I am always sick during my races

Ever since I took up running 5k park runs every saturday and the odd 10k, 10 mile races I wretch hard in the last 25% of the race.  This is the one thing that is stopping me progressing as my training is going very well, including intervals, hills, easy long runs.

When i run the race I blast out and get sick quicker, yesterday I ran well within myself and felt sick half way into it and wretched hard 1km from home.

I have tried different eating patterns, e.g. 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours before the race.  No food, some food (porridge or cereal or banana), water, sports drink, tea etc

I am starting to think it may also be psychosomatic.

Any tips, advice, guidance.



  • Have you tried eati g jelly babies or similar whilst running, jeeps your body energised and dead easy to eat.
  • I've vomited during training, steep hill reps was the last time! The stop/start action really bothered me.

    But never during a race. I've felt rough after a race, dizzy etc but have never vomited.

    The only things I could advise are as follows:

    1) Don't eat anything in the last 75 mins before the race.

    2) Make sure you are well hydrated before the race.......but not too well hydrated!! That hyponatremia sounds like something that could bring on some very nasty symptoms.

    3) Have a good warmup before each race. Light jogging and a few quick strides.

    4) Don't go off too fast, pace evenly.

  • I used to have a similar problem. I was simply taking to much on when running; energy drinks and water mainly. So now I take a bottle of water and sip it throughout an event. Also it may be your pacing/pyshcological when the end approaches you may be picking up the pace to much or even thinking yourself sick now.
  • I ran another 5km race yesterday, ran 50 secs quicker than 2 days earlier. Was wretching 50 metres from home, but stomach pains grew as end approached. I did stretch my strides and increase my pace. Ate 4 hours before and then had half a banana an hour and a half before, water in small supply. Felt better. Maybe more intensive training and knowing my limits.
  • I personally can't deal with a banana at all, although lots of runners swear by them. I wouldn't eat anything - certainly not anything difficult to digest - for two hours before.

    Because parkruns start so early, I usually just go for a black coffee, some toast and jam and a big glass of water or orange juice - easy to digest with simple and complex carbs, some fluids and some caffeine to wake me up!

    To get around a 5km you do not need energy drink, nor do you really need porridge for breakfast before a parkrun - eat it when you get back for brunch, it won't have a chance to absorb, it'll just sit in your stomach. The most important thing is eating properly the day before - not skipping any meals and making sure that all of the major food groups are there. This is what is fueling you for the run, not your breakfast. Indeed, my road 5km PB of 18:43 was run off a blueberry muffin when I'd got up at 7.20 not realising that the race actually started at 8.30, which is not exactly the best nutrition/pre race planning! 

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