A bit embarrasing issue

There is a problem that i would like to ask but is one of those embarrasing things noone likes talking about.

Ok, here it is: is about having an urgent need to use the loo when you run a long time,image

I have heard that it happens often to runners, but is so annoying..........................

sometimes i go for long runs and i really feel i need to use the toilet!

yesterday i went for a 90 minute run and i was feeling "a bit" in my tummy..............i managed the 90 minutes but the last 15 or so i really had to run faster to make it home on time.

Am i the only one with that problem? why does it happen? what can one do to stop it?

I have observed that it is worse when i eat carbohydrates, as my normal diet does not include them,


  • I have had to take a shit while running many a time and am happy to talk about it. Even over dinner.
  • I see what you mean, but..........................i'm a lady.........................................!!!



    so i am supposed to be ladylike....................


  • If I run early at the weekend I like to get up at least 2 hours before I run and make sure I go first. I would avoid curry, bran flakes and eating an entire coconut. Always carry some tissue

  • The problem is that even if i run in the evening after working all day, i still have that problem...............although i don't normally go to the loo in the evening,

  • Fatima Luna wrote (see)

    ... I have observed that it is worse when i eat carbohydrates, as my normal diet does not include them,

    Perhaps you should include some carbs in your diet?  A healthy diet for humans is something like 60% carbohydrate - it's where we get a lot of our energy from.
  • I agree with Wilkie - how can you not eat carbs when you run? image

     They are like petrol in a car - it needs it to run properly and keep well. Perhaps start by incorporating a small amount of carbs at some other point in the day - not really high fibre ones though - what about brown bread or brown rice (unless you have dietary issues of course), or even crackers and see how these affect you and then try them a while before you go running.

    If all else fails - take tissues/loo paper and be prepared!

  • Take tissues and don't eat ice cream, lentils or curry before a run (especially not ice cream - that can go through me in about 30 mins).
  • North London Runner wrote (see)
    I have had to take a shit while running many a time and am happy to talk about it. Even over dinner.
    I hope that was in the countryside NLR and not an urban turd.
  • I guess it must be to do with your muscles. When you become tierd, your muscles become weaker, your less able to, erm, control yourself! I say this having been fully educated on pelvic floor muscles and building them up through core stability and pilataes type exercises. Maybe it works the same with your bowels?

     That being said, a healthy and balanced diet is equally important. Carbs to give you glycogen for energy (if this runs out you'll feel fatigued pretty easily, and your needing to go bathroom wont be pleasent if there is little fiber, so stick to the wholegrain stuff like grainary bread and wholewheat pasta). Protein every 3-4 hours to build muscles (don't bother eating more then about 30g of protein per meal, equates to about 1 portion, say 125g of tuna or chicken, as your body just throws the rest away or stores it, it can only take on so much protein per time frame).

    The rest is all about building yourself up I guess, bit by bit being able to go further and further. Don't chuck yourself in the deep end, it'll just feel disheartening, build up slowly bit by bit the way you would any other muscle.

    And rest well following any heavy-ish exercise!

  • Well you can just pause the treadmill jenn and go to the toiletimage

    Knight Rider-usually in the countryside but once in the middle of muswell hill. Luckily it was dark and late. I would just like to state that I probably have got caught out half a dozen times over about 14 years of running. I gain no pleasure from defacating in public!!!

  • Blimey - I've been caught out a lot more than that, and have an encyclpedic knowledge of local public loos (and I include those in supermarkets and doctors surgeries in that).

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Jenn - it's not just a muscular thing. 

    Exertion causes blood to travel away from the digestive system to where it is needed (ie the legs) and this change in the gut causes your body to evacuate what's in the bowel.  There's probably a good evolutionary reason for it.

    Gravity may also play a part...... all that pounding will move things downwards.

    Experimenting with what you eat and when you eat in relation to your runs (no pun intended) can help, but planning your route to pass suitable locations for "relief" might be useful too.

  • It's to do with "Flight or fight" too or something? Your body gets rid of excess weight in order to run faster... image

    Anyhoo, when I get to my long runs I always map via a pub/public loo/community centre/coffee shop/secluded bush when I know I'm going to need to go - usually at about 12-15 miles.

    Local pub got so used to me Sunday morning visits when training for Brighton that they had a half pint of ice water ready waiting for me to glug before I left. image

    Oddly enough I don't often need it in races...

    And I'm sure I read somewhere that Pavey or someone has pooped her pants before in order to win a record, although only recommend this if you're a) wearing a nappy and b) about to win money and/or c) being chased by a lion.

    Failing that, I'm with North London Runner, find a bush, do your bit and jog on! We are animals after all - woof!


  • Jelly baby and Wilki, in answer to your question, the thing is that i am not a cerbohydrate person. They don't agree with me.

    I am an "Atkins baby" sort of person.

    The thing is that i can't stand potatoes, pasta or rice or anything like that. They make me feel bloated and swollen tummy, feeling sickly..................but afterwards i am starving hungry and give me cravings.

    And they gave me diarrea! image  if i ate a potato for lunch i'd be really running to the loo all day!

    I suppose everybody is diferent. My body works perfectly well without starches or carbs,

    i tried to add them to my diet but i can't. They don't agree with me.

    I could eat a whole ckicken and feel good!, i could eat a whole cow amd feel good!...........i normally have for dinner a 500g steak or piece of meat. (that's one pound) and i feel good. Satisfied but not bloated.

    So i simply do what makes me feel good.

    Well, having said that i have a slice of wholemeal bread for breakfast, but that's it. And i eat yogurt and milk,

    when i go for longs runs i have a energy carb gel (the only occasion i eat sugar)

    Well....................i must confess to the occasional chocolate bar or a piece of cake .................specially in some times of the month

  • Doesn't matter whether I avoid stuff or not the night before, I often need to go on a long run.  I always take toilet roll with me, may need it for a wee anyway.  Often my hubby accompanies me on his bike if I do a long run and he's still not quite sure if he finds it hysterical or embarassing for me to suddenly declare that I need to stop in the woods up ahead!  image  Sometimes you've just got to go, so it's best to be prepared for that eventuality and if you need to go, go!  Am sure it's got to be worse for you to keep running along while you're desperate image

    *Disclaimer - I may be female, but I'm certainly no lady and have lost the ability to care what people think so I may not give the best advice on whether you should poop in the woods or not image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    As others have said - experiment. A friend of mine has a very sensitive tummy and since i've introduced her to Quinoa she's had no "issues" and she is no longer bloated. Maybe try some Low GI grains?

  • I've had some strange propositions in my time BouncyBunny-woof!!!
  • Bushes are useful for all sorts of activity image

    Just watch you step for all that animal poop!

  • Bouncybunny - I don't usually need to go in races either - I wonder why that is?  Yet otherwise I can often have to stop off at a loo/bush etc.

    I once had to go 3 times in a 10 mile off road race, it was one where the route wasn't well marked and when I diverted off the path to find a bush several people followed me and I had to tell them not to and why!

  • Tell me about it. I used to leave next to Hampstead Heath!!!!

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