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TOPIC: Can i (should i) run every day? C25k Question

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July 8, 2013 9:02 PM
I recover pretty quickly from my C25k runs, and they are pretty much my only exercise right now (paired with cycling, not doing strength training)
So now that i have broken through the 5th week of c25k, and i find the 5-10 minute intervals really pretty easy, would it be a bad idea to do more than 3 runs / week? I'm kind of on a Monday, Wednesday Friday schedule with a good several hour bike ride on the weekend, and a few short ones (errands mostly) during the week sprinkled in...
I'm thinking tomorrow it might be nice to hit the trail and do day 2 of week 6, then maybe start week 7 on thursday and do a long bike ride friday night... I tend to take the weekend off anyways because life gets in the way (um except the long bike rides).
does running require a rest day? especially if it's only 30 minutes? Aren't we SUPPOSED to be active 30 minutes per day?
July 8, 2013 9:03 PM
I also totally get that i should be doing some weight training too; i keep thinking i should at least do the 30 day shred or jillians ab video on my "days off" but i feel way more motivated to get outside and get some air than move 3 feet from my desk, exercise then get back to work, and after work isn't a wonderful option for me as a lone parent a baby during the week
July 8, 2013 9:05 PM
In your case I'd probably opt for adding strength/resistance training. Are you a cyclist? I'm a runner and yes running requires a rest day but I do know people who can run 7 days a week, but they are a minority.
July 8, 2013 9:08 PM
I'm a newb runner and a newb cyclist. I'm thinking of adding swimming this winter to make myself a newb triathalete!

I'm thinking of running no more than 5 days / week, and only in half hour stints... I just don't have a ton of time for strength training. a half hour run is a great time to clear my head and i can go right back to work. (i don't have coworkers)

My strength training options are limited to what i could do in my living room within half an hour, which i get is lots, but i like the get away from the desk break (i work in the same room i would work out in)
July 8, 2013 9:15 PM
I was/am doing the C25k right now and am a newb runner. I had to take about a week off due to a new dog in the house and a slight knee injury, but when I was doing it steadily, I was only doing it every other day or so-Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. If I pushed it too hard, I'd end up injuring myself or just exhausting myself. This was on top of hiking on weekends, running around doing errands on weekdays and walks with my husband. I honestly think this is what caused my forced lag in the start of week 5, but I'm hoping to get back to it tomorrow.

My advice would be to just stick to your schedule until you're all done. Then you can either keep going with it by adding more days or working on your speed or work up to the 10k. Think of it this way; if you get hurt, you'll end up losing a lot more time than you would have if you'd just taken it slowly!
July 8, 2013 9:22 PM
I guess that's true, and i do find on a busy running / cycling week, my knees do start to ache... no reason to push that. I'm also at risk of running through my shoes, and i can't get new ones for a few weeks, so i should take it easy on my shoes too. Time to start something else at home. Maybe i need jillians abs anyways. i have a new yoga mat to sweat on anyways
July 8, 2013 9:26 PM
C25K is meant to be done with a day of rest between each of the cycles... you could accelerate it to M-W-F-Su-T-Th-Sa (repeat) and still have your day of rest between and you'd be on a 4 3 4 cycle instead of 3 3 3 and still be following the program. You could also extend your runs a bit and work on further endurance or try adding non-flat ground to your running (hills) as that greatly increases the difficulty.

I also don't think your idea of swimming or even weight lifting are bad. Just be sure you're listening to your body and don't hurt yourself unnecessarily... hard work doesn't hurt, but tearing something will set you way back.
July 8, 2013 9:52 PM
Here is what happened to me: I was getting ready for my first 5K and bumped up my runs (not long runs, 2-3 miles at a time) to almost every day. I was running 6 days a week for 2-3 weeks and I gave myself shin splints. Let me tell you, it is hard to recover from them once you have them. I've been icing and trying to give myself a day off between runs and after weeks and weeks I still have a sore shin in my right leg. They are definitely better but it was weeks before I could run without pain. It was upsetting because I'm to the point where I really love running, had made a lot of progress and did not want to stop under any circumstances. I'm a running newbie, so this isn't meant as advice, but I would be careful not to ramp up too quickly and maybe go to your local running store for guidance, which is what I should have done. Anyway, best of luck to you!
July 8, 2013 11:32 PM
Listen to your body and if you feel like doing extra, then why not?

First time I did c25k, I had been doing other exercise for a few months including ChaLean extreme so I felt I was pretty fit. Like you, towards the 2nd half of the program I no longer felt challenged. Because I knew I was going on to start bridge to 10k afterwards, I started doubling up the c25k workouts. That seemed ok for me, just like doing a long run 3x a week.

This time round, I have had a couple of weeks where I have run 5x a week, I'm currently on week 7, on my program (actually ease into 5k) it is 26 min, 27 min and 28 min running intervals over the week, I'd like to see if I can do them 5 x! But I do take care to be aware how my legs feel, especially my knees as they can be troublesome for me.

Fwiw I think these programs are great, but they are guides aimed at meeting the needs of as many as possible rather than the individual....if you feel you can run more, then why not? :-)
July 8, 2013 11:37 PM
On alternate days, you could try doing some drills to work on your running form, which would let you benefit from the fresh air and help improve your running progress and prevent injuries. It would be a good way too mix it up and still work towards your goals. I think the fact that it isn't steady state over long distances also wouldn't sabotage your recovery too much?

For example,
July 8, 2013 11:42 PM
I run 6x a week. I enjoy it and pull up without injuries. I have been doing this for 3 years. But I usually only run 5-6kms per day. I do a 20km run every 3 to 4 weeks but then I rest the next day. If I am sore I rest more. I did a 30km muddy trail run a few weeks ago, oh man I was sore after that and didn't run for 4 days after. You really need to listen to your body. People in my runners group run 2x a day and have for many, many years while others only run 3-4 times a week.
July 9, 2013 9:16 PM
I just started my C25k for the first time. I was planning on doing it 4-5 times a week just so I had daily exercise. Now I'm a little conflicted. I am interested to see what other people say as u go along :)
July 9, 2013 9:28 PM
I had done c25k before and a few years ago I was doing the c210k ...I figured I could cheat since I had only bee off running for a few months over the winter, and go 5-6 times a week. I tore my plantar fascia and developed severe plantar fascists resulting in beign in a cast for 4-6 weeks and an 18+ month recovery

lesson learned!!

do not over do it, cross train with the running ,swimming and cycling but do not run every day till you have a solid base.
July 10, 2013 12:01 AM
I never actually did the official C25K program, but have been running for 3+ years. My experience was that I'd go 4-5 times a week for the first few months until I was able to get a couple of official races under my belt. From there, I started adding distance and days, to the point that I'll often go 7-10 days without an official rest day. That doesn't mean that I don't take it easy at least once every 5-ish days - I'll do a short recovery run and add in some HIIT core & strength training a couple of times a week.

I'd say that if you feel like you can handle more days of running, without significant fatigue or soreness, go for it! I will say that initially, i was so focused on just running for the pure calorie burn efficiency of it, that I neglected strength training. Big mistake! As I started working up to 10Ks, half marathons, and finally shooting for my first 26.2 this coming October, I found that as I added distance, I'd get tired and my form would go to hell. About a year ago I started consciously building strength training into my routines, and it's helped immensely with managing to keep good form as distance increases. That's the one piece of advice I'd give to a fairly new runner - don't neglect strength training.

Best of luck!
July 10, 2013 12:09 AM
I think it's really good to get some balanced responses to this question.

These running programs are great, and are obviously planned by people with expertise and experience. However, they are pitched at meeting the needs of as many people as possible, which means they have to take a 'one size fits all' approach to their structure.

Some people find they can run more than the program prescribes, some people find they need to run less, some people need to repeat runs to complete them to their satisfaction, other people find they can miss runs out....

I'll take listening to my body over listening to an app any day! (and hopefully keep running 4-5 times a week!). Will defo take on board petewholikestorun (great name)'s advice - will be looking to restart my strength training, I KNOW I run better when I do strength!
July 10, 2013 12:20 AM
Why don't you do resistance training outside? Run easy, walk fast or bike to a park and use the equipment to do circuits of abs, push ups, chin ups, triceps push ups etc. Your outside on your rest day but still working towards to bigger goal. There are a lot of diagrams, videos etc about using the equipment available to do exercises like that.
July 10, 2013 5:44 AM
I would say run every other day until you finish the program and add two or three strength days a week. Add an extra running day after your running a full 5k. But if c25k is too easy for you, you may want to switch it up and change the intervals. Have you tried just going and running at an easy pace once to see how long you can go?

I tried c25k when I first started running. I got to about week 5 and repeatedlty got strep throat and had to take a week off. Eventually it started to get cold and I was still sick all the time so I decided to try again in spring. I started at the beginning of the program, it was too easy. Went to where I left off from, that was too easy. Realized I could run 20 minutes without stopping, so I just added 5 minutes to my runs per week until I got to 30 mminutes and then only added the time to my Sunday run after that.

Anyway for strength training I do body weight strength using the you are your own gym ap. Workouts are about 30 minutes and you can do them anywhere. Since I have the ap that times everything for me and tells me what excercises to do, I watch tv while doing it. Considering it my tv time instead of my workout time helps with bordem. And who doesn't want to see how many one armed pushups they can do with their feet elevated on a chair? (The program is progressive, you start out with incline pushups and build from there.)
July 10, 2013 5:50 AM
ditch the app and just go running.

you bike and you run? throwing in a little swimming in there too will definetly help you with recover. no need to wait until winter time.

try this: bike on monday, and then run on tuesday, that way your legs can get used to the feeling of running after being fatigued from a bike ride.

check out for some great beginner training programs. i bet you could do a triathlon in mid-october if you started training now. thats 3 months, 12 weeks. plenty of time.
Edited by Capt_Apollo On July 10, 2013 5:53 AM
July 10, 2013 5:53 AM
It all depends how your body responds. I was doing running plus other exercises (insanity, weight lifting, etc) and it was working fine about a month and a half and then I crashed. Now I workout 6 days a week but only run 4 days at most. I've only been running for 7 months and have had lots of issues with tight calves so I'm not where I want to be distance-wise. Strength training has helped a lot with running and endurance.

That's my experience with being a new runner. Hope you find a schedule that is good for you!
July 10, 2013 6:18 AM
When you are starting out with a newbie program like C25k, you should stick to it as written. When I was doing it, I did calisthenics/strength training in between my running days. You don't have to take a full rest day if you don't want, but make it something that isn't running so that you fully benefit from the program.
July 10, 2013 7:16 AM

Anyway for strength training I do body weight strength using the you are your own gym ap. Workouts are about 30 minutes and you can do them anywhere. Since I have the ap that times everything for me and tells me what excercises to do, I watch tv while doing it. Considering it my tv time instead of my workout time helps with bordem. And who doesn't want to see how many one armed pushups they can do with their feet elevated on a chair? (The program is progressive, you start out with incline pushups and build from there.)

Ooh, thanks for that tip - I just downloaded it! (and I'm glad I don't start with one-armed push ups, with or without my feet being elevated on a chair - that sounds a recipe for disaster for me!).
July 10, 2013 7:19 AM
To put it simply...yes, you can. Plenty of people (from all walks of life) run every day. Assuming even the simplest foundation of fitness, you can too.
July 10, 2013 8:34 AM
thanks for the tips. When i get my new phone i will get the you are your own gym app. I'm on an iphone temporaritly and it's stalling my life.

I was thinking triathalon in the SPRING, not 12 weeks from now! craziness!!! Keep in mind, i work full time, lone parent a baby, go to school part time and need my sanity. My training time really is limited to the half hour a day i take for lunch and the time i sneak in by running errands on my bike.
July 10, 2013 8:56 AM
when i first started to consider a triathlon, i read that as long as you can swim, bike, and run thirty minutes each, on separate days of the same week, you are already 50% ready for a triathlon.

a sprint triathlon is 750 meter swim, 12 mile bike ride, 3 mile run. you'll be done in under two hours. i promise.

Each week will consist of two to three bike days, two running days, one to two swim days. work outs do not have to be hours long. in fact, short and sweet is preferred.

oh, and my training time is my sanity time. i work full time, and go to school as well.

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