toilet & running

I'm not sure if this has been asked before and i'm hoping that people can offer me advice

but after having 3 kids I dont seem to be able to run further than 10k ( I know that from the few races i have done ) without the need for a wee

and when i need to go i need to go, i have considered doing a Paula Radcliffe and crouching down ( but i'd do it in a bush rather than the side of a road )

but is there any tips anyone can give me on how i can hold on and get a bit further along without the need for the toilet. I have put down to do the Bham HM and really want to do it without a toilet stop
( I ended up going this weekend on the London 10K to the toilet cos it was a good hour between me going to the loo and then starting the race and was bursting by the time i got to 5K and i wasted 20mins on going to the toilet in the queue )

I dont want to dehydrate myself but its abit of a worry that i'm going to end up peeing myself in a race, how embarressing eek!! but i'm surely not on my own am I???


  • Hannah,

    You will have plenty of sympathy out there. My O/H doesn't run, but had to deal with similar issues in order to carry on with exercise classes etc at a similar stage. I seem to recall that the main advice she got was plenty of pelvic floor exercises!

    In terms of dehydration, provided it's not a hot day, you may find you don't need to hydrate as much as you'd think. For the last few years, much has been made of the benefits of hydration during exercise -and I do believe it is necesssary for the longer distances and on particularly hot days. But for many years, people were regularly running half marathons without any water or other drinks. I did quite a few like that myself as a youngster. I've also just done a 75 minute training run and just took a sip of drink from a bottle I had with me. BUT, I reiterate, on hot days, hydration is MUCH more important! The main thing when taking on fluids, as you're probably aware, is to take on small amounts at a time.

    Finally, really don't worry about it. I read the biography of one particular olympian, who was having some difficulty because of having taken on too much water on a particularly hot marathon day, at the olympics. Apparently, he was inwardly debating whether or not to stop when, as he put it, the problem resolved itself. So you'd be in good company anyway! 

    Good luck with Bham HM image

  • go and often as you can before the start of a race, then you should be fine. I was still in the portaloo queue at the start fo the last half marathon I did, though luckily they were right next to the start. When I did the bath half I  passed lots of men peeing in a field and some women, so I would worry about it too much
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    My mum has a similar issue... she cant run more than 10k without needing a break. She's been doing a lot of pelvic floor - and it's been helping her.
  • Pee as much as you want before a race. I find nerves also make me need to go more than usual.

    I recommend Kegel exercise and Bridge's to strengthen those muscles. Sip water a little bit at a time, never gulp. And don;t be afraid to pee in a bush, I guarantee almost every runner has done it once. If it really starts to bother you, a quick check up with a GP could turn up some good recommendations.

    Don't be embarrassed, and I doubt you would ever be the first to have a bit of a spill during a race. image

    Happy running image

  • SunluvvaSunluvva ✭✭✭
    You can also get help from the gp - there are several types of 'assistance' that can help. It's a very common problem for lots of women.
  • You are definitely not alone! 

    I always have to go just before the start of a run and if I don't I know the familiar 'need a wee feeling' will creep up within 20 minutes. I find it best to hydrate plenty the day before then make sure I don't drink much in the hour before the race. Strangely enough I find if I have had a few days of being poorly hydrated the problem is worse. Always wear black shorts / leggings and if you are worried about 'leakage' wear a sanitary pad to keep your mind at rest.

     After a few races you will find tactics that work for you. Good luck avoiding the toilet que. 

  • I can't run more than 2miles without needing a loo, whether its no 1 or no 2.

    I've learned to just get it over and done with when it needs doing. I'm the master of the art now, doesnt take me two seconds

    I always laugh at this; when I first started running I always carried tissues with me to blow my never ending runny nose. 5 years later I still carry the tissues with me but they are for toilet use, the nose gets wiped in the gloves.

    Reality and practicality. You just learn it as you go image

  • In the Berlin Marathon last year there seemed to be as many girls pit-stopping as guys.  It was a veritable squat-fest!  I guess the choice of shorts is key for this kinda peeing on the go.
  • compo 1compo 1 ✭✭✭
    if in a race I tend to go as near to start time ie 10 mins before start

    but once I was out running about 4 miles away from home and needed togo but manged to get home and had to run into bathroom quick
  • I've sworn by Tenas since I started running - having exactly the problems described as above - worth the world. However after 5 yrs running my pelvic floor muscles have strengthed naturally and I really don't need them but still HAVE to use one when out on a run - it's my comfort blanket, so to speak. I reckon Tena should be a major sponsor of the VLM - issuing samples inthe goody bags given out at the Expo. 

    Don't let it get you down - keep running!  

  • I drink a fairly large bottle of water 1 1/2 hours before a race, inevitably I need to pee about 1hr later but then I am ok for the rest of the race.
  • its interesting coming back to this thread, i still need to pee, and i'm terrible on a race day but I have invested in a shee wee now and its the best investment i made, it means i can stand up and pee quickly

    had to do it at the Bham Half Marathon, of course the guy's face next to me was a picture when i quickly went up to a urinal to pee as it beat the queues to the portaloos so didnt add onto my time too much either

    Still got to sort the other out, its not as much of a problem but might be when i come to do the London marathon, i cant imagine doing a whole marathon without the need to go :-/
  • There are worse things than needing to pee. If I drink coffee too close to a run I need to make an emergency pit stop and it isn't for a pee...
  • Cheers for the images Hannahsmom, when you're up in Liverpool next I won't be able to look at you in the same light imageHow's your training going now? And have you ever stood next to your hubby and wee'd together at the urinals image

  • SE my training is going well except i went for a run today and my knee hurt ( its not been quite right since i did bham half marathon image ) but training has been going well no other problems

    when i did bham half i didnt stand next to him he stood next but one in a urinal but i did stand next to a bloke and he did look at me funny lol , but saved me so much time, the queues for the portaloos were huge!!
  • before a race I seem to need to go more then once once in a race I forget about it
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Ok then, this is how race hydration works. We need to be fully hydrated before a race but also don't want to have to visit a loo during the race. So note the time the race starts. Drink up to 2 hours before the start and then stop completely. All excess fluid will pass through the system before the start. However, about 10 mins before the start you can drink another load of fluid. This will not affect you in the previous way since under running conditions your normal kidney function will slow right down, avoiding the need for the loo.
  • if you're needing to pee in a race you've simply taken too much fluid on!

    Unless it's a hot day I don't take any fluid on in a half marathon, so anything 10miles and down no need for anyone really.

    What I've found problems with at times is eating before doing a hard session in training. I've pretty much cut out pasta completely, don't eat any salad or  fruit in the 12 hours before a session,and it helps but not always 100% succesful.

    On a race day it's never a problem though, as no eating 3hours before the race, and race day adrenaline sorts things out a treat.

  • Me too ... loo roll is yet another additional to the bumbag along with the alarm, plasters and mobile for long runs. I'm going to need a granny trolley to pull along behind me at this rate ... (umbrella in case it rains, change of socks in case of mud, sun cream in case it turns warm...) image
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