Runners Tum/ Trots


I'm a fairly new runner, currently able to run 5k (not particularly fast!) after completing Couch to 5k last year.  I ran the Bupa Great Winter Run in Edinburgh (5k) on 5th January as my first 'race'.  In the couple of weeks before that, I had about 3 episodes of diarrhoea for a couple of days each.  I put it down to bad luck and getting lots of bugs - or possibly nerves about the race, but I wasn't really that sort of nervous - BUT some of it definitely seemed to be run-associated.  One episode started 15 minutes into a run - very suddenly, having felt fine at the start.  I had similar yesterday where I had to stop running at 4k because of it having been completely fine before I started.

It's worse if I eat a lot of fruit or dried fruit/nuts (I hadn't eaten anything yesterday, but I'd had quite a bit of dried fruit and nuts the evening before) and it's probably worse when I have a cough/cold (as I do at the moment - hence I thought it was probably all viral), but a friend mentioned 'Runner's Tum' and I see there's a number of threads on here about it.

I have a couple of questions for those who suffer from it though:

Can it really last for 2 days?  Each time has been similar, but eg yesterday I had terrible episode during/at end of run but then had 2 further episodes of diarrhoea yesterday and another one first thing today (after eating melon and grapes).  Or does this sound more like it's just a bug?

Everything I've read on the other threads seem to suggest it happens with long runs - like half marathons etc.  As I said, it happened when I'd run for 15 minutes the first time and yesterday 4km.  I've never run more than 5k!

Thanks!  And sorry for the topic of my first ever thread on here!


  • I wish I could help, but it doesn't always happen on long runs, it normally happens to me within the first mile of a run and it pretty much happens on every run, (it can happen two or three times after that too.) You seem to include a lot of fruit in your diet, which whilst is a probably good thing, may be a contributing factor - I do tend to base my runs around places where I can stop with some degree of cover/privacy. I spoke to a doctor at a health assessment I went on and she seemed to think it was very common (it is). The only thing I do do, and others on here do to, is to use Imodium instants on race day - I go over the top a little bit and take 3!!! one when I get up and the other two an hour before the start of a race. Don't let it spoil your runs though it is in the end, a minor inconvenience in a great sport.

  • although there is medication (usually anti-depressant) your doctor can prescribe for this (she did for me)...there really is no alternative than varying your diet day-to-day to see if things improve.

    and yes, cutting down on fruit will help.

    also shorten your stride (my cure for everything) to lessen impact.

  • Antidepressant? How does that work?

    Sadly my stride is fairly short already - as I said, I'm not fast!

    I am trying to lose weight - 4 stone ultimately - so I guess I'm maybe snacking on fruit a bit too much. Although the first episode of this happened before Christmas when I wasn't paying much attention to diet. I do like my fruit though.
  • I can't remember what they were called, but the meds were originally designed as anti-depressants but they found that, in small doses, they were effective at treating IBS. Something to do with nerve endings.

Sign In or Register to comment.