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Couch to 5K
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Rest Days Between Runs?

I'm on Week 4, just completed the first run today. I'm feeling fine following that, do I need to have the rest day or can I just press on and do the second of the three tomorrow?

6 Replies

I'd be really careful about skipping rest days - you never know what's happening to your muscles and joints, and they're working in ways they never have before. The unfamiliar strains and stresses of running can easily cause little niggles which you probably won't even notice, but these will need time to heal before you repeat the very same thing which caused them in the first place. It's very easy to think you're fine, and you may indeed be fine, but there are plenty of posts on here from people who've been forced to take weeks or even months off due to injuries to knees, ankles, etc.

At the end of the day, it's your decision - only you know how your body is feeling, but I'd be very very wary of skipping rest days at an early-ish stage in the programme when the whole idea of running is presumably new to your body...

Sorry if that all sounds negative!! Good luck :-)


Very sound advice! I read once that our muscles do more work on recovery days then they do the day of a run. Even after Graduation and starting the 5x50 challenge, we learned quickly that our bodies aren't ready for daily runs yet. ;-) Gayle


It doesn't sound negative Stefliser, its sounds all good advise to me. Seasoned runners are able to run every day but most people on here are not that and in fact haven't done much exercise before starting this programme. My advice would be do something else, walk, swim, cycle any other form of exercise that will use those leg muscles in a different way. Its wonderful that you are so keen and feeling more than able to do another run tomorrow but the programme does advise a rest day (refrain from running day it should be called) and its for good reason. Well done on getting this far and long may you continue, it rather sounds to me that you have already been bitten by the running bug. :)


Thanks for the responses. I guess it is sensible to reign myself in - after all the rest period is included in the programme for a reason.


I am approaching the end of week 3 and the sun has been shining, its getting warmer and I would have loved to get out again tonight. But previous experience of running (not C25K,) and not having enough rest days did cause me injury. It was devastating having to give up running while waiting to heal.


I overdid it back in Jan/Feb, skipped rest days, and got myself in hell of a state physically and mentally, which culminated in me needing a week off all physical activity to rest/recuperate.

Listen to your body. If you've got a niggle, rest it. If you feel tired, don't run on that day.

The rest days are VERY necessary and should not be seen as a bad thing. Like you said, the rest days are included for a reason.

Stay safe :o)


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