Hi, I've just started running as a way of losing some weight and get fitter. As a challenge I hav entered myself for the manchester 10K in June. My problem is that I am prone to getting banging headaches when I do strenuous exercise. I drink loads before, during and after running but this doesn't help. Are there any other tips out there or is it that I just need to drink even more?

Thanks, Lisa


  • Try drinking plenty the night before. And not alcohol!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    What do you drink? If you do drink loads, but it's just water, you may be flushing/sweating out all the salts and electrolytes your body needs.

    Try a sports drink, or if it's really bad, something like Diaralyte (used for rehydrating after gastric problems) might help.
  • Yes I'm just drinking water, but I'll try drinking more water the night before and have a sports drink during the run.

    Thanks for the advice
  • If you are running to lose weight, then (perversely) it might be that you need to eat more. Lots of people with weight loss aims don't eat enough to support the new exercise they are doing. A sports drink would also help out here by providing a bit of extra sugar. A lack of sugar can also be a cause of headaches.
  • I echo that re lack of sugar. Are you following a particular diet plan? Both Weight Watchers and Rosemary Conley factor the energy requirements for exercise. I did a weight watchers diet whilst doing a lot of swimming, you earn 'bonus points' which means more food with energy. Eating med-slow release energy foods like bananas, porridge and other carbohydrates will keep your blood sugar levels higer for longer.

    I'm not a medic, just someone who gets a lot of headaches and has learnt some of these things the hard way.
  • Headaches can sometimes be a cause of a larger problem. The best way to eliminate what may be causing them during excersise is to keep a diary for a week of when you eat/drink in relation to exercise, and trying to find a pattern :)
  • Yeah - I'm currently on WeightWatchers but I haven't been eating my bonus points. Maybe I should be eating a light snack before running (i.e. banana, snack bar).

    Yesterday I had an apple and drank 1.5 litres of water before going for my third run, I also had a sports drink during and after running, and I didn't get a headache.

    Thank you everyone - you've given me lots to think about. And, by the way, went running last night, and enjoyed it more than ever.
  • i also get that problem but i try to keep my feet lighter on the ground and try to avoid paths or roads. and lots of water
  • I would also say listen to your body. If you've had a very busy time, have been short on sleep and meals have been a bit erratic think twice before pushing yourself on a run. I ran recently after two days of hard driving,pushed myself a bit hard and then ended up unable to do anything for four days as my head throbbed and my glands were swollen.
  • im doing w.w too ane often get this. eat all your points as your body needs it for sure. i seem to be losing and i eat my points
  • i lost ten pounds on weigh watchers within two months without exercise but then after that could not lose any more so i started to run and they also advised eat all of the points if you exercise, you can even add points if you exercise so your allowed more.
  • I also suffer from headaches after a competitive run but never on a training run. I drink constantly during the day but will try a sports drink during my run. I will also try and eat more bananas. I've also started to take a few jelly beans in my pocket to keep up my sugar level.
  • a great sweet for running to keep up sugar levels is peppermint creams by trebor. they keep your energy going and make your mouth feel fresh when running i always have one half way round my course.
  • Hi, I used to get real thumpers after a run but found it was because I was going too fast for too long.
    As soon as I got my heart rate monitor & could monitor what my heart was doing, I was able to slow down when I needed too & therefore was not running at 185 bpm for a long time - no wonder my head felt like it was going to explode, lol!

  • eat the bonus points lisa
    i did it for a year and lost two stone

    but you need to eat!!

  • I also get a headache after a long run i.e 21 miles, i drink lot before etc. I read that it may be due to low salt and iron levels. Anybody got any advice would be pleased to know or find a solution.
  • As you exercise you sweat which excretes salts as a waste product. An electrolyte drink or a drink before you go and during the run will help enormously. 21 miles is a huge distance and small things such as salt levels really makea big difference.
  • Thanks  for the advice Elmodiddly. I always drink about a litre of fluid before I run.
  • I've been running on a treadmill for 18 months and do about 10K three times a week.  This week I started running outdoors for the first time and have managed 2 runs of 5 Miles.  On the first one I got  banging headache about half way round which stopped almost as soon as I finished the run.  On my second run today I got one almost as soon as I started but managed to ignore it.  Eventually it subsided to a dull ache that was there throughout most of the run.  When I finished it was barely perceptible and I took a couple of painkillers and it went away completely.I'm putting it down to increases in my blood pressure which I probably didn't get so much of on the treadmill.  I've found road running uses more of the thigh muscles and I'm assuming this is pushing the blood round faster.  I know I'm using different muscles because I'm hobbling about the house right now imageI'm hoping that eventually I'll get used to the new exertion and I won't get any more headaches, but the advice on here sounds useful.  I drink a lot before and during my run but I must admit I drink far too much wine the night before (well most nights actually) so perhaps that's my problem.  If so its probably one more good reason to moderate the old alcohol intake! 

    I LOVE road running though, even though I’m crippled in between.  It was a bit scary at first as so many people told me it was much harder than the treadmill.  I’d say different but not really that much harder, and you get to look at something more interesting than the bedroom wall!

  •  i just started running and everyday a few hours after i run i get bad headaches. i live in macedonia and when i run its about 30 degrees, i thought my headaches were from the heat but maby i should drink more water and eat a bigger breakfast.
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  • Heat is a killer though when you're running.  One of the other advantages to running outdoors for me is that I get monsterously hot on the treadmill, even with the window open and a fan on me.  I also get complaints from the other half about making the rest of the house cold!  Outdoors I've been fine but I've yet to run on a hot or humid day.
  • iv only ran in this heat so i dont know any diffrent, but i think its fine, you get used to it.

    maby id be able to go futher if it wasnt hot?

  • Did another 5.25 Miles last night and didn't get a headache yay!. 

    Made sure I was really hydrated though and ate a bananna and some dates before I left (dates are brilliant for instant energy - better for you than chocolate).

    My recovery is getting better as well, I can almost walk again this morning imagehttps://us.v-cdn.net/6027274/uploads/forum/smilies/smile_smiley.gif' />

  •  i got told off for not taking rest days. so i rested on Saturday. then yesterday and today i ran as normal and haven't had a headache! i also drank more water before i started, maybe that  was why as well.
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  • I only ever run every other day and try to take weekends off, unless I get out of synch.  I usually do Mon, Weds, Fri.  I also try to go for a long walk on Sunday as well which I find helps keep things from stiffening up too much.  Rest days are very important as well as eating the right stuff for proper recovery. 
  • im only jogwalking for 30min everyday tho coz iv just started. i dont think this is strenuous enough to have to take rest days. i was only soar the first couple of days when i started, now im fine, i dont wake up stiff or anything. so i think im doing ok, if i was doing too much i would feel it the next day wouldnt i?

    also iv been doing this for over 2 weeks now and im not loosing weight, although i do feel my jeans being a bit looser. are my scales deceiving me??

  • It takes a while to kick in.  I lost 2 stone over an 18 month period which is better than losing it all in a couple of months.  I don't think I noticed much of a loss for the first couple of months though.  If you are feeling the exertion and your heart rate is up then you should eventually start to lose something, as long as you are not increasing your calorie intake as well.  Always make sure you weigh yourself at the same time of day though.  I do it first thing in the morning before I've eaten anything.  I don't seem to be losing much more now but I think I'm building muscle and that weighs more than fat so you may find your weight goes up and down a bit.

    Try adding a bit to your routine every week though.  The further you go the more you burn off, don't go mad but you need to reach a point where you do start to feel it.  But you will need those rest days then.

    I'm no expert though, there are people on here that will be able to give you much better advice on exercise plans.  I'm just sticking to the mantra I read somewhere else on here that the further you run the more you lose.   

    In the end though any exercise is good so keep at it and you'll eventually find it pays off.

  • thanx for that.

    ill Waite a month and see how it goes. even if i dont loose weight on the scales, as long as i can see my body looking more in shape ill be happy. either way im not going to stop running, im really enjoying it and i think its really improving my health.
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  • Thats the main thing! image
  • So glad that you posted this question as I've been suffering with a headache today after running a 10k on Sunday.  Will try tips and see what happens.  image
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