Couch to 5K
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Does anyone else get splitting headaches after morning / daytime running?

Hi All,

I completed the C25K programme last year, and absolutely loved it!! I actually enjoyed the running itself, and couldn't believe the progress I was making. I've recently started again, after a few months ofF (life got in the way) and I'm loving it again. It's so much easier second time around!

My question is this - both last year and this year I've done almost all my running after work, in the early evening, and I've been absolutely fine. But on a few occasions I've been out in the morning or at lunchtime, and I've noticed that whenever I do this I get a splitting headache, which lays me up totally for the rest of the day - drugs don't seem to get near it, and I just have to go to bed. It's always right behind my right eye, and accompanied by a slightly sicky feeling in my stomach.

What's really confusing me is that it always comes on within a couple of hours of finishing the run, regardless of whether I go back to work or it's the weekend and I'm just at home for the day. But it never seems to be a problem when I run in the evening, even though I'm up and about for a good 3 - 4 hours after running.

I thought it was about dehydration, but I don't think that can be it - it happened yesterday after a lunchtime run and I'd made a conscious effort to drink plenty of fluids all morning, during the run, and through the afternoon. It made no difference at all. I also made sure I had a banana immediately before running (so my stomach was empty enought o be comfortable, but with 'fuel' there), and a big bowl of soup afterwards.

Can anyone help?? I could just never run at any time other than in the evening, but that isn't really practical, and is very limiting. I quite often have other things on at that time.

Also, I'd just love to understand what's going on!

Thanks very much


4 Replies

my first thought was dehydration but it seems that you have already thought of that. I sometimes get headache if its bright & I havent worn my baseball cap. running alongside hedges with the sunshine popping through every couple of seconds is a bit like a flickering light so that can cause headache for me. maybe sunglasses?? this probably doesnt help any. sorry. hope someone else can give you the answers you are looking for. shelley x


What you're describing sounds like a migraine to me - splitting headache behind one eye, accompanied by nausea, though why you only get it during the day I don't know.

I used to get migraines with the same symptoms and my doc gave me Sumatriptan which was very effective. For lesser attacks Ibuprofen was sometimes enough if I took the strong ones.

Hope you get on top of it soon!


Although your drinking plenty of water, maybe you need to replenish your salts via electrolyte drinks! I have the same problem when i do a spin class. Afterwards, about 2hrs later i too develope severe headaches. I have found that the night before if i drink fluids with electrolytes in and during the exercise class, i dont get the headaches, along with water too!

I hope this works for you too.


I get the odd headache after a run if its been really cold. Often a drink of water helps to ease mine but they aren't as bad as yours sound. Cold water can also give me a bad headache too if I drink it too quickly, perhaps leave out a bottle of water to come to room temperature. It does sound like mirgraine and as you don't experience this when running at night (in the dark) so is it bright sunlight perhaps!?! In which case sun glasses or a cap pulled well down in the front. I hope you get this sorted soon as its much nicer and safer to run during daylight hours when possible.


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