When to skip rest days?

Since starting the C25k plan 3 months ago, I've always taken rest days to avoid injury as it's a sensible thing to do, no one wants to jeopardise their fitness by pushing too much.

But now I've graduated and fitting in longer runs, improving my pace etc, sometimes I want to go running on consecutive days. I'm not talking about running 7 days a week, but when my schedule suits. As an example, I ran yesterday, and I plan to run tomorrow (Thursday). My next run should be Saturday but my wife is off to Belfast for the weekend so I'll be looking after the kiddies, so it's either run on Friday morning (no rest day) or wait until Monday.

When is suitable to stop paying attention to rest days? What's advisable?

9 Replies

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  • I can't offer any advice as such, but with my schedule I've had to fit runs in without a rest day, as long as I don't make a habit of it I'm fine :)

  • I've got no idea what the rules are, but I have sometimes run on consecutive days when my schedule otherwise gets in the way (like yesterday and today - because I know I can't go tomorrow and possibly not for a while after than). I guess if you listen to your body and don't push too hard you should be OK?

  • I spoke to my GP (and a few of my med school friends) about this in great length a few weeks back. Essentially, as long as you have one rest day (two would be preferable) a week you'll be fine.

    I personally run twice a day for two days, then have a rest day and repeat that cycle. If I was only running once a day I'd possibly push for the one rest day a week- but honestly, it all depends on how your body feels. I know when I've had 'enough' and need a rest day as my legs get aches. If you feel fine on a consecutive day, then by all means go for it.

    However! If you do plan to run this extensively (more than three runs a week), I would strongly advise you contact your GP first. I'm only 23, with no prior leg injuries, and I'm no longer carrying a lot of extra weight (still a few kg to get rid of though!). It's all down to factors, not just how our body feels!

  • There's lots of programmes where you do 4 days a week meaning you'd run consecutive days. Think its about being sensible and listening to your body! Also, this it would make sense not to do 2 long hard runs consecutivley....mix it up

  • I can't see it being a problem once in a while. I quite often run Saturday and Sunday if I have had a busy week otherwise I can't get the mileage in.

  • Thanks for the advice, it won't be all the time. Just the odd consecutive day when my schedule dictates that I can't run when I *should* run.

    Will listen to my body and as always decide on the day. All depends on the amount of sleep I get ;)

  • Something that works for me is if I have to run two days in a row I will make sure I run in the morning the first day and then the evening on the second day just to give myself that little bit extra rest.

  • My sister and her very keen running buddies run most days and she also does spin and body pump a few times a week.The general advice is not to do hard sessions on consecutive days, so a day on which you did speed training would be followed by an easy run the next day, or a longer run one day with a shorter run the next and take a minimum of one day a week complete rest.

  • Thank you for you advice all! I was meant to run today but didn't manage it in the end. No work tomorrow (woo!) so going to have a nice long leisurely run in the sun before my wife jets off for the weekend.

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