Question from a runner:
I’ve been running for a couple years, but my half-marathons are constantly plagued with needing to stop in at the porta-pottys. What am I doing wrong?
Ever been on the trail (or treadmill) and you just have to go? This is when I’m delighted that I’m on a treadmill and can hop off and utilize the washroom. The dreadful part is when I’m at least 5 miles from the closest washroom, and to my delight, I am in the woods.
Let me tell you a story, it was only a few days before my wedding. I was running to deal with stress (of not fitting into my dress. JK), and along came the urge. Yes. I had to go. Being in a strange city where I generally don’t run, I was not aware of the need to stay away from certain plants, or even what they looked like. Yes. Poison Ivy was in the general area of the woods that I chose to, ahem, defecate in. Perfect. It wasn’t a bad rash, but it gave the boys something to laugh about at their bachelor party.
Ever experience this… situation? The burning gut? I think the biggest problem was that I wasn’t on my regular diet (I’m pretty regimented), and wasn’t running at my regular times. I know a lot of people that have their races ruined because of their need for quality time with a porta-potty. How do we avoid this?
In the excitement of race day, we often change up our eating schedule and are running at a different time of day. This can be extremely upsetting to our nervous system, especially if you suffer from gastritis issues. Even if there aren’t any issues, the GI tract can be jostled by the running movement.
TALK TO A DOCTOR: A doctor can help you pinpoint issues like lactose or gluten intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastritis issues.
FOOD DIARY: A food diary can help you avoid problems while racing. High fiber foods go through your system quickly, causing problems. Fatty greasy foods can make you sick when running on either end, since they are hard to digest.
FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS: If eating a banana and peanut butter an hour before your works on an average day, don’t switch it up. By the time race day comes by, you should have developed a routine that mimics the actual day, so there isn’t any surprises. Stick to the plan.
Can you relate? What are your tips to keep out of the porta-potty on race day?