Couch to 5K
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Return of the runners headache

Ouch.. so I could almost feel it coming on shortly after I completed my run. I did everything to avoid it like I usually do, I was hydrated and feeling good before I set off, wasn't on an empty stomach - but it seems whenever I have a run that was particularly hard , the headache has a chance of following with a dull aching that echoes the footfalls of my run! Normally lasts the day and two paracetamol won't shift it.

Anyway, off to bed 🌛🙄🤕

7 Replies

You say you are much and how frequently do you drink?


I'd already had a litre before my run


The NHS recommend 1.2litres per day. If you are exercising regularly then you need considerably more. I drink at least twice that amount per day. The important thing is to keep your intake regular throughout the day. Drinking a litre just before a run is not a good idea.

Many people do not drink enough, especially when they start running. Your symptoms sound like poor hydration, but if they persist after your hydration is adequate, then see your GP.

The simplest way to check your hydration is to check the colour of your per. It should be a pale straw colour. If yellow, you are under hydrated.


I am a well known lizard and don't perhaps hydrate as much as I should, but with the running, I've taken positive steps to really up my water intake, and in fact although the 30 minute run doesn't need water I take one of those small oval shaped bottles with me to sip little and often, and now I make sure I drink the same amount post run, within 5 minutes of my cool down. I have found my incidence of running headaches has reduced significantly, it seemed worse not taking water when I was running. We are all different of course, but worth a try?


Great advice - I don't take any with me I just drink before and after so this could be a solution , especially with my run times increasing , maybe I haven't adjusted the water accordingly to reflect that I'm now running longer


Need to drink water all the time throughout the day and stay hydrated, and not just before running..

Also make sure you're not hunched over and tensing your shoulders, hang loose, with head up looking forward chest out shoulders back..


Sounds a bit like migraine, maybe you should get checked out.

I get migraines occasionally, always after strenuous exercise. What I think helps me (and I'm sure this would apply to non-migraine headaches too):

1. Eat beforehand (you've got that covered)

2. Drink plenty, take water with me if I'm going for more than an hour

3. Protect my eyes from bright light - peaked cap and/or wraparound sunglasses

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