Couch to 5K
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When to eat??

Morning all!

Starting the C25k today, I get home from work at about 5.45pm and this is usually when i put my tea in the oven, potter about and then eat about 6.30pm. Would you say I would be best putting food in the oven, going for a run and then coming back and eating OR should I go straight for my run and then put my tea on when I get back? Just wondering is it best to leave it a while after running before eating?

Any help much appreciated!

Thank you!


6 Replies

I am now running week 7, and up until now I have run in the morning, waking up and having a cup of tea and then going out for my run, having a shower when getting home, and then having my breakfast (and being really ready for it!). Yesterday, W7R1, I had to do things differently, and ran at lunch time, before lunch, then came home, had a drink of water and then made a sandwich. It didn't work, although I was really hungry I had to force the sandwich and banana down, and felt really full and uncomfortable for most of the afternoon, and then developed a horrible headache as the evening progressed. I think the mistake was eating straight away after exercise. I think if I have to run at any time other than first thing in the morning I will have a small drink of water and a banana before the run, and then wait for a while, showering while I wait, until I eat anything else. It may work for you to run straight away when you get home, and then put your dinner on to cook and get ready for your evening whilst its cooking. Best wishes to you on the programme, i'm sure you will soon find the best way forward for you in this.


I leave an hour between eating and running, or else whatever I've eaten talks back to me the whole run which isn't pretty... :-) and then after the run I don't usually feel like eating straightaway. If I were you I would come home, have some water, potter till you feel ready to go, do your run, and put the tea in the oven when you get back, so you'd have another 30 mins+ before you eat.

Good luck starting the programme, I'm W9R1 tomorrow or Thursday and I haven't regretted starting it for a minute. Laura on the podcasts keeps you right in the first half, and then for the long runs you can use your own music if you want to which makes it even more fun.


It's tricky when you excercise after work.

Most nights when I excercise I don't eat till about 9 pm, which isn't very good.

The time just seems to evaporate though.


I don't feel very hungry after running but everyone is different. Why not have your run, pop your meal in the oven while you have a lovely shower by then you may just about be ready to eat. I have found if I eat breakfast slowly I'm OK doing things this way. I always have a banana and cup of tea before a run in the morning too and breakfast is just tea and toast or cereal. The other option if its possible is have your main meal at lunchtime then just a sandwich after your shower. Play about with it and find what you are happiest with. Good luck with the running.


I prefer to run pretty much on empty, even for long runs. I can't run on anything heavy. I'd be running to the loo after half an hour.

The general consensus from the running experts says that you should eat within an hour of finishing your run for the best uptake of nutrition...and leave at least a couple of hours between a light meal and running.

Hope that helps. Good luck!



Thank you everyone.

Did my first run last night. Went really well. put my tea on when I got back, had a lovely shower and then sat down to eat about 35mins after my run.I was hungry but didnt stuff myself. Cant wait for Run 2 now!


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