Nutrition for getting started on C25K - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Nutrition for getting started on C25K


Hello all,

I wonder if any graduates were ever reluctant runners like me with no clue about optimal nutrition for exercise i.e. When is the best time eat/drink? Before or after a run? What food types are best for optimum health and weight loss.

Very nervous about starting but have put it off long enough.

Thank you.


13 Replies

I would have a look through the threads at your leisure as all this is covered. Most folks I'd say eat one hour to 90 minutes before running. I run on porridge for breakfast with a teaspoon of honey

I'm sure you know what foods are bad for you. Avoid those and concentrate on fruit, veg and make your meals from scratch rather than takeaways. That will go a long way to improving your health. Oh and give up fags, and drink less alcohol.

C25k programme is the best thing since sliced bread. Start it today! You'll never look back

MarkyDGraduate in reply to misswobble

Obviously best thing since wholemeal or granary sliced bread with thinly spread low fat spread and honey.

Drink! That is the best thing for weight control. Lots of water, regularly. Most times when you feel hungry you are actually thirsty. Fruit & veg contain a lot of water. Don't think that you need to eat more after starting C25K. The calories you burn will be about 2 slices bread max.

If I run in the morning I'll have porridge & banana 75 minutes before I go.

I have been experimenting more and more with a plant-based diet since starting running. It seems to give me much more energy and reduce recovery times. A green smoothie for breakfast and a large salad as some point in the day every day is now an every day fixture - other meals vary.

All of which is a little odd for a pig-breeding charcutier. Everyone who knows me thinks I have gone bananas, butit has definitely paid dividends. Have a look at the No Meat Athlete website - it doesn't require you to become fully vegan, but does make you rethink what and when you eat etc.


You should have a drink and a small snack 30-60 mins before your run. I always find that excercise is an appetite suppressant and don't need to eat afterwards for ages (although do have a glass of water or similar if you have been sweating a lot) The distances/times involved in C25K don't really need any special nutritional requirements, just be sensible, and eat healthy !


I always eat something small before a run, at least enough to give me the pep to keep going. Post-run I find I don't ever want heavy meals - not sure why but my body just feels like light food or even just vegetables.


Half a banana and a glass of water are adequate for a morning run. I have these minutes before I go out of the door, otherwise I would never be able to fit running into my life. A whole banana and a pint of water before a 10k run, also works.

Don't find excuses to start Becca. C25k really works and will change your life and we are all here to answer your questions as you go and will cheer you to the finish line and beyond. Go for it.


In this hot weather I've been having cold porridge - the night before, I mix the porridge oats with sweetened soya milk, add some dried fruit and put it straight in the fridge (don't heat it). Next morning I eat it straight from the fridge - it is lovely and keeps me going all morning.

I know cold porridge sounds horrible but it really is nice!



Don't knock it until you've tried it!



I have a glass of water sat next to my bed so I can drink it the second I wake up, then I eat a piece of fruit about 10mins before going out for a morning run. I've a friend who swears by avocado on wholemeal toast tho:


I never eat before a run!

Thank you all for your brilliant responses. I am a very sensible eater, vegetarian and drink lots of water. I've just been sedentary for so long that I've really forgotten what physical exercise is all about and having a toddler to entertain means I don't have much time to myself. I'm downloading the podcasts this weekend so wish me luck and see you on the boards when I need a pep talk!

Good luck!


Thank you for this. I've been hitting a bit of "nervous section" as drank a tiny bit too much water and sadly ended my jog with getting sick and was nervous when I set out this morning but thankfully jog went ok but I think as I run first thing i.e. 6.30am I should maybe consider half a banana with some water before I set out although I thought cereal the evening before and water throughout the night (when and if I wake up) would be sufficient. Minimal weight loss sadly but getting there in the jogging stakes!! Thank you Jo

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