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TOPIC: The Poop Question for Runners

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July 9, 2010 7:11 AM
There I said it; poop, now that I got the giggles out of the way, it's time for my question. I'm an early morning jogger, before work, and I'm now going for longer runs now. About halfway into it my body has decided that it's woken up to and it's time to "flush" the system. Do any other runners have problem with a bowel movement showing up in the middle of a run? I even try to go before the jog but nothing happens. Do any other runners have ways to put the "BM" on hold while running?
July 9, 2010 7:17 AM
Actually I have read in the Body for Life Book that you are supposed to drink a glass or two of water right when you wake up and it helps the lazy bowels move. This actually does work if you are pretty regular.
July 9, 2010 7:19 AM
Hahaha laugh you said poop. smile that thats out of my system. Yes, I have had this problem before. It happens mostly with long distance runners. If I'm running in the morning I stay away from fiber the night before. But if I feel like it might happen I jog a 1/4 mile first right next to my house just in case.

I know someone who swears that a hard boiled egg an hour before a run solves this problem. I've never tried it but who knows....
July 9, 2010 7:21 AM
I am training for a half marathon right now. I have been running since February and I know exactly what you are talking about! I have heard that making sure you are properly hydrated is supposed to help. I am terrible about drinking my water so I am not sure if that is the solution. I do find some days I have an "urgent" inspiration to run faster! LOL

So try drinking lots of water! Good luck and happy running!
July 9, 2010 10:39 AM
I have heard that just eating a few bites of food when you get up will stimulate your bowels!! That cannot be a very comforting thought when you are of luck!!happy
September 8, 2010 11:01 AM
This happens to me pretty regular- I start walking or exercising and have to poop. It happens almost every time. It's horrible when your away from home. I still have not heard a solution. Sometimes I go several times a day so the fact that I have already gone once is not comfort to me. Afraid of having an accident and even more affraid of this discouraging me from exercising. Any suggestions????
September 8, 2010 11:15 AM
You are experiencing what is referred to as "runner's trots" it is very common and the cause is the lack of blood that gets to the bowels during vigorous running and even walking. Runners world just did a big article on it in the September issue and they have given many suggestions on how to avoid it. You can just visit and search runners trots and it will most likely come up. It was a good article and makes you think about how you are fueling your body in the hours prior to a run.
September 8, 2010 11:17 AM
Hehehe...I love when topics like this come up. laugh

This used to be a problem for me but now it's not. I don't really know why, so I have no advice for you. Maybe just stick with it and always try to go before you go? Perhaps in time your body will learn to go before your run instead of during.

In the meantime, stay close to home or run a route that offers a place to take a potty break.
September 8, 2010 11:22 AM
For me, it was clearly nerves... But then I learned that if I woke up a little earlier, have a breakfast (which you should do for long runs) and have a cup of coffee - I could let 'er rip before the run... Sometimes just thinking about the run would get my nerves going and it would be enough to go to the bathroom... Just some tips!

Another thing I did to 'ease' my mind was locate the bathroom stops on my runs so I knew that I wouldn't have to 'run faster' to get to a bathroom.
September 8, 2010 11:26 AM
Ok, sorry but I couldn't find the actual article but I did find this but when it comes down to it you have to experiment with what works for you. I know that I love my coffee before my runs and coffee is proven to help get more out of your workout but I also know that coffee is a natural laxative so I personally try to time mine just right so I don't end up in some bushes on the side of the road laugh I have my coffee about 1 hour prior. I feel like I'm giving all kinds of TMI right now blushing

A sudden midrun need to hit a bathroom
CULPRIT The gut receives less blood midrun, causing poor GI function—earning this malady its nickname, the "runner's trots." The longer your run, the more likely you'll experience it.
FOOD FIX Avoid high-fiber foods 24 hours before running. Pass on coffee (it stimulates intestinal motion). Dehydration and too many midrun carbs worsen the problem; don't exceed 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour.
September 8, 2010 11:55 AM
You know thats hard because I am trying to diet and high fiber is good for dieting. I drink 1 cup of coffee in am. I walk almost daily so in order to cut out fiber for 24 hrs would be impossible. I am going to stay close to home for now and see if it does not improve. I have only been dieting and exercising for about a month, It may just be changing my diet and exercise has my system going through a change. I even have to stop exercise videos to go to the bathroom. I am going to keep searching for help.I might go buy sept issue of runners world.
Edited by Loisandrev On September 8, 2010 11:57 AM
September 8, 2010 1:37 PM
I suffer from this as well. I have tried many things but nothing seems to work. I drink tons of least 10 per day, so I am well hydrated. I run first thing in the morning but don't have time to wait an hour so I usually plan my runs where there is easy access for a "break". It's also dark and just getting light out so that helps too! I will check out the article on Runners World too.
October 6, 2010 8:52 AM
I only seem to have the problem when I run over 5 or 6 miles or when the really is really hot so it must at least be partially related to hydration. I have taken to eating a couple hours before I run which means I have to get up earlier, and drinking some water. This seems to help for during the run, but I find I am still having trouble right after. I got a water bottle to wear on my fuel belt for my 10 miler tomorrow. I think I will put G2 in it. We'll see if that helps at all. Seems like i have also read that when your body gets used to working a little harder that the condition might improve. I don't know.
March 30, 2013 3:47 PM
I am in the same boat - early runner (I get up at 4am if I have to work, 5 am on Sundays). I haven't found a way around it. I usually have some sort of caffeine before I head out. I have a 7.5 mile route on the schedule for tomorrow and I going to try avoiding it and see what happens.

Thanks for posting the topic!!
March 30, 2013 3:55 PM
That used to happen to me every run! lol, I thought it was just me.

Eventually, it went away, but while it was happening, I just planned my runs around a place with a restroom.
March 30, 2013 3:57 PM
A cup of coffee in the morning before my run usually gets "the machine" working so I use the bathroom before my run. However...I have found myself having to "visit the trees" a few times. Most inconvenient and embarrassing! On race days, I have not run into the problem. Too focused and excited about the race? Dunno...but I have always checked out the placement of the port-a-potties pre-race! If anyone has a solution, short of Immodium, I'm all ears!
March 30, 2013 3:59 PM
There's a permanently parked porta potty next to the university's track oval a couple of miles from my home. I usually head out in that general direction, just in case.
March 30, 2013 4:58 PM
Coffee! One or two cups right when I get up and 15 or 20 minutes later, nature is calling me. Then I go out for my run and I'm awake, hydrated, and "relieved".
March 30, 2013 5:00 PM
im wondering what you do with the boiled egg to make it help...
March 30, 2013 5:05 PM
I prefer to run fasted. Ran 9 miles (for the first time) last Sunday, and neither number ones nor number twos caused a problem happy
March 30, 2013 5:06 PM
1 km into my run and well its time lol
I run in the country so its into the bushes with my pocket full of potty paper :)
March 31, 2013 8:17 AM

I am in the same boat - early runner (I get up at 4am if I have to work, 5 am on Sundays). I haven't found a way around it. I usually have some sort of caffeine before I head out. I have a 7.5 mile route on the schedule for tomorrow and I going to try avoiding it and see what happens.

Thanks for posting the topic!!

Skipping the caffeine first thing seemed to do the trick..
March 31, 2013 8:41 AM
I run on the treadmill. I stop, run down the hall, then get back to it. But that's not really an option if you're an outdoor runner.
April 3, 2013 6:03 AM
I just experienced this for the first time this morning! Caught me by surprise to say the least. I hit mile 3 and boom! I mentally altered my route for a short cut home. I made it to mile 4 and had to walk and "clench". It was at that point that I started thinking can I knock on someone's door or ask one of the people getting into their cars if they could drive me home or if I could use their bathroom. So after a few minutes of clenching I jogged a bit, then walked a bit longer, then finally got it under control, made it home, very short cool down walk on the driveway as I began shedding layers, then straight inside. I am glad to know I am not alone. WOW, it was a mental ordeal at 5:30am!
April 3, 2013 6:28 AM
heheheh...... poop.

haven't had this lovely experience (hoping i don't but since i'm starting to train for a half i'm not gonna rule it out). with that said i have had to stop and pee in the woods before. when my counts go from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (i do an 8 count) to 1, 2, 3 i have to pee, 5, 6, i have to pee..... i know it's time to stop. thankfully i have yet to be "caught".


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