What and when do you eat before a run? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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What and when do you eat before a run?

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I'm on W9 now and on my last run I was distracted by hunger!! I don't want to run with food in my stomach as i know thay will give me cramps. Any advice? If i run first thing on getting up in the morning will i have less energy if I dont eat.

Sad to report even though i'm on w9 ive not lost ANY weight.!!?

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That must have been very annoying! You have to experiment to find out what works for you. You might find that you do well running first thing, many people do - and it's nice to have breakfast to look forward to :) If that's no good try having just a little food before you go out, like half a banana for example; or wait for an hour or two after eating before you run.


I usually run in the evening and have a meal a couple of hours before. I ran this morning and had a mouthful of juice and a small banana just before I went. I must say it doesn't suit me. I felt hollow and slightly faint after the endorphin rush faded. Shan't try that again.


Different people are definitely different on that front - I run first thing in the morning sometimes with just a gulp of water and I'm fine, but I had to try it and see. I've never not had dinner the night before! I eat as soon as I get back.

On the weight loss front, running doesn't really burn that many Calories until you're running for a while, though again that surely varies person to person. You might find you tone up a bit though and you're definitely getting fitter :D

W9, wow! ... well done, nearly there!

I run as early as possible and always have a banana before I go out. If I'm starting a bit later (e.g. Parkrun) I might have a poached egg as well just to make sure my energy level doesn't drop.

I try not to drink too much beforehand but always make sure I well hydrated the day before and of course drink water afterwards.

Good luck and happy running!


I prefer to be empty, as a morning runner. I do have half a banana and a pint of very diluted fruit juice immediately before setting out on a 5k run, so that is my definition of empty.

Running after meals, even when recommended gaps have been observed, has not worked well for me. Performance is always better first thing for me, but I suspect that endurance may be better later in the day, but don't do it frequently enough to make sensible comparison.


I tend to run on an empty stomach with a drink before I go. I usually run in the morning before breakfast, before I'm awake, before I realise I am actually going on a run. That suits me as I don't like running on full stomach. Plus its nice to get to work and have breakfast.

As for the weight loss I haven't lost any weight I thought I had. I think it was sweat. I weighed myself after a run once and was all yippee and yee haa as I'd lost weight but it was back the next day and I had been drinking plenty so maybe the two are tied in some how?

The plus side to running for me is that my clothes fit better and my husband says that I don't feel as flabby. I find that very encouraging. Plus the scales are not going up and up like they have been doing.

Keep going. The fitness benefits are great on this running programme.

in reply to LexMis

Any weight you lose between the start and finish of a C25K run is purely down to fluid loss, which you need to replace after the run. You need to run for over an hour before you burn body fat.

But as you say there are many other benefits.


I always run post meal, waiting about 60 - 90 minutes for it to digest. Porridge and honey usually πŸ˜‹.

You’ll evolve your runs to suit. Everyone is different. I need fuel on my runs or my legs won’t go πŸ™‚


Hi I’m on last run next and I too have not lost weight, just remained the same but that might be down to having giving up smoking so I pick more. I have definitely noticed that I’m less flabby and more toned now , and hope to start losing weight once I up the mileage x good luck xx


I go out after the school run..and the only thing I eat is a banana & I drink plenty of water...then, if I’ve been a good girl & had a good run, I have boiled eggs on a couple of slices of small brown toast, sometimes an extra egg, that sets me up till tea time..you might not have lost weight but I’m sure your shape will have changed? If not, it will do...think about how much fitter you are getting though? x

I run first thing in the morning and just have one mug of tea and that's it. I usually try and hydrate the night before and eat well. If you eat before a run, your body won't be using those calories as they won't yet have got into your system. I then have breakfast once I'm back and showered.

I haven't lost weight, but I'm definitely a different shape now, and (much to Mr Razouski's dismay) I have lost inches off my glutes. πŸ˜‚


Ive lost five pounds since I started the program, but my metabolism is quite efficient.

I usually run empty but tonight I had a meal two hours before and I felt I did better 😁 But I shall try that again before my next run and see what happens...

I find running alone doesn't help me lose weight... my week consists of the running, weight training, boxercise, Pilates and walking and a better diet and now I am steadily losing weight... 4 stone down in just over a year

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