Hi all!  I started running approximately 4 weeks ago in a bid to try and get fitter and healthier.  I'm really enjoying it and have downloaded a app to help to track the distances etc.  I'm not running to loose weight, just for cardio and to possibly tone a few wobbly places up! I would have considered myself moderately active anyway as I'm constantly on the move.  I walk my dog first thing in the morning before work, go to work, back home again at lunch to walk her again, then back to work until 5pm.  Then there's all the housework!!   I'm running approximatley 4 days a week and usually run around 5K.  On week days I would always run early evenings and at the weekend the morning time. Since taking up running I've noticed that my energy levels have dropped quite dramatically, I'm constantly tired and hungry.  I know that fueling my body properly is a huge part of running and exercise but to be honest I don't really know where to start!  I've started eating Weetabix and porridge for breakfast and also peanut butter on wholemeal toast for lunch due to the energy they provide.  I've also bought myself some trail mix bars for a mid afternoon snack. After my run in the evenings I would always eat a banana straight away, shower then have dinner.  I know I need to eat more but I just don't know what to eat and when to eat.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks! image


  • If you're running 5k - then you'll be burning about 300 calories each time.

    I don't think you need to take on extra food to cope with that.

    If you have a banana every time you run - then it'll probably be about 200 calories deficit there. You need to run at a decent deficit in order to tone up.
  • Storm: Your come home run then eat a banana then shower / tea.  How about trying the banana before the run, or something else it sounds like your tired, then run and then try to recover, if you have a bit more energy before you begin the run then you might feel better. Also is it possible to incorporate one of the dog walks into your run?

  • I agree with Cougs - you don't need to eat much more at all.

    What you probably do need more than anything is to get more sleep.

  • Thanks for your posts.  I was just worried my tiredness was due to not eating enough.  I'm 5ft 3" and weigh 53kg.  I probably eat about 1000 to 1200 calories per day and I've already lost 4lbs since starting to run and I really don't want to loose any more.   I suppose I've probably just shocked my body with the running and it needs time to get used to it - and probably more sleep.

    Booktrunk - On the days I run I also take my dog with me for her third walk (she gets walked 3 times every day).  I suppose I could probably persuade the hubby to take her on one of her walks the days I run to give me a break lol!

  • According to the BMI thingy - you're on the skinny side of the perfect weight.

    Why are you eating half of the calories you need ?

    I think you might need a GP rather than asking on here.

    If I was eating half the amount I needed to and didn't have any weight to lose - and walking the dog three times a day and running - yeah - I think I'd be a bit tired too.
  • Sorry I didn't realise I was. I was told my calorie intake was fine before I started running. The reason I posted here is because I'm a newbie and don't know how much extra I should be taking in to cover the days I'm running. I really was just looking for advice and as this is the beginner section I thought this is where I should ask.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Why on earth are you only eating half the amount of calories you need?

    That's what really screams out at me as being an issue.
  • I think the answer is that you need to eat more calories than 1000-1200 per day to sustain your current weight (and make you less tired), but not necessarily because of the running, which is not burning that many calories.


    True that this is a beginners forum - but beginning running - not beginning being a human. Even ignoring the activity you're taking - you are only taking in 50% of the calories you need.

    How long have you been eating so little ? Or have you just started that in combination with the running ?

    If you eat properly you'll soon perk up and your running will be much better for it.
  • Apologies if I've offended anyone. I've just always been a small eater, but I definitely don't starve myself. Thank you for your comments.
  • It is worth looking at how much you eat. Not everyone needs the same amount. If you're quite petite then you probably don't need  as much as some one who is bigger. If your weight was stable before you started running then you probably were eating about the right amount so try eating a bit more and see how you feel. You might fine you want to eat different foods or at different times to give the right balence.

  • Thanks Goingslower. Yeah I'm a pretty small build. My weight has always stayed the same, give or take a few pounds. I've never been told I looked underweight. I know I need to take on extra calories now due to the running, I was just hoping for advice on what the best things are to eat for runners so I could try adding them to my diet.
  • I know how you feel Storm, I'm in a very similar boat! I'm also petite build and very active, but if I ate the recommended number of calories in a day I'd be the size of a house! If I do any extra exercise at all at the moment I have to eat more to maintain my weight/alertness and its very easy to reach for a mars bar in those moments! Instead I try and be strict and have something healthy like an extra potato and quorn sausage for dinner image I think bananas and porridge are great too!

    Enjoy the running, I'm finding it very addictive!

    PS. Have you seen CaniX? My dog and I are hoping to have a go this winter having been support team for a friend a few times.

  • Hi Lindsay! I'm glad I've found someone with the same dilemma. I find it hard to try and pack in extra calories but I know I have to if I want to continue running. It's actually hard to eat lots when your not used to it! I'm gonna do a shop tomorrow and buy in some healthy low fat snacks to see if that helps. No I've never heard of CaniX before.... is it running with your dog? Mine lives her runs with me! 10 years old and she's still full of beans!
  • Storm34 - have a look at Anita Bean's book on sports nutrition, it tells you pretty much all you need to know.

    (other online retailers are available)


  • Basically, yes! It's cross-country running with a dog (or 2 dogs!). The main course is 5km but there is a 2.5km 'have a go' course which is all I'm aiming for. There is a national league and a yearly champs. They're a bonkers but friendly lot!

  • Hi Linday and Storm 34,

    I'm also petite (5'5" and 53kg) but I easily eat as much as my OH!

    But.... I'm pretty active - 2/3 dog walks a day, 2 horses to ride, running (with dog) 2/3x a week (between 5-10km), plus have my own business and work late. I think it's all relative, I know I couldn't eat as much as I do if I wasn't so active.

    Storm34 Your BMI is fine, so if you're eating as few calories as you say then perhaps you're not as active as you think you are. Or perhaps you're actually taking in more calories than you think (don't forget to count drinks and snacks).

    It's worth also noting how much water you're drinking a day, I used to think I was drinking enough but would often feel lethargic and groggy and was suggested to drink more and it has made a huge difference. Buy a litre bottle, and make sure you drink at least two a day.

  • Cut down to 3 runs a week. You are tired because you aren't getting the recovery time.

    I don't think this is a nutrition problem. It's daft to go running 4 times a week if you are just starting out. Let your body recover after a run.

  • maybe pop over to myfitness pal as well can put in your details and get an idea of the calories you should be having a day, general advice is always 1,200 a day minimum to stop body going into starvation mode but that tends to be aimed at dieters.  With your active lifestyle I imagine you are not eating enough, my partner is the same and she is always tired even though I nag her that she needs to eat more ands more consistantly falls on deaf ears.

    The forums there can be good in the main and may be a more fitting place on your nutritional questions and I know there are some specific threads with discussions from some petite ladies like yourselves around eating addional calories etc so may be worth a look.  You dont even have to add more meals it may just be a case of adding some snacks like seeds and nuts that give great health benefits as well as being calorie dense.

    If your losing a pound a week thats 3,500 calories basically 500 a day you are short.

  • Hi -- Jim here from 5live. I am looking for new runners (you took it up in the past year) to interview in a piece about the rising popularity of running. please reply here or dm me @gyme7 on twitter. Thanks 

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