Somewhat RR - your routine to “clear the system”? (Read 104 times)


    One of my fears about marathon day is not being able to poop well before the race and having to stop. It has only happened once so far during a well supported half, but still a huge fear of mine. It’s particularly hard to let go come race morning, and often it has just not happened at all that day. But I still worry. And the worry probably doesn’t help.


    Do you have any tried and tested tips and tricks to clear out your system before long runs and races? Or just in general? I have 2 weeks in which to nail this down.


    Old Geezer

      With only 2 weeks to "go" (sorry about the unintended joke) before your marathon, it's getting a bit late to start thinking about this. But here's what works for me.


      1) Limit the amount of fat and fiber you eat in the days leading up to the race. You don't want to eat things like refried beans and shredded wheat. In the pre-race pasta meal the night before I'll usually have meatless marinara sauce over the pasta with regular white (not whole grain) bread with a salad that has iceberg lettuce (which has lower amounts of fiber than other salad greens). If I have dessert, I'll have sherbert or fat-free frozen yogurt. Skip high-fat desserts like cake and pie.


      2) Don't just stand around before your race. The physical act of just walking around can get the system moving for me. I run the Chicago Marathon every year and we arrive in Chicago's Loop on race day by taking a train. The walk from the train station to the start area in Grant Park usually does the trick for me.


      3) Imodium is your friend. You can get this anti-diarrhea product at just about any drug store. I take one of two tablets before the start of a marathon. For me it is important to take them on an empty stomach. This means waiting 45-60 minutes even after taking a single gel and Imodium (and some water) is the last thing I take before crossing the start line. I usually take the Imodium about 30 minutes before I cross the start line. It is a good idea to experiment with Imodium long before race day as some people can experience nausea and/or dizziness from this drug. Though one or two tablets usually work, others who I know use Imodium say that only half of one tablet works for them.


      4) Prepare for the worst. If "that feeling" comes up, don't fight it and get to the next port 'o potty. You're not going to win your battle against "that feeling." If you are in a marathon in a rural area, there might be wooded areas where you might be able to take care of things. This means, of course, put some TP in one of the pockets of your shorts. From my personal experience, however, once I get 8-10 miles or so into a marathon and nothing happens, I know that this will not be a problem for me as issues like this usually come up early in the race.

      Joann Y

        Do you have a routine that you have been using before your long runs?


        Interval Junkie --Nobby

          Sushi.  That has always worked for me.  (mostly rice, with a bit of protean and some salt (soy sauce)).


          The one time I did the spaghetti dinner thing because of a running mate, I had to make a stop behind a tree at mile 9.  Sub-3 PR that day.


          Probably the best advice I have is that if you "think" it might be an issue when you're in the coral, it is DEFINITELY going to be an issue on your run.  So, take care of it.

          2021 Goals: 50mpw 'cause there's nothing else to do


            I do two things:  Get up at least two hours before the start.  Warm up with a 1-2 mile jog (ending about 20 minutes before the start).  I use the 20 minutes between the end of the warmup and the start to visit the toilet one last time and then get to the start.  Of course I'm also careful about what I eat the night before the race.

            Half Crazy K 2.0

              Coffee does it for me. I make sure I drink that first, then have breakfast. I usually don't have a problem going race day.


              Sushi tends to do the opposite for me.

              delicate flower

                Coffee does it for me. I make sure I drink that first, then have breakfast. I usually don't have a problem going race day.



                All of this.  Plus, I get up plenty early.  There is no better feeling before a race than having a great poop session.