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3140 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 19, 2011 4:39 PM by Jasko123
Paularun Pro 92 posts since
Jul 9, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 9, 2011 2:53 PM

Time between eating and running



I am trying to find the right interval between a meal and a run. I thought 2.5 hours would suffice but I noticed that I am still digesting while running which is not comfortable at all!

How long do you wait?

I experience problems with low blood sugar if I don't eat anything for more than 5 hours, so I try to keep the time between a meal and a workout to the necessary minimum.But what is the right minimum?


I try not to eat too heavy, too fatty meals, I focus more on carbs such as bread rolls and porridge and add a few proteins (ham, buttermilk). I amtrying to figure everything out and appreciate your input!

Thank you!


  • Angelique Simpson Pro 92 posts since
    Mar 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 10, 2011 7:38 AM (in response to Paularun)
    Re: Time between eating and running

    I would say it depends how much you are eating as to how long you should wait. I try to eat a small snack (100 calories or so) within about 30 min of my run. If I'm doing a long run I'll eat a full breakfast (approx 350 cals) and wait about 2 hours before heading out to run. Occasionally, if I don't want to eat a meal and am worried about low blood sugar I'll take a GU packet about 15 min before my run and that will usually keep me going through an hour or so without issue. I'd recommend trying out different times and different amounts of food, everyone is a little different so what works for me might not necessarily work for you.


    Good luck!



    Race History
    5K - Apr 2009: 39:00
    5K - Jun 2009: 36:55
    5K - Sep 2009: 34:06
    10K - Oct 2009: 1:13:45
    5K - Nov 2009: 34:23
    5K - Feb 2010: 32:28
    Half Marathon - Apr 2010: 2:39:06
    5K - May 2010: 29:49
    10K - Jun 2010: 1:01:48

    5K - Aug 2010: 27:57

    Half Marathon - Oct 2010: 2:12:18

    10K - Nov 2010: 52:44 (PR)

    5K - Feb 2011: 23:45

    Half Marathon - Apr 2011: 1:49:18

    Marathon - May 2011: 3:56:05

    Half Marathon - Oct 2011: 1:49:14 (PR)

    5K - Nov 2011: 22:20 (PR)

    Marathon - Dec 2011: 3:41:42 (PR)

  • MarcusB092 Amateur 75 posts since
    Jul 28, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Nov 6, 2011 4:32 AM (in response to Paularun)
    Time between eating and running

    No offense but is sounds like you eat to much and or have digestive problems. Try a natural laxitive like peach or prune juice or a cheap Over the counter laxative  and see if that helps you to make more room in your digestive track for food!


    For me I had digestive problems so I know a little about it but I am good now. If you eat like a big meal with chicken potatoes vegtables and desert it might take over a hour to digest. For me if i just eat like a sandwitch i can run in 10 minutes if i didnt eat anything before that. And if i eat a big dinner where im "stuffed it takes a little over a hour but i usually never stuff myself.


    Try to increase your fiber and water. And if that don't work try a natural latative  like fruit juice then a pill if that doesnt work!

  • Kristy in NC Pro 134 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 6, 2011 5:12 AM (in response to Paularun)
    Time between eating and running

    It sounds like you have a slower digestive track.  I have the same issue, and when I eat red meats and bread products it's terrible - I feel sluggish and bloated like I'm running with a brick in my gut.  Also, when I eat breads or simple carbohydrates my blood sugar can drop as well and I get shaky.  I am an early morning runner, and usually do not eat prior to running.  If I run  later in the day, I make sure I eat a very small meal that does not include any of those foods that bother me (breads, meat).  I will occasionally have 1/2 a banana if I find I'm hungry but if I eat a whole one I have issues.  Just adjust and find what works for you.  I've found that the longer I run the more aware I am of my body and how what I put in it affects my ability to run.

    Kristy in NC

    3/12/11 - St. Patricks Day 5K - First 5K - 43 min

    7/4/11 - Peachtree Road Race - 1hr 30 min

    9/2/11 - BB&T Sunset 5K - 40:48

    10/22/11 - Rocktoberfest 5K - 38:53

    11/5/11 - CommYOUnity 5K - 37:22

    11/24/11 - Butterball 5K - 37:03

    3/25/12 - Charlotte Motor Speedway 5K - 34:21

  • GinnyinPA Pro 150 posts since
    Sep 29, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 6, 2011 8:31 AM (in response to Paularun)
    Time between eating and running

    To some extent it depends on when you run and how hard you are pushing yourself, as well as what you are eating.  Some foods take longer to digest.  If I were running first thing in the morning, I wouldn't eat much, if anything, because it takes a while for my body to wake up.  Since I run later, I'm usually okay if I run 2 or 3 hours after breakfast or lunch, as long as I eat fairly lightly.  If I eat a heavy meal, I'll wait longer. 

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Nov 19, 2011 4:39 PM (in response to Paularun)
    Time between eating and running

    Hi Paula,

    Try adding small snacks as opposed to larger, planned meals during the week in training.  It is okay to eat something every couple of hours to offset spikes in sugar and avoid over-consuption late in the day.  (Think about getting the majority of your calories in before 4:00 PM).  Blood glucose levels drop at 3:00 PM and 3:00 AM , so often times I do get up in the middle of the night and eat a bite (literally a few, small bites of something to offset the next morning and stablize my energy levels). 


    Specifically, I had this same difficulty initially on training/ race days and I now limit myself to 1/2 fruit, 1/2 granola bar and a small serving of pretzels and raisins about two to three hours prior to running. 


    Hope this helps and wishing you many happy miles!

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