Beginner Running Programs - Walking on Off Days

Can I walk for 20 or 30 minutes on off days between workouts on the beginner running program 3?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your running training question.
Happy to have yet another user of one of my Beginner Running Program 3!

It is definitely fine to do walks on "off days". The program is designed for people of all abilities and needs to cater for those who can only make themselves available for three days a week.

If you are up to it and it does not affect your running days, then definitely go for it and do those walks. It will only help you get fitter quicker!

Best of luck with the running program.

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Rest days between runs on Beginner Running Program

by Steve H.
(Three Rivers, MI USA)

The beginner running programs you outline take up 3 days per week. That means you can have a 2 day rest period between runnings days somewhere in the week. Where would the 2 day rest period be most beneficial, generally speaking?

As the schedule goes, I've been taking the 2 days between the 2nd and 3rd day of the week. It seems to work alright for me.

I just wondered where most people see the biggest benefit from the 2 day rest, or where you thought it should be when you came up with the programs.

By the way, I'm doing the 10 week to 20 minutes program. 7 weeks down. So far so good! Haven't felt the need to back off at any time yet. The pace has been challenging, but well within my body's capability.

You have a great web site!

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your running training question. I am happy to see you have picked up one of my beginner running programs to start your running career. And it is good to see it is working out for you.

As far as the rest days goes, it is very flexible. When I put together the running programs I did not want to dictate when to rest, when not to rest etc. Many people have busy lifes nowadays.

I did not want you to feel like you couldn't start the programs if you had the feeling you could not fit in the schedule exactly as it was laid out.

Or that if at one point you could not follow the schedule exactly that you'd be discouraged and would think it would be better just to stop because you could not do it exactly as prescribed.

I know from my own experience that sometimes three days of running in a week means three days in a row and sometimes it is a bit more spread out. It can be very dependent on work, family and whatever else hits you in life.

I do advise to keep at least one day of rest between the three training days. But it is totally up to you when you take your extra day of rest. It sounds like what you have been doing so far is working for you, so I'd stick to that if I were you.

Great to hear that you enjoy Beginners Running Program 2 so far.

Best of luck with your running.

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In a week ... is there a sequence recommended in the workouts?

by Juan

Hi Dominique,
I will start following your Half Marathon Running Program :D
Since it is 4 workouts per week, I understand that it will be advisable to have one rest day in between each workout.

I read some questions that this would be desirable scenario as long as your social life allows it.

Now, my question would be in the order or sequence of the workout. Should I understand that, within a week, I should start doing Workout 1 on let's say Monday, then, the following will be Workout 2, then 3 and 4?

Are the workouts numbered in such way because that's the order to follow? Or given the case, does it have any significant impact altering the order?

Along this line, a related question ... In case one week I'm only able to do 2 or 3 workouts ... what will be the workouts more advisable to skip or be dropped out of the list?

Thanks a lot for the information shared in your site!


Answer by Dominique:

Hi Juan,
Thanks for your questions about the half marathon running program.

It is all quite flexible. You can decide whichever day you start the program and how you use rest days.

I don't want to be too prescriptive because everybody is so busy nowadays. I'll give you some directions though:

Workout 4 of the week is the long run. Most runners will do that one in the weekend, often Sunday.

It is probably best to leave the day after, Monday in that case, as a rest day.

Workout 1 should then ideally be done on a Tuesday to leave the other four days of the week (Wed - Sat) for Workout 2 and 3.

As you can see in your half marathon running program Workout 2 and 3 can be faster sessions in your tempo zone. Tempo runs count as "tough" workouts, so I would, if possible, allow for a rest day after your tempo session.

Regarding altering the order: should not be a big issue, as long as you keep in mind that your tempo session and your long run should ideally have a rest day in between.

In case you need to skip workouts, I would prefer you to skip the shorter ones, again with the thought in mind that the tougher sessions should allow a rest day in between. Always try to do the long run, it is the main ingredient to the longer distances. Don't do them enough and you will pay the price as shared here.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck with your half marathon.
Happy to hear you like the site.

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Beginner Running Programs :: Three Consecutive Days or...?

by Liz

In the beginners running programs, do the three days per week need to be consecutive, or random?


Answer by Dominique:

Hi Liz,

Good that you are considering to start with running.
I hope you enjoy the sport as much as I do.

The 3 days a week don't have to be consecutive, they can be randomly distributed over the week. It is actually preferred if you leave days of rest and/or cross-training in between.

It is good to give the body a bit of bit of rest in between, reason why many runners adopt a hard/easy approach, i.e. Monday hard, Tue easy/rest, Wed hard, Thu easy/rest, etc.

Hope this helps.
Enjoy your running.

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Beginners Running Program - Which Three Days Should I Run?

I have not been running (or exercising) for three months, but am eager to start again. I was up to 2 miles off and on run/walk, more running than walking.

I am beginning with your Beginners Running Program 3. I would also like to integrate light weight training into the schedule.

1. are the three days, every other day, does it matter?

2. Should the weight training occur on days not training to run.

3. Can additional cardio - treadmill, swimming, arc trainer, elliptical be used on off days?

Goal - health, 5K this spring.

Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your excellent questions. Happy to see you will try one of my beginner running programs.

Depending on how much you have run in the past and your current fitness levels, you may feel that the first weeks of the running program are too easy. Feel free to start at a point you think more indicative of your current state of fitness.

Having said that, feel free to start with week 1 as well. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is impossible to create the perfect running program for everyone.

1. are the three days, every other day, does it matter?
Does not really matter, every other day would be ideal to give the legs and the muscles you use during running regular breaks, but if you have other things going on, feel free to juggle workouts and have back-to-back running days.

2. Should the weight training occur on days not training to run.
You might find it easier to make yourself available for say 30 - 60 minutes each day, rather than 60 - 120 minutes every other day. You may also find yourself too tired after the running to then do weights.

Other than those considerations, there is no real reason why you couldn't do weights and running after each other as you are training different muscle groups.

3. Can additional cardio - treadmill, swimming, arc trainer, elliptical be used on off days?
Yes! I am a big fan of cross-training. Other than for your Haile Gebreselassies and other elite runners, I think cross-training is definitely beneficial. It gives the running muscles a rest while still building a stronger heart and training other muscle groups. Can't be much wrong with that!

The only thing I would warn you about is to make sure you do not overdo it. If you are cross-training so much that you have severe difficulty completing your running session the next day, then you should probably cut back a little.

You sound full of good plans and I hope my Beginners Running Program 3 will help you establish your goals of a healthier, fitter you and a successful 5k in Spring.

Best of luck.

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