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My neighbor and I have been walking a 3 mile course 5 days a week. Recently (two days ago) we started running the 1st mile. Is it ok to start the C25K plan at week 4 or 5 since we already know we can make it for a mile? Also, on the off days, is ok to walk or do some other type of exercise?
EMay - I am a "newbie" myself. I am currently in Week 4. I think that would be a good place for you to start. You know you have built up your endurance. But I would say if you start there that should be the only running you do. Off days you can do any other exercise including walking. The point of the off days is to rest your body and allow your joints and muscles to adapt to running. Each person is different, and like I said, I am new to this. But there are so many happy running graduates of C25K it makes me just want to follow the program.
Good luck and happy running!
I think you could be okay if you just keep listening to your body. If you only started running the first mile 2 days ago, you may want to check to see how your body reacts to running that length first before trying to carry on from there. You don't want to risk becoming injuried from doing too much too soon. When I started the C25k program I started it at Week 3 because I was already doing a run/walk routine of my own before I even knew C25k existed. So all in all, starting in the middle of the program is fine as long as your body is cool with it. The program isn't meant to be strict or one size fits all. If you start feeling like you can't finish a certain portion, make sure to give your body a break or go back a week if you need to. Slow and steady is the key, DON'T push it.
As for rest days, you can walk, swim, bike or even skate. I try to give myself one day a week where I don't do anything so that I can recover and just do the mentioned activities or focus on strength training on the other "rest" days. Good luck to you!
Raincross Run 2010 - 5K - February 20th - 59:16 (I know, slow, but I did it)
Walk for Kids by 100 Mile Club - 5K - March 13th - 59:00
March of Dimes - March for Babies 4.5 miles - April 24th
Graduated the C25K program - May 3rd
Cool Runnings 5K Beginner program - W3D2
NO! The C25K Police will arrest you and cite you with failing to follow the rules. You MUST begin at W1D1 and you MUST run exactly the days on the plan and not one step more. You are not allowed to walk or do anything else on your days off. The fines and penalties are pretty high on this, so be sure you don't break the rules.
Okay, tongue and cheek, but I think you get the idea.
Let me go on to add, seriously, that C25K is a good plan but it is open to interpretation. It can't be "One Size Fits All". Just as many people come on here lamenting that they are unable to complete the first day of the program and want to know if it is "okay" to repeat a week. Yes, repeat a week! Yes, skip a week! Make this plan your own, starting from your personal fitness level, and adapt it accordingly. If you follow basic fitness principles to avoid injury, then go ahead and do whatever works for you. I never personally did C25K myself, but from what I see and hear on the forums, the main issue I have with it is that people seem to think that the plan is carved in stone - not taking into account that one person's "couch" (total inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle for many years) may not be the same as another person's "couch" (a fairly active lifestyle in general, but someone who is just new to running.) Stay sensible, listen to your body, and trust your instincts. You'll do fine.
It certainly sounds like you're not starting from the couch! I think the C25K program is designed for someone who is new to exercising, not just running. You have a pretty solid base of walking and some running so interpret the program as you see fit. Don't do anything drastic or too soon, and run as slow as you need to.
Good luck! - Fitz.