Monday, January 19, 2009

The Bowels of Running

Beautiful sunny day. Pathways clear of snow and ice. Birds chirping. Ipod blaring. Feet moving. When it happens...

My stomach starts to rumble and grumble...and I am FRANTICALLY wondering where the next bathroom I will come across is as my bowels are clearly pissed with me. I'm not really sure what they are pissed about- the food I've ingested (which lately has been very healthy- see post entitled "Over over indulgence), the fact that I'm running in the morning or the fact that I'm running at all. Whatever the reason, my bowels decided that now is the time and they're not going to wait...

Sound familiar? Stomach problems while running are actually quite common...I know those of you who have experienced this are breathing a sigh of relief that there isn't anything seriously wrong with you; I know I did! But just because there isn't anything wrong with you doesn't make this suck any less. There is nothing worse than looking forward to a nice, long, SLOW jog when suddenly you find yourself sprinting for the bushes and wondering why you didn't bring any toilet paper with you!

Is this phenomenon avoidable? I suppose for some...but there are those of us for which none of the usual tricks seem to work. You can always try the the following...

1. Try eating smaller meals more frequently
2. Find the things that don't make your stomach revolt, remember them and try to consistently eat them before you run
3. Stay hydrated- all the time, but especially on running days! Water, water water!
4. Remember that even what you eat the day before may affect your run
5. Grease- bad. Sugar- bad. Fat- bad. Booze- bad. Not all the time, but bad before runs for sure!
6. And if all else fails...plot your run around bathroom pit stops! And pocket some toilet paper on your way out!

So happy running! Hopefully your bowels will be happy with running too!

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