Preventing Bathroom Emergencies (Runner’s Trots!) During Running

marathon no poop

So it’s possible this is the most awkward blog I have yet to write, however I just feel it’s an important topic for runners. (Well this runner anyway!) Some people are probably too embarrassed to talk about it, but not me. (Just ask any of my friends!) I don’t know a distance runner that hasn’t had this situation arise so here we go….

Unfortunately one of the possible problems runners have is that while on a run, we often have to use the bathroom. This can be a very uncomfortable and urgent situation. Some people refer to severe situations as “Runner’s Trots”. The simplest way to put it is that all of the pounding jostles around your intestines, which in turn is what leads to having to poop, or worse….. diarrhea. Another thing that can lead to this problem is actually not drinking enough water prior to your run, dehydration can easily lead to bowel distress. So with race season coming up I thought I would post some tips for avoiding these awkward and unpleasant situations both during training runs and especially on race day!

marathon runners trots

Six Top Tips to Avoid Runner’s Trots:

1. For a few days prior to any race or even a long training run, it is best to avoid high fiber foods. Things such as beans, greens, and other vegetables are best to stay away from.

2. Avoid dairy if you are sensitive to it. I just recently after many years have become sensitive to too much dairy.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. So many people think they drink enough water, but runners really need even more. We sweat out so much when we run that we have it replace that and then more. So especially in the days leading up to the race, it’s best to stay hydrated all day long.

4. Avoid high fat foods, as well as too much caffeine. Both of these can aggravate the intestinal tract.

5. Don’t increase your training too quickly. Increasing speed and mileage too fast can also lead to bathroom problems while running.

6. Before a race, wake up extra early to allow your body time to use the bathroom before your run. Especially because sometimes your nerves on race day can cause these problems as well. Also be sure to show up early to the race in case you need to get in those crazy long portapotty lines!

Most often we get in a routine and we know our bodies. Sometimes though, it can be unpredictable. Paying attention to your diet and your water intake are crucial to success. Controlling the factors that you can control is the best that you can do. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best! After all, no one ever said being a runner was glamorous, right?!

runners trots


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