Running on empty?: What are people's thoughts... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Running on empty?


What are people's thoughts about running on an empty stomach? For me, I wake up, have a black coffee and a glass of water and am in the park within the hour. I don't notice any lack of power or energy specifically due to this routine,but was curious on anyone else's opinions.

I must add that one of my reasons for taking up the Cto5k was to lose a few kgs too.

31 Replies

Crazy. After posting this,5 suggested posts come up !🙄

Just water for me!!


If I'm going out early in the morning, I don't even have the coffee, just a sip or two of water and then I have a superquick breakfast (coffee included!) when I get back. It works for me, though I must admit I'm not really a morning person so I can put any gremlins down to that.


5k doesn’t need fuelling... if I was getting up early to run I’d do the same, up and go. In theory you should be ready to burn some calories before breakfast, and less so after! I run evenings and have to watch my food intake and have a good gap after food and before my run. I’m not a morning person at all! Whatever time you go though, it has to be right for you and from what you say then it’s perfect for you.

I always run in the morning (I just prefer it, especially now the air is getting crisp!) and tend to go on a large orange and two cups of green tea. Then a nice big bowl of muesli, yoghurt and blueberries (😋) after a stretch and shower post run!

I feel reassured . Thanks.

The only time I exercise in the morning is at the weekend and always go with an empty tum bar a coffee. Like yourself I feel no difference, after ct5k I do around 45 mins of weight training and again I complete my routine just as normal.

I’m no expert - at all - but I should think unless you are lethargic or light headed continue to do what suits you.

Congratulations on your achievements so far 👍👍👍


Do what suits you. I couldn’t take a coffee and a water though as I’d be looking for a toilet half way round.

I have a cup of tea, a bite of banana and a sip of water. Whole banana too much, no banana not enough. Works for me. 😀

ItstheMarchHareGraduate in reply to cheekychipmunks

Me too! Half a banana before, the rest of it when I come back 😊

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to ItstheMarchHare

Yep, in the car before I start driving home! 🍌

ItstheMarchHareGraduate in reply to cheekychipmunks

Don’t forget to eat the second half, or the smell in the car of forgotten banana will be following you round for years!

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to ItstheMarchHare

And the fruit flies ....... 😳😅

ItstheMarchHareGraduate in reply to cheekychipmunks

Urgh! 😊

I have 2 cups of tea. Earlier on in my journey I tried having a banana too, as I was struggling, but i think it was just lack of aerobic fitness! I’ve never had aching legs - just very out of breath. Glad to say that’s getting easier now. Just do what’s right for you 🙂


I always run in the morning. I have a coffee and a small fruit and fibre bar before yogi dog and i go out. He has a biscuit before we go as food could cause bloat.

cheekychipmunksGraduate in reply to Hidden

My dog eats her breakfast when I come back too. She’s a fussy eater (Labrador, really?!!), so it’s no hardship for her. Never thought of bloat though .... but yes, good point. 👍

I think the programme "Trust me I'm a Dr" Dr Mosely (BBC) said you lose 25% more weight if you run on an empty stomach? I always need caffeine as otherwise I get caught short half way round 🙀 Is that runners bum? Whole new topic!

Deals1Graduate in reply to Wildswimmer

I have a coffee the hope I don't get caught short too, yep another post!

Same with me. I get up early to let my chickens out and feed my dogs (the two who run with me just have a tiny taster) and I drink a pint of water and then half an hour or so after that off we go. I really look forward to my post run breakfast. I have porridge made with water topped with strawberries, blueberries, banana and a dollop of 0 fat Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon. The doglets have their proper breakfast portions for lunch on run days 😊

I’m an evening runner, so I have a banana and cup of tea before I go :) although on Saturday, I had a not so healthy sugar filled lunch so I didn’t have anything until after my run which was a banana and I think later on some bran flakes

If it suits you, then it’s fine. There are people who cannot set foot out of the door without something fairly solid inside them but that’s fine too. My early morning runs are on empty. I have done early morning half marathon distances an empty stomach (bar a mug of tea) just taking water with me.


If you have eaten and drunk normally the day before then you will have plenty of fuel on board for a C25k workout.

We are all different, so do what works best for you.

There is a train of thought that says women work out better on empty and men on a bit of food.

I try to have a drink then crack on and break the speed limit 😂😂😂 omg like as if!!


We do all our runs now before breakfast. I have a couple of swallows of water before I head out the door then usually a pint of water when I get in with a cold coffee and cream then a bulletproof coffee at abouut 10am. Lunch at 12 then dinner somewhere between 6.30 and 8pm. We are on the Keto diet so running on empty is grand for us, fewer sugar spikes and falls😀


I don't have anything, not even a sip of water.

As long as you hydrate well the day before ( something I struggle with, but make a big effort with) you should be fine.


Fine ish up to 10k I reckon. Definitely ok to 5.


Also a morning only runner - have a few mouthfuls of water before I go, and then breakfast after shower when I get back. Dog also goes out on an empty stomach, don't think she cares though, a walk's a walk, whatever the circumstances! :o)


I am the same as you on empty and haven't noticed any real disadvantages or suffered any ill effects . Usually a cup of coffee and then out the door..


Hi. I have a coffee and a few sips of water (I also take water with me) if I'm running midweek mornings. Parkruns I've started to have half a banana (after a tip on here) im not a morning person but I think I prefer running then to evening

Wow,thanks for all of your thoughts. It would seem that whatever works for you personally,is the way to go. For me,I'm happy with the coffee & water before the off,and as one of intentions is to lose just a few kgs,then if my body needs to feed on my waistline to get me through,then that's all good.

Again,many thanks.

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