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4682 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 25, 2011 7:41 PM by Michelle74149
boogieshooz Amateur 14 posts since
Apr 25, 2011
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Apr 25, 2011 8:56 AM

Newbie runner... how to balance running, strength training and rest?

Hello all, I'm new here.  I am a busy mom in my mid 30's.  I've always been relatively thin but my weight has fluctuated with having 3 kids.  I am about 10 pounds away from my goal weight and just started exercising again.


I am currently doing C25K and in Week 4.  I have been doing C25K every other day.  On the days off I have been doing 30 Day Shred.  I'm getting a little bored with the same routine, so I think I will be picking up some new Jillian Michaels DVD's soon.  I like using weights (with Shred).  I don't have time to go to the gym and like Shred because I can do it pretty quickly while my youngest child naps.


I've notice an increase in my energy and mood since I've started exercising again.  I am eating right and taking my vitamins.


However I am really sore right now and feel very tired.  I feel like I have been overdoing.   My legs are sore from doing Shred two days ago.  I think my problem is that I feel very guilty taking a day off.  I have been exercising on days that I am tired/sore because I feel like I should push myself, and today I feel completely out of energy.  I am not in a hurry to complete C25K, but I do feel rushed to get into shape because summer is coming and I want to be able to wear shorts/bathing suits without feeling terrible about myself.


Here's my question.  At what point do you think you are exercising too much?  I have been taking one day off a week.  My exercise routine doesn't seem that strenuous - 30 minutes of C25K on day, 30 minutes of Shred (cardio/weights) the next.  Are you supposed to exercise when you are sore?  I thought because I am alternating cardio and strength I would be ok.


Any advice or BTDT?

Completed C25K!

  • Alder2011 Legend 203 posts since
    Apr 8, 2011

    Hello BoogieShooz,


    I don't really have an answer for you, but I wanted to add myself to the thread because I am interested in what people have to say about your questions.  I can only tell you that you might want to slow your pace down a bit in order to not burn yourself out.  If you are sore, maybe your last workout was a bit much.  The day off in between C25K is important so your muscles can recover and build.  You are doing that, so that's good.  A day or rest is also important in between your cardio/strength workouts.  You are doing that, so that's good.  Just make sure you are not using the same muscle groups two days in a row.  If you run one day, don't do strength training on legs the next day.  Do arms and upper body or something other than legs.  Your body is still working, even on your days off, so even though summer is coming fast, working out to the point you are not recovering in between workouts seems to be too much.  Take your time and the body your want will come out.  You don't want to end up laid up in a bed all summer because you tore a tendon or strained a muscle, do you?  Shorts and bikinis won't help you then.  So don't push too hard.  Listen to your body.  There is no shame is taking days off.  Heck, take 2.  C25K was designed to be done 3 days a week.  That means at least once a week, you should have 2 days off in a row.  I'm not sure this is necessary, but I didn't write the program.  All I can say is that, if you are working out and it hurts, you are not having fun, and more likely to stop and give up.  And you are probably putting too much stress on that part fo you that is hurting.  I could be wrong.  I'm not trying to be critical of you, just trying to help you out.  I will be interested to hear from others about this.


    On a positive note, Congrats on starting C25K and starting to exercise again.  After 3 kids, I am sure it was tough to get back at it.  Good luck on your training and I hope you get some answers, better than my advice anyways,



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  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Hello, I also have 3 kids 10,7 and 2.5.  I exercise 7 days a week, I run MWF long on Sunday. Jillians 30 T, Th and Saturday I walk. I usually walk nightly in the neighborhood with my kids at night as well. I try (not always) to get a 20 min. nap when my 2.5 son is napping.  Soreness could be because you just became active and will eventually go away. Good Luck

  • lmreed Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 4, 2009

    The balance is very much an individual thing. You have to learn to listen to your body. I know that doesn't really help until you get a little experience. I also train 6-7 days a week because I'm not doing that much mileage(15-20). I run 3-4 days a week and on those days do leg work afterwards. The other days I cycle and do upper body work. When I increase my reps or just feel particularly tired, I might just walk to work out the stiffness and go back to my routine the next day. I would not be doing leg work and then expect to run well the next day. Congrats on starting again! Good luck.

  • Chocolate Thunder 303 Pro 69 posts since
    Jan 8, 2008



    First off, congrats for starting C25K!  It sounds like you're doing a lot of things right here including diet and vitamins.


    I saw the reply from Simon, and I agree he has some good points.  It sounds like you started the C25K, and the Shred progam at or near the same time.  Although I don't know much about your workout history, this could be a lot to be do all at once.  Keep in mind The C25K progam was designed to be used by itself and it doesn't really make many accomodations for additional workouts in the days off.


    Anytime someone begins a new training program I always suggest they wade into it, instead of jumping in head first.  Like I said, I don't know much about you're previous exercise history, but if you're muscles are sore, you're no longer seeing progress, uninspired by working out and you're getting frustrated. . .you might be overtraining.


    Despite eating right, and taking your vitamins, you still need to allow your body to rest.  C25K, plus Shred, might be overdoing it.  Much like you, I have a hard time taking rest days, but I do build them into my schedule.  On a day off, I might do yoga or get a massage.  Maybe I'll do some light stretching too, but I'm careful to not do anything beyond warming up.  If you take one or two days off you're not going to lose any progress you've made.  Also, you may build up the "desire" to workout tomorrow.  It sounds like you've already experienced the good parts of working out (increased energy and improved mood), but you need to allow your body to recover.


    Overtraining has some serious risks, including buring out completely.  It sounds like you're doing the first step correctly, by listening to your body.  So often we learn to ignore the pain and just train through it.  Overtraining also puts you at risk for an injury which could sideline you for quite a while.  Also, when you increase your workout volume, you should only increase in small increments.  Often in running we say you should not increase your mileage by more than 10% per week.


    VeloNews had a good article on it last year.  Although it's cycling based, I think it still has some good applications.


    Runner's World has a few good articles too.  It's a bit older but you're going to see many of the same sugestions:,7120,s6-241-290-291-415-0,00.html,7120,s6-238-267--9991-0,00.html



    Whether it's Runners World, or VeloNews, or Triathlete Magazine. . .whichever, the first solution is the same: Rest.  If you take a day or two off now, you will still have plenty of time to get into shape for this summer. If you keep at this burn out pace, you will be at a signifigant risk for injury.


    How do I (personally) know if I've been training too much?  Even though I build regular days off into my schedule, I occasionally do cross the line of training hard and overtraining.  I tend to feel it with soreness that lasts more than 2 days, decrease in performance, my mood sucks (my wife notices it) and I have a voracious appetite and I crave carbs.  Seriously, I've eaten entire large pizzas . . my wife notices that too.  I tend to notice it a few days into it, but I can usually correct it with a day or two off.  I do Ironman triathlons, so I know the value and importance of a rest day.


    Sure, your workout routine might not seem very strenuous but it might still be enough to have an affect on your body.  No, you're really not supposed to exercise on days you're sore.  Soreness is your body trying to tell you something.  Yes, there is some soreness you can train through, but it's unlikely to be that way early in a training program.  My advice?  Don't be ridiculous...Listen to your body and you will be able to do this for years to come. If you don't listen to it, and you get an severe injury, you're going to hurt yourself before you've really begun. You're already on the right track with alternating days, but give yourself two or three rest days and see if it gets any better.  If you don't give yourself a rest day, you might be taking more than one day off.


    I hope this helps and I let us know what happens!



  • seb34 Expert 58 posts since
    Mar 24, 2011

    hey there.  i am starting week 8 of c25k, so i am by no means an expert, but have had some experience.  the main piece of advice i can give based on my experience is not to burn out your desire to exercise.  i think that wanting to work out & being excited about it have been the most important for me in working towards my long-term goals.  for me, those goals are increased energy & positive mood.  what has worked for me is never forcing myself to work out.  i have an "on the fence rule" that goes like this: if i definitely want to work out, i go work out.  if i am totally drained and lethargic, i do not work out.  if i am on the fence, i go work out with the agreement that i can stop any time.  in the last year i have only stopped a workout twice when going by this rule.  this helps me figure out the difference between feeling tired and feeling lazy


    good luck!

    sarah in pa

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    goal: fun!

  • LPARafael Pro 166 posts since
    Sep 13, 2010

    Nothing much to add that others haven't already said.  Sore could mean that you are using muscles more than you have been, but some people may say sore muscles when it's a lot more than sore.  So I am hoping it's the good kind of sore that you are experiencing.  Rest is good and please listen to your body.  But a big congrats for doing what you are doing, C25K and the 30 Day Shred. Keep up the good work and soon enough you'll be at your goal weight and then you want to start to work on better muscle definitions.  When you are done with C25K you can start looking for a 5K to participate in, if you haven't already.  I think being in a race, even if your goal in the race is just to participate, is that they are fun and will help keep you motivated to continue to use running as a form of exercise.

    To paraphrase Newton, "A body in motion tends to stay in motion", so keep those feet moving ....

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    Year 2 Year 5K - 12/31 - 1/1

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    City Impact Half Marathon - 6/16

    Channel Islands 10K - 7/4

    Disneyland Half - 9/2

    Marine Corps Marathon - 10/28

  • Michelle74149 Pro 138 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011

    Good! You shouldn't feel guilty taking a day or two off. For me, the key in everything is balance.

    Congrats on doign teh c25k! You and hubby WILL run your first this year

    I'm new to running. I completed the couch to 5K program on March 11th.

    First 5k, Seafarer's House,  completed April 2nd! 33:49

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