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Tips for preventing bowel movement during distance races (Read 464 times)

FreeSoul87


Runs4Sanity

    Lol, I am still praying for no rain dang it. Yeah I've run a total of 3 HMs so far and only one I had to stop because of my bowels, the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon this past April would have been 2:16:16 (garmin time) instead of the 2:18:28 (chip time), I did stop my garmin while making the pit stop right around mile 11 but for some reason I didn't need to go before the race, normally I have to hit the bathroom 5-8 times between waking up and the start of a race but only went once before the St. Louis Half. I figure I won't go crazy in the first part of the race this Saturday, fearing a pit stop but if I do have to stop then I will probably try to make up for lost time. We'll just see how things go I guess Smile

     

    I don't have much to add on the prevention side, but I do have some recent first hand experience in dealing with this during a race.

     

    This past Saturday I ran the Akron Half Marathon and despite a convincing morning routine, my guts were not, in fact, entirely empty.

     

    I began this race with a friend from my running club and both of us were targeting sub 90, which according to my other races this year, was well within reach, but would be a PR nonetheless. Unfortunately at mile 8, my guts made it known, they couldn't hang on through 13.1. Just prior to stopping I said to my friend "you've got this, finish strong, I'll see you at the finish." He wished me luck and I dodged into the port-o-jon pausing my watch for the pit stop.

     

    I made very quick work of it (setting my first PR of the day, gross I know, but hey). Afterwards, I felt so much better, just with a heightened amount of anxiety. I told myself not to go too crazy trying to make up the time lost, but on the long straights, I thought I could see the bright green of my running buddy's shirt in the distance. This fueled the drive to catch him. I knew his pace would be steady, and I though I had a little more to give than he, so I slowly cranked it up. The closer I got to the green shirt in the distance, the more intently my drive.

     

    I caught him just before mile 11, and keeping the pace, proceeded to make mile 13 the fastest of the race in 6:11. Official time stated 1:27:43, exactly 60 seconds behind my watch.

     

    The reason I post is to say that while this situation is never ideal, racing is about making the most of the hand you're dealt that day. Running that edge between control and being beyond the limit. On this particular day had I not let myself believe I had a chance to catch back up to my friend, I may not have found the drive to push to the time I did.

     

    So, rain, wind, GI distress make the most of it, no matter what!

    *Do It For Yourself, Do It Because They Said It Was Impossible, Do It Because They Said You Were Incapable*

    PRs

    5k - 24:40 (7:57 min/mile pace) 

    10k - 54:39 (8:48 min/mile pace)

    15k -1:24:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

    13.1 - 1:56:38 (8:54 min/mile pace) Sub 2 hours!!!

     

      Nice post, Gitgan, and congratulations on your race!

      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

      miele


      Godzilla

        Hey Free Soul!  Ok, this is my experience though I don't necessarily recommend it for fear of some other problem resulting from the 'cure'.  Maybe after you consult a doctor...

         

        I started using Magnesium for an unrelated issue.  Although I don't know if  it helped the original condition, I found that the very painful calf cramps I started getting in the middle of the night disappeared (tried upping the potassium to no avail).  As a surprising bonus  it kind of gave my morning coffee a turbo boost and 'all systems were go'.  Never fails.

         

        I read a little about Magnesium and apparently Americans are notorious for their low magnesium intake.  I first started using a powder form but couldn't get the hang of the proper dosage leading to some emergency situations (it is used to clean out the system before colonoscopies, after all).  Switched to basic Magnesium Citrate in liquid form after reading some more and it seems to work the best for me.  I take a very small sip after lunch and another after dinner.  By small I mean perhaps a 1/4 tsp.

         

        Having said that, maybe someone with a healthcare background can chime in and explain the potential downside.  I've been doing it for so long that I don't remember the negatives.  I do also take an Imodium a couple of hours before a race just because I'm paranoid after having suffered from a couple of embarrassing episodes.

         

        Just thought I'd throw that out there since I didn't see it mentioned before.  Good luck.

        10K: 47:12* / 13.1: 1:50:56 / 26.2: 3:53:48

         

                    

        FreeSoul87


        Runs4Sanity

          Thanks miele Smile

          I didn't get to test the immodium this last Sunday as I ended up taking an unscheduled rest day, so I don't think I am going to take one before this race. I'll probably take pepto-bismol which will also help with the nausea from anxiety and excitement.

          *Do It For Yourself, Do It Because They Said It Was Impossible, Do It Because They Said You Were Incapable*

          PRs

          5k - 24:40 (7:57 min/mile pace) 

          10k - 54:39 (8:48 min/mile pace)

          15k -1:24:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

          13.1 - 1:56:38 (8:54 min/mile pace) Sub 2 hours!!!

           


          The Irreverent Reverand

            ... the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon this past April would have been 2:16:16 (garmin time) instead of the 2:18:28 (chip time) .... Smile

             

             

            Unrelated, how is the Go! St Louis Half? Looking for a race within a 4-6 hour drive of Indy for my kids' Spring Break ... a place where we can spend a few days on a mini-vacation and also run a half or a full. Thanks!

            Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. National Guardsman. Runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

             

            Goals for 2014:

            Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

            PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

            FreeSoul87


            Runs4Sanity

               I thought it was great, and I really enjoyed it for my first out of town race. Only small, tiny issue was the sudden 60 degrees during the race, after training in temps of 30 or below....... quite a difference if you ask me. Smile

               

               

              Unrelated, how is the Go! St Louis Half? Looking for a race within a 4-6 hour drive of Indy for my kids' Spring Break ... a place where we can spend a few days on a mini-vacation and also run a half or a full. Thanks!

              *Do It For Yourself, Do It Because They Said It Was Impossible, Do It Because They Said You Were Incapable*

              PRs

              5k - 24:40 (7:57 min/mile pace) 

              10k - 54:39 (8:48 min/mile pace)

              15k -1:24:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

              13.1 - 1:56:38 (8:54 min/mile pace) Sub 2 hours!!!

               

              northernman


              Fight The Future

                Just wondering about Imodium. The books say "Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or constipation." Well, obviously constipation is OK, but I'm already tired by the end of the marathon - is this drug likely to make me even more tired or dizzy? Anybody had that reaction?

                  Just wondering about Imodium. The books say "Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or constipation." Well, obviously constipation is OK, but I'm already tired by the end of the marathon - is this drug likely to make me even more tired or dizzy? Anybody had that reaction?

                   

                  Relative to the side effects, the book also says "in some people" so I suppose side effects will vary by individual. That means just like so many things related to running, we're going to have to see how we react individually to the input.

                   

                  Based on this thread I've been experimenting with imodium. Yesterday I was able to run 20 miles, including a fast finish, and had no discomfort during the run or after. On runs like that GI discomfort after is almost always a given...

                   

                  I didn't geel dizzy or tired and generally had a good experience with it. I'll probably try it in a race where anything over 10 miles tends to cause discomfort, especially after.


                  The Irreverent Reverand

                    Let me just say that I am so thankful for this thread. I might be the only runner out there who didn't put two and two together that coffee helps you poop. Perhaps it is all those years of pairing morning coffee with a morning banana that kept me from making the connection ... that, and not paying attention to almost anything about nutrition, physiology, etc. etc..

                    Either way, as one who need to "go" before I go out on a run, I am grateful. The pre-run wait for my system to, uh, clear out, has been cut down significantly. Thanks!

                    Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. National Guardsman. Runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

                     

                    Goals for 2014:

                    Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                    PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run


                    I'm back!

                      Yeah. Too bad I don't drink coffee.

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