stomach cramps and recovery

hi Ive just started training for a half marathon( my first  aiming for under 3hours just to give you all a idea of my pace !) my training is 2x 5k runs then 1x 10k a week( slow pace  but my problem is cronic belly pain after the first 5k( like I need the loo - for a number 2 !image) which eventully fades but my recovery seems to take a couple of days , do you think this is because not taking enough water or food pior /after /during  training( 'Im a older runner ) any ideas would be a great help


  • Joggers belly. Very VERY common. Some people never find out what sets them off like this and just have to learn to live with it and work round it. Loads of ways to try and sort it out though, so don't despair.

    Yes, it could be down to not eating/drinking enough. Especially not drinking enough.Try running with water and taking small amounts regularly. Easier on your stomach than gulping down a big drink at the end of your run.

    When you're doing your long run, make the first 5k a loop that brings you back to your house. Then you can pop in and go to the loo. If you can actually produce something, that would probably make you feel better straight away. Then you can go finish the rest of your run.

    Time your breakfast/lunch/poops to fit in with your runs. Some people get their timing sorted out so they have breakfast, have a cup of coffee (caffeine stimulates the gut and bowels), have a crap, then take an imodium and go for a run. Probably not a good idea to get into the habit of taking imodium all the time though. I don't use it on training runs but I do like it for during races.

    Find yourself a running route in the countryside or along quiet cycle paths. Then if you really need to go, you can pop behind a bush!

    Keep a note of what all you eat and drink and see if you can connect particular foods with your stomach problems. There might be one key food that you don't tolerate well, and by finding it and eliminating it from your diet, your problem might be solved.

    I think for a lot of people, the embarrassment of the problem is a bigger bother for them than the actual problem. Like, they get so worked up about feeling like they're going to poop themselves in public that the stress of it makes their stomach worse. Most runners have got a story to tell about having to stop for a crap at a really inconvenient moment, so you're in pretty good company! There's even a guy on the forum who actually runs with doggy poo bags to clean up after himself. He'll probably stop by here to offer his own advice to you.

    P.S. You don't say how old you are, but if you haven't already done so, make an appointment with your GP for a bowel cancer test. Just to rule it out completely. Silly not to make full use of the wonderful NHS and its cancer screening for older people.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Yep -- regular occurrence for me before I moved away from white rice/pasta/bread. It used to be really quite painful and once I couldn't make it home and had to go behind a bush.

    If its not relieved by actually going to the toilet - I'd see your doctor anyway.

    Also if you can - try going to the toilet an hour before you run and see if the helps. Found 'clearing' out my system helped.

    It's nothing to be embarrassed about and good luck for the rest of your training!
  • thanks for your advice guys when I do a race I always take poo stoppers ( there was a   utube clip around at one time of a guy crapping himself I think Ive always got that vision on my mind lol ! I will speak to my GP also ..and make a note of what I eat before I run.. not to sort out my recovery thanks againimage

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I've found that immodium doesnt help me (its just something that doesnt work - i just go). I've played a lot with diet/hydration/"frequency" and its really helped me learn what is a cramp and how long i've got until its "an emergency". I hope it gets better for you!

  • THANKS Emmy-bugimageimage

  • I have the same problem, I don't eat rice/pasta but I do eat bread not much though is there anything that you have substituted with?  Some runs I don't have a problem but others I start getting my stomach pains around 5-6k mark.  I run with water and regularly take swigs but this I feel sets me off.

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