Posts from the ‘Help’ Category

Great article

Made an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. Had a hard time getting one to see me though as my problem is not orthopedic. Found this article on The stuff in italics is what I added.

Runner’s Diarrhea: Why it Happens and 7 Ways to Avoid It


by James S. Fell Mar 25th 2010 9:00AM 

Dear Port-o-potty #0075:

Thank you for having toilet paper. Thank you not being disgusting. Thank you for being there when I really needed you.

Now that’s what I call a Dear John letter.

Seriously, if you’re eating right now, stop. This article could get ugly.

I often like to put my fitness advice into context, which is another way of saying I enjoy sharing my personal tales of exercise woe. On Tuesday evenings I take my kids to a 6:00pm karate class and this involves an early dinner. Because I always run while they’re in class I’ve learned the hard way not too each too much prior to heading out. Usually I eat half my dinner before the run, and the other half after.

But this one time not too long ago I forgot. See, I barbecued this salmon just perfectly and served it with a curry sauce. I couldn’t help myself. I scarfed the whole thing only 40 minutes before I was supposed to run. I looked at the clean plate and said, “Oh, crap.” Let me tell you how prophetic those two words turned out to be.

I dropped the kids off at their class and started running. I’ve had the occasional running bowel misadventure before, but about three kilometers into my route is a public washroom, and while I’ve had some discomfort running those last few hundred metres I’ve never felt serious desperation. You know, that kind of desperation that has you thinking about finding a bush to squat behind. I’ve done this MANY times.

Find out what happened and how to prevent the same thing from happening to you after the jump.

The problem became critical when I had to change my route because of a serious snowfall. I opted to not trudge through two kilometers of ten-inch deep snow and instead decided to head in a different direction into the relatively clearer suburban sidewalks.

Things were going along fine until about kilometre three. If I’d taken the snowy route I’d have been close to a bathroom so there wouldn’t have been a problem and you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Call it reverse serendipity. Instead, I was at least two kilometres away from the nearest bathroom. I tried running faster, but it’s awfully hard to clench and run at the same time, so I actually ended up walking with a grimace on my face.

I was convinced I wasn’t going to make it. I was seriously considering the bush option.

Then I saw my Port-o-potty savior like a glowing beacon of hope parked in front of a house that was under construction. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say that I could not have lasted another minute.

I think that’s enough “context” for one article, so how about I move on to what causes runner’s diarrhea and how to avoid it.

Why it happens
We don’t really know for sure, but can make some guesses. Also, it may be different causes for different people. One theory is that the jarring up and down motion along with all the leg pumping really gets the bowels worked up. There is also the fact that intense exercise diverts blood away from the digestive system and into the muscular and respiratory systems, which can also create gastrointestinal distress. Of course, having large portions of food in the stomach during running (or any form of intense exercise) is only going to make the problem worse.

7 ways to prevent it

1 The biggest tip is to avoid eating large and heavy meals immediately before running. .Everyone is different and you need to learn how to balance your own running digestion issues. On runs that I complete earlier in the day I can’t eat too much before hand or I’ll feel sick, yet at kilometre eight or so I can get mighty hungry and suffer an energy bonk, so I end up bringing a fruit bar with me to eat during the run. Having enough food in you to provide enough energy for your run and yet not so much that you experience gastrointestinal unpleasantness is a fine balance that you need to figure out through trial and hopefully not too much error. This doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried both eating and not eating before I run and it doesn’t matter-I still get sick

2. If you do feel like you need a last minute energy boost, choose an easily digestible foods such as a piece of fruit.

3. Some recommend that you limit your intake of dairy foods right before a run. I don’t eat much dairy so this doesn’t help.

4. Make sure you are properly hydrated. Yes Yes Yes

5. If you have a long race planned, consider limiting both fatty foods and fibre intake the day before. Never even heard of doing this.

6. Design a running route that has a bathroom along the way, and don’t let snow deviate you from it. This is impossible. I live 15 miles from the nearest town so I always run on country roads. This is why i’ve used the bushes more times than I can count

7. Avoid large amounts of caffeine prior to running. Not an issue as I don’t consume much caffeine at all.

Of course, occasional runner’s diarrhea isn’t that big of a deal, especially if it’s a case like mine and simply the result of overeating beforehand. However, if things are chronic then you may wish to consult with a sport nutrition expert or perhaps even a doctor if you think you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. I have gone to the doctor-was told I need a colonoscopy and blood work done. I have an appointment in July with a sports medicine doctor. Hopefully I can get some answers. Until then, I am just trying to manage it.


Ran 7 miles today. This is with 2 imodium. Had to stop at 2.5 miles and again at 3 miles. After this I was fine. Just tired.

I have tried everything to fix this “problem” I have. Nothing is working. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Things I’ve tried:

Running in the morning – this is better but I still get sick

Running in the afternoon – this is a disaster as I have to stop twice in the first mile

1 imodium – this worked for a while

2 imodium – again this worked for a while

3 imodium – this didn’t work at all

Going to the bathroom just before I run – this doesn’t make ANY difference

Decreasing gluten

Increasing protein

Eliminating corn

Eating just before a run

Not eating anything before I run (morning run)

Going to doctor

-was told to decrease gluten, increase protein, yogurt, and salt.

  -was also told I need a colonoscopy and blood work done. Can’t do this until I get home because of insurance reasons.

I dont know what else to do.

Please Help!