If you’re a long distance runner, then chances are you’ve had to deal with the runner’s trots. It’s something that nobody wants to talk about and yet it’s also something that every runner has to deal with. Wether you’re training for your next marathon or simply like going on long runs for the exercise, knowing how to deal with the trots will make your run more enjoyable.
Why It Happens
There are three factors that all attribute to your needing to go while you’re running.
- Mechanics– While running a lot of force is coming down on the ground repeatedly this, accompanied with the continual up and down movement will contribute a great deal to your gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Diet– It is imperative that you drink plenty of water, if your body doesn’t have enough water then your intestines can’t absorb anything, so instead it just spews everything out.
- Blood Flow- When you go on long distance runs, your body is focusing most of it’s blood flow to your muscles and your GI tract is a secondary concern. Having most of your blood going to your muscles will create a high amount of physiological stress that is reflected in your GI tract and can result in the trots.
What To Do About It
- Prepare Ahead of Time- Map out your run ahead of time, know how long you plan on running and which route you want to take. That way you can know where the bathrooms are along the way so when you feel the trots coming on you’ll be prepared.
- Give Your Body Time– Don’t just start running for long stretches out of the blue, gradually increase your training so that your body can adjust to the more strenuous exertion.
- Watch Your Diet– Before you plan on going on a long distance run, make sure that you prepare your body ahead of time. Avoid high-fiber foods a couple days before your run and instead eat white foods like rice, bananas, bread and pasta.
- Train Inside- Joining a gym or running at home on the treadmill will allow you to stop any time and run to the restroom whenever you need.
You may prepare the best that you can and still find that you get the trots while running, and in that case you’re just going to have to deal with it. Even the very best runners like Paula Radcliffe have to deal with runner’s trots and pop a squat on the side of the road. Rather than getting embarrassed or ashamed, instead think to yourself “now I’m a real runner.”
Kevin Jones is a freelance writer, researcher and fitness instructor/consultant. He had helped hundreds of people find ways to become more fit and healthy through a balanced life focusing on an individualized approach to their nutrition and fitness. In addition, Kevin has written extensively in the fitness and health industries, including writing for companies such as a ICON Fitness brand NordicTrack Treadmills. Connect with Kevin online; LinkedIn – Twitter