Couch to 5K

Hydration and stretching dilemma

I'm plodding slowly on through the weeks to my utter astonishment (still can't believe I completed w4r3! ) and while it's taken longer than I'd expected thanks to two bouts of illness and some heavy work deadlines, so as I approach w5r1 I'm starting to consider a couple of things.

Firstly, when I go off for my runs, I don't take water with me as I am not parched afterwards and tend to rehydrate etc when I get home (about 5 mins from my run spot) but with the longer runs and just tougher weeks in general starting I'm wondering whether I need to add post-run stretching and make sure I bring a water bottle when I run. I like not having anything cumbersome to carry but if I need it, I need it! What do others do with regards to water and stretching? Also what type of stretches are best? Thanks! :-)

Ps if I I conquer w5 I feel i will finally be able to call myself a runner! Yay!

5 Replies

I would definately reccomend stretching - please see the pinned post on the right hand side for examples.

With regards to hydration, I'm sure you've heard the advice to go by the colour of your pee and that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. While for the short runs in this programme, you probably don't need to take any water with you unless you want to, it's probably a good idea to have a drink before your run, and when you get back, after stretching. The 2litre figure (or 8pint glasses) of water is often quoted but this depends on how much else you do in your day and the type of climate where you live. Eg I have a desk job, and my OH has a manual job so he needs more fluid intake then I do generally because he gets hot and sweats it all out. I find I sweat a lot more as the weather warms up so have made a point to start drinking more

If you want to take a water bottle with you, you can either carry it in your hand or use a small running back pack to carry it. Some people use the donught shaped bottles which make it easier to carry by hand. Apparently, you can get armbands or waistbands to hold the bottle. Also you can get specialist running backbacks which have a refillable sack for water - and a straw conencted for use while running. I think these tend to be more for the runners doing long distances though.


Thanks Tanya! Lol I can just see myself jogging round my little circuit with a backspace and straw! I think I will wait til I'm doing a marathon(!!!!) but sound advice re stretching and drinking! Much appreciated!


As the weather has been getting warmer, and often humid, I have found it useful to take water with me even for short runs. There is nothing worse than feeling thirsty and can't have a drink. We are all different and many people don't necessarily like to carry water on short runs so I would say, see how you feel by taking water with you on a run and just finding out for yourself if you are likely to need it. With regard to stretching, can't advise on that as I never do it. Good luck and best wishes.


I found when I was doing C25K that getting to the end for a drink was a motivation to keep going. I already carry quite a lot of kit with me and water is so heavy. So I have never done it. However, I think I tend to make choices about where I run when the weather is warm and try not to be too exposed for the whole run (eg a mix of open rides where the sun beats down and shaded woodland paths) which helps. I'm up to 8K now which takes well over an hour. If I was to be doing that in hotter weather, then yes, I'd want to have some sips with me, if nothing else to avoid distraction. My brother is now ranked in the top UK 200 for his chosen running sport and 10k is a short training run for him out on the moors. He doesn't take fluids with him.

I do the walks at the beginning and end and that's all the stretching I do as part of my run session. I do my stretching separately and it is usually just a little yoga practice every morning first thing but it has elements to stretch thighs and calves which might tighten if you are only running. I did the Strength and Flexibility 1 podcast after C25K+ Speed yesterday and my body is complaining today.


The weather can make a lot of difference, but if you are well hydrated before you start running then you probably don't need to take water with you while running. I do 10k runs without water but anything over and I use a belt with a water bottle. If you are feeling thirsty while running then maybe you need to take on more water before you start or take some with you.

keep running, keep smiling.


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