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Couch to 5K
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If increasing distance....need for increase in calories?

I'm looking to train towards 10K. I'm doing the nhs weight loss program and not quite at my target weight yet. As I'm training for 10K and running more, trying to run further, do I need to increase daily calories? At the moment on a running day I'll eat around 1300Kcal. I aim to run around 4 times per week about 30-45mins.

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You might find Myfitnesspal helps as you get the calories back from training and still lose weight... Since progressing to my long runs ( 13 miles plus now) I have found I need to fuel up the night before and then I eat loads the day after and my body needs it... Good luck with your training plan...

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I run up to 10 miles training runs without increasing calories, before my 1/2 marathon I had a decent breakfast beans on toast, and I dare say I will do something similar in 5 weeks time when I do a 10k race but as for 10 k training runs I just eat the same, hope this helps, and good luck, enjoy your race!


You need to fuel cardio exercise if you are in it for the long haul. If you don't you risk some health issues in the not too distant future.

Our metabolism deploys something called adaptive thermogenesis more commonly known as "Starvation Mode" the upshot of this is that if you are not eating enough to fuel your exercise your system will cut back on all non essential tasks, like cell repair and bone maintenance. In this mode it will hang on to fat reserves like crazy and is more than likely to also start burning muscle to provide energy.

It's very easy to focus on short term goals especially if you are seeing weight loss results, gains in your runs and therefore dismiss the long term risks, but trust me when I say the metabolic damage this can cause in the long run it's just not worth it. The problem is it does not happen overnight, it can take months and months but eventually if you continue it will catch up with you. In some circumstances people even start to gain weight as their bodies become super adaptive at exercising with an energy deficit. In the worse cases it can lead to a point where the only way back is rest up for months and months.

Best Wishes


Oooh deffo something for me to think about! .... At the moment I run empty a couple of runs per week for half hour. I fuel up nights before long runs. Have half banana (early runner) before heading out - then breakfast after. I do eat normal dinners and lunches. Just reduce on carbs to keep my weight under control. I was 13 and half stone. Now down to 11 and half stone since Jan. Looking to increase distance that I can run to 10K by next 6 months :-)


Running on an empty stomach is not necessarily going to cause you any issues, lots of runner prefer to eat the night before (back load), if anything post run nutrition is as important if not more.

The issue I am raising is a result of more long term neglect where someone is traditionally dieting by restricting their food intake to create an energy deficit who is then creating or trying to create a further deficit through several hours a week of regular hard cardio exercise on top of that.

@KittyKatt007 like everything it's a learning curve, like most things listen to your body. It's not an exact science unfortunately if it was things like weight control would be very much easier.


Runnersworld provide some information on calculating the number of calories you need. That particular content is available only to subscribers but I have a copy at home I will try to upload later when I get home. Prod me if I forget.


I don't think 10 k warrants any more food. I do treat myself to a home made energy booster bar after a longer run though and a 10 k would earn me one of these babies. I don't eat them unless I run as they are too calorific. Packed with good things though which we need to sustain a healthy running bod


Hi. Please see runnersworld.com/rybo. If you read all the info here then your calorie intake will vary depending on weight, height, gender, age and activity level.


I'm in very much the same position (not running as often but aiming to get to 10k soon and I have 10kgs to get to my target weight (unless I feel 'done' before then) Not planning to increase calories. My exercise seems to burn few calories according to Runkeeper and that Runnersworld calculator refuses to answer me when I give it the data for my fastest run, probably looking down its electronic nose at the notion that it counts as running at all.


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