Couch to 5K
62,522 members95,318 posts

What do people eat before running?

I am now on w6 r2 and starting to struggle. It has just dawned on me that maybe the issue is running first thing only fuelled by a mug of weak tea? I know I can't cope with running on a full meal. All thoughts welcome!

15 Replies
oldestnewest

I don't think it would be a fuel issue at the distances we do in the programme. Probably a likelier reason it's getting hard is that you're starting to push yourself a bit. If you push a bit harder here, an little bit harder there, and so on, it can all add up. If you're surviving the struggle, you could just use it to make yourself better at struggling (with an increased risk of injury as a cost), or you could decide to do stamina building first (the recommended way, I think), and worry about stuff like making yourself struggle a bit more, later. (If you do it that way, you reduce the gamble you're taking on having to take a break of a few months, waiting for some connective tissue that didn't develop as quickly as your muscles, and got hurt, to heal, so the recommended way really does have a lot to commend it).

You've got a continuous 25 minute run coming up next. Maybe see how that goes before making any adjustments.

I suppose you could try drinking some sugar water, too, if you want to just rule out any fuel issue.

1 like
Reply

I usually run an hour after breakfast (which is tea, juice, cereal- and a big glass of water). I couldn't run on nothing I don't think! And running after a big meal is definitely not a good idea. I've heard other people on here say they have a yoghurt or something light like that?

1 like
Reply

No, don't think it's a fuel or hydration issue either with what your doing at the moment, of course make sure you are well hydrated. It's more likely your going to fast, so back off to near running on the spot when the going gets tough,and those little mind gremlins come out to play. As long as you have no physical pain just go through them. Just keep it there!

1 like
Reply

Half a banana and about 500 ml of water before a run, got me through all my early morning C25k runs and is still what I choose. Eating the whole banana before a 10k and increasing the volume of water a bit, also seems to be fine for me. It is only runs beyond about 12k that I feel the need to refuel and rehydrate while on the run. I find that even a light breakfast and a delay to running does not work well with me.

Experiment.

3 likes
Reply

A banana (or half) is my fuel of choice too. Give it half an hour or so to settle then run!

1 like
Reply

Not me TT!!! Eat it as I go out of the door!!!

1 like
Reply

Really? Ooh. That's one less excuse to procrastinate before getting going then.

2 likes
Reply

Ah, what you need is the Fitmo special, a legendary pre run breakfast of peanut butter on rice cakes. Miles_Yonder always raved about these when he was doing the programme. Be warned though, they are surprisingly delicious and scarily addictive! :)

2 likes
Reply

I always like to do my runs on empty other than a glass of water. Should be ok for a 5k although I know others swear by a banana or similar before they go. I find the only time I get a stitch is if I've eaten recently!

Week 6 is difficult and many people struggle so it may be nothing to do with fuelling up. See how you find the longer runs without intervals. Good luck!

1 like
Reply

I generally don't eat before a run , so far so good :) make sure you have hydrated well before hand and if you do have a small snack give it about 30 - 60 mins to digest before running

Reply

I've been having a tablespoon or two of yoghurt, and a few mouthfuls of water. This has helped me, possibly just psychologically feeling I have food and water on board. The last three runs I've felt sick at the end, i may consider the bite or two of banana or the peanut butter plus rice cake options.... Both of which are yummy! Mm! I agree though about week 6; it is a toughie for a lot of people but keep at it; if you can mAke it through the psychological rewards are brilliant and after that it is amazingly much easier for your positive mind to push your body and your gremlin-laden evil mental twin, even as they both keep yelling back 'argh!no!' 😀

Reply

Slightly off the subject -- but yesterday, IMMEDIATELY before I went out for an 8 K trail run ( which I knew would take me about an hour) , I tried/consumed a pouch of baby food ( like this pics1.ds-static.com/prodimg... It was custard and banana :) I tried this - because looking at the Gatorade type drinks, they don't seem to have enough calories in them without taking quite a lot of liquid on a long run - the baby food pouch was small and light and I could easily carry 2 of them in my running belt with some water as well. The custard and banana tasted good too!! :)

EDIT - just did a bit of quick research on the Internet - and it seems that my idea is not original :)

Reply

Porridge with sugar or some other cereal with banana. I've never eaten breakfast but found if I didn't have something before running I am grumpy or tearful or both. I Googled it, it's quite common apparently.

Reply

I'm another one who swears by a banana and a glass of water before I go out. I can run without but I notice the difference

Reply

I usually run on just a mug of tea too. I haven't noticed any problems with lack of energy, but I am only in week 4. I saw on the Gareth Thomas programme (BBC Wales) that the women there were having jelly babies mid-run. I suppose you could try a few of those pre-run. There's something about bananas that give me indigestion!

Reply

You may also like...