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To relieve your stomach during your run is often the last issue you would think of having, but definitely a very deadly one. This phenomenon is also termed as Runner's Diarrhoea or Runner's Trots.
One of the worst situations is having to visit a restroom mid-race and delay your race timing, which is likely something you usually don't think about preparing for. Let's face it. When it comes to racing, managing your stomach can be critical to an awesome race experience. It could mean all the difference in setting your personal best.
So how exactly do you prepare? Read on for our 6 best practices to avoid pooping during a race.
1. No New Food!
Whether it is a new found formula or an amazing discovery of a new food, change is usually bad news for your stomach. Do not introduce your stomach to any form of new food you don't already eat.
This is true even for tried and tested recipes for a successful race. If you have not tried it before, then the day before the race is definitely not the best time to do so. Exercise prudence.
2. Experiment During Training
While you should not subject yourself to experiments right before race day, feel free to do so during training! This is especially so when running distances similar to the actual race. Use the time to test out what works and what doesn't work for fueling before, during and after a race.
Personally, I like to keep it simple and just have a sip of water now and then. Other than finding the right formula, what happens in tandem is that your body will also start to adapt to your chosen diet as well, leading to fewer mishaps during race day.
3. Stay Well Hydrated
According to Dr. Sophie Balzora in a Buzzfeed Life article, a lack of water contributes to runners trots. When your body becomes dehydrated, your intestines find it difficult to absorb nutrients, so what they do is to flush these foods out, which simultaneously gives you a good signal to visit the loo. To avoid this, stay well hydrated throughout your race.
"One of the worst situations is having to visit a restroom mid-race and delay your race timing, which is likely something you usually dont think about preparing for."
4. Reduce Fibre Intake
As you would know, fibre from foods such as fruits and vegetables contribute to the bulk of your poop. Therefore, if you don't mind facing a temporary day or two of constipation, reduce your fibre intake 24 hours before a race. You should also avoid dairy and fatty foods; stick to protein and carbs. Click here for a quick cheat sheet on foods to avoid before a race!
5. Go to the Loo Before You Run
This should be obvious. It never helps to rush into a race and regret later for not having prepared yourself. Arrive early, and give yourself enough time to relax and do that big business if necessary.
6. Take Loperamide
Should natural methods fail, you can always consider going to your doctor or the local drug store and get yourself some loperamide. However, this comes with the side effect of constipation. Note that as with all drugs, please consult a doctor before doing so.
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