Couch to 5K
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Is this podcast making me ill?


I am generally fit (ish) and well, apart from a couple of artificial discs in my back, but since starting this great podcast I have been ill twice. Man flu type symptoms, aching, complete lack of energy and headaches.

Twice now I have had to stop. The first time I got to WK3 R3 then was sick for a week. This time, after starting from WK2 again, I got to WK4 R2 and was really pleased with the 5min runs....then bamb! just been ill for 4 days, man flu, bad stomach, knackered!

I have been trying and succeeding in losing weight for the last year so It's always a low carb diet of chicken, nuts, cheese with lots of water and red wine in the evenings. Also my blood pressure is higher than it's ever been (just over the high point of normal 150/90) but I put that down to a 44 year old body that's never ran before.

I am ready to go at it again, I am determined to finish the whole 9 week podcast...I even bought a running bum bag! although my wife refuses to talk to me whilst I am wearing it!

Should I go back to WK3 R1?, WK1 R1? or carry on where I left off at WK4 R2 ?

Any advice would be very appreciated.

2 Replies

The podcast (running) isn't making you ill, but your diet+running probably is. If you google 'running and carbohydrates' you will find a lot of information which is very helpful, about the need for carbohydrate in the diet when you run. has some excellent information on this. The reality is that running without sufficient quantities of carbohydrate can certainly cause headaches and lack of energy: it is your body telling you that it's struggling with the lack of fuel. Eating wholemeal bread/rice/pasta would be a great addition to your diet and eating these after a run is the best time. It's certainly worth a try!


I second all TJ has said and although I'm like you and enjoy red wine I don't drink it the night before a run cos I find it makes me dehydrated which is another cause of headaches and lethargy. Try missing it out a couple of times and see if that helps at all.

Take no notice of your wife laughing at your bum bag I think its an essental bit of kit for carrying all sorts of things, like tissues, keys, iPod, lipstick - ooopppss ;)


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