Couch to 5K
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When and what do I eat before a run?

Third attempt this year trying to do the 5k challenge. I'm back to square one again. This is my second day. I'm on 8 minutes (interval running). Currently, I get up and run on an empty stomach. Trying to eat before a run serves as a distraction and my stomach won't be settled. Currently I'm surving on last night's carbs to get me though the run. Yesterday's run was terrible. Today wasn't so bad, I think I had a healthy selection of food yesterday, that's probably why...

When and what do I eat before a run?

What can I do to prep the night before food wise, that I can grab and go. It takes me about 15 mins to walk to the park, where I start the run.

5 Replies

There is a section on this useful Newbie post, all about diet and running:) Read the rest of the information too, it is so useful.

We all have preferences... a healthy eating regime is essential anyway...and good hydration.. at all times... I have a cup of tea and two digestive lite biscuits.. ( the only sweet treat I ever eat!) and leave about 45 mins after that..after a drink of water... so no prep needed.

Many folk eat a banana! Read the info and decided what is right for you.

I also. like many of us lay everything out the night before,, so all I need to do is warm up and head out:)

Third time lucky.. and now we know you are here..:)

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For early morning running I do it on a cup or two of tea and last night's dinner. I Only have breakfast before long runs (from around 90mins) If you must have something I think a favourite on here is 1/2 a banana or a biscuit with a drink as most other things can take a while to digest (longer than 15 mins). C25k doesn't really require any extra fuelling to a 'normal' healthy diet. What does make a difference is being well hydrated at all times I.e. Drinking a couple of litres of water a day plus the liquids from hot drinks and food.

Best wishes for third time lucky and seeing your graduation post soon.


I don't eat before a run either, as I like to get out early. I have run up to 10 miles before breakfast, with no issues. I do like you however, have good and bad days, depending on what I ate (and drank) the previous night. However, for some (those who have more time before their run presumably) eating before hand is a must.

Firstly, its important to keep hydrated, every day, but especially the day before (alcohol not a good idea). You can't compensate for the by having a lot to drink just before a run either as it will not have time to get into your system.

As for food, well this is going to be trial and error for you, but general advice would be to avoid fast or spicy foods. That said I ran the morning after a takeaway pizza with garlic bread and wedges and got a PB>


I find that I cannot run at all with almost anything "solid" in my stomach. Well, I can run - but usually not very well. Hydration is the most important thing - provided you have eaten the night before you don't need any sustenance or nutrition for C25K. Remember that eating and drinking is something of a "recreational habit" for all of us - it is why the western world is overweight.


I have a banana about 15 minutes before I run.


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