at the moment.



If you're wanting to exercise more regularly, I'd recommend including some cross-training - i.e. some kind of exercise that isn't running! It helps to make sure that you're strengthening other muscles and joints as well as the ones that you use for running, and reduces the chance that you'll injure yourself by running more often. Maybe you could run three or four times a week, and then on the other three or four days do a bit of swimming, cycling, tennis, yoga or whatever else takes your fancy.

There's a bit of info about cross-training for runners here if it helps:


I have read so much on here about cross-training. I thought you all had one of those machines from the gym where you move your arms and legs at the same time :o I think they are called cross trainers too. I didn't know it was just a term for alternating your exercise. Now I know :D


Who is this crazy dietician? :)

First - don't get confused about weight loss and fat loss. You want to lose fat - weight's just a number on a machine. I'm on week 6 r 3 and since starting I've lost 3 ins fat round my waist, but hardly any weight - as the fat burned is being replaced by muscle. Muscle is good as it burns more calories all by itself!

Second - Fat loss is a question of very simple maths - to lose 1lb fat you need to have a deficit of 3500 calories through your diet and/or exercise. My runs are burning around 350 - at this rate this would take about 10 runs to lose a lb of fat. The healthiest rate of weight loss is 1lb (2lb max) per week. This means creating a deficit of 500 calories a day (i.e eating 500 calories fewer or exercising to burn that amount - or a combo of the two adding up to 500 a day).

If you're following the C25K plan you'll know you NEED to have rest days to allow your muscle to recover - or else you're on a highway to injury and NO exercise. If you want to up the exercise don't add more running - go for something like swimming or upper body stuff at the gym. Sounds like you're doing everything right.

I'm worried you might be setting yourself up to put yourself off exercise by trying to do too much. 4 years ago I lost 50lb fat at a rate of 1-2lb a week through healthy lifestyle choices (better diet and some exercise) and it's stayed off - you can take comfort that even if it takes longer, it is achievable.


I'm with joogar 110%, losing weight and getting fit should be done slowly and gradually, not over a few months it should be done as a life changing thing. Exercise, well swimming is one of the best exercises known to man, its not putting any weight or impact on your joints, its good for your breathing when done correctly. So if you are a swimmer get yourself to a pool on rest days, if you have time and the distance allows, walk there and back. That will burn at least 200-300 calories off for you. If you like to dance and enjoy music get a Zumba DVD or Dance one and bop away at home or find a class near you. For muscle tone you won't go wrong doing Pilates, it will improve your body core strength and will help with muscle tone too. Try mixing up your exercise, don't run more than 3-4 times a week, take a rest day from running does not mean you can't do some other exercise. Good luck.


the 500 calories per day deficit is the best way to lose weight and that is best done with a combination of diet and exercise. To lose 500 calories a day every day takes about 5 miles of walking or running. I'm afraid running does not use more calories than walking -you just lose them in less time because 5 miles takes about twice as long to walk as it does to run! You could always walk on your rest days. I've got dogs so I walk every day and run 3x a week. I also swim 4 days a week. If you combine food intake with exercise you will see results. After all, 500 calories of food is often what we eat in snacks, biscuit or chocolate so add those up and see if you can cut some out :)


Thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement. An hour of running sounds daunting, I might go on to the 5 to 10k program which should be out soon, and swim/walk on the alternative days, along with my strength exercises. Oh patience.... :-) :-)


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