Question about running


I started running recently (back in October according to my timing) with my sister as a running coach, she had run a couple of half marathons and wanted me to get into shape so we were running the Couch to 5K using an app on my phone.

The app lasted about 2 weeks before I ditched it for my own music tracks of the appropriate length. Anyway, a discovery that the 5K for 8 weeks is similar to the 10K in 12 weeks so we switched to the 10K plan.

We ran the equivalent of 5K the other day and then my sister did an amazingly stupid thing, she decided that we'd run two days back to back and now she has shin splints and is out of the running for at least 2 weeks.

My question is: I'd like to keep running, but I want to know if it is a good idea to alternate a day of long running with a day of short running?

My routine has got to jog 15, walk 5, jog 15 so is it safe to jog for 10 minutes the next day? Or should I stick to the alternating run one day rest the next?


  • Hello and congrats on starting running!

    Those plans are successful for a reason. As a newcomer to running your body isn't used to the extertions that running places on it.

    OK, 10 minutes jogging doesn't seem like much but if your sister, a more experienced runner, got shin splints after 2 days back to back, then you should heed the warning image

    Stick with the rest days as prescribed by the plan.

  • Way to go Coachimage 


    ^^^  image ^^^

    Honestly... I've never heard of an experienced runner... even after a lay off... getting shin splints from doing  gentle beginner runs on 2 consecutive days. She certainly was not "amazingly stupid" in suggesting it... although in an ideal world, you would be better sticking to alternating days until you build up some resillience.

    She should check out that she's not wearing some terribly inappropriate footwear.. or otherwise understand the root cause of her problem, to avoid a repetition.

    Well done on your own running though.  Follow the programme and don't let enthusiasm over-ride your common sense.

  • Some of the most common running injuries are caused by overuse especially in newer runners.  For example:

    • Increasing training intensity, volume or mileage too quickly.
    • Frequent training on hard surfaces such as pavements.
    • Training shoes with a high heel can increase the risk of injury.

    These will all significantly increase your risk of injury.  Your plan sounds very sensible.  Just remember to listen to your body and stop if you feel like it is becoming too much. 

    A dynamic warmup is vital to lower your risk of injury (Don't try static stretches before a run - leave them until the end).  I written an article that might be of interest:

    For your sister's shinsplints check out this article:

  • Thank you for the advice.

    I had thought that since I'm the potato of the couch to 5K circuit, that interspersing the long runs would be beneficial in building resilience, but in the back of my mind I feel it could go disastrously wrong.

    We aren't exactly experienced runners, she did her half marathons by being pushed around the course by my other sister who was her running partner. She explained there was no set routine involved, she just ran around the block.

    I think she has too much on her plate, what with her dance classes; women's self defence; night shifts and long work hours that running back to back was too much for her body to cope with.

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