Runner's Trots and diet

Sorry to bring this up yet again - but I'd be interested to hear if anybody had advice regarding diet and avoiding runner's trots. Anything over a 45min run and I have to take immodium. I've started keeping a food diary to try to find a pattern. Any ideas??


  • Hard to say unless we know what sort of food you eat and when you eat it
  • I think I eat a very normal diet - nothing to extremes, and nothing unusual.

    Foods that I have on my 'suspect' list at the moment are cheddar cheese and bran flakes. I'm also wondering about drinking too much tea/coffee.
  • No consolation but I have the same problem would be interested in what people say. Its worse if I am doing a race - I expect that nerves.
  • I have tried all sorts of things with diet, excluding milk and diary products, wheat etc. I think in some cases, you either have the problem or you don't. I have put on other posts that I try and do about a mile run around home, pop back as it were, and then go out for real - still need imodium for anything over 5 miles, but seems to do the trick - bit of a nuisance, but if I am out with a group it means I don't have to worry, same applies before a race as well.

    I started running on the road about 4 years ago, before that I was building up distance and speed on the treadmill and, looking back, I had to stop sometimes then, but never thought much about it - then was OK until about 2 years ago when I speeded up.

    Must be something to do with insides being jiggled around. I try and plan runs so that I pass pubs/supermarkets or country lanes etc.

    Thought it would make me give up running, but it hasn't - just learnt to live with it.

    Unless anyone knows any better....

  • Agree with whizzy
    Some people have blamed dairy products and caffeine the night before
    I find the only way round this is a pre run as whizzy suggests
    Think of it as a warm up
    The medical profession have faied to come up ith anthing on this one, except to cheerfully tell us that marathon runners can have their bowels disintegrate
  • Disintegrate - yikes!

    I think that it's a little worse for me if I have drunk too much beer the night before.
  • I think I’d be more than a little worried if I had to take Imodium each time I did a run over 5 miles.
    I have suffered with this problem and solved it by leaving a long gap between the last meal and exercise – at least 2 hours, preferably 4 - you need to give yourself time to digest the food. If the food is “jiggling about” inside then you haven’t left enough time. Don't worry about running out of energy, a full tank holds appx 2-2500 calories which is more than enough for a hour’s run (for me at 75 kg I work on appx 150 cal per mile so 2000 calories last for 13.33 miles).
  • Like Martin, Ive found that if I run within 2 hours of a meal, and over 4 miles then it's a bit of sprint into the house at the end if you get my drift.
    This was confirmed again just last night (due to the weather earlier)when I went out and ran 4 miles at about 8pm after eating a Sunday meal at around 6pm.
    I've never had this problem when running in the morning (before breakfast) and as yet I've always managed 10 miles without running out of energy (carbo drink in hand)or had to dash to the nearest W.C!
  • Martin, Gusher, thanks for this advice - I'll test it out on my next long run, with a carefully planned route just in case!
  • I have tried the not eating 2/3 hours before a run, but this does not work either.

    What's this about bowels disintegrating?

  • Jo,
    Hope it works for you. One thing I didn't say is that it is important to eat some carbohydrate within an hour after running - this helps you to recover more quickly. You also need to keep drinking extra as you continue to dehydrate for some time after you have stopped running.

    As for disintegtrating bowels, I am running between 30 - 50 miles each week and mine work perfectly well, or at least they did about 20 minutes ago! I think running is much more bowel friendly than a diet of beer and vindaloo - I know which morning after I least look forward to!

  • How about running combined with a beer and vindaloo diet... :o)
  • Jo,
    Firstly I sympathise with you greatly! I have suffered with this "inconvenience" for years and , hopefull of acceptance to the London Marathon next year am apprehensive about my bowels letting me down - so to speak!! I have to agree with Martin and Gusher - the best thing for me is either - first thing in the morning before breakfast but take plenty of sports drink with you OR wait at least 3 or 4 hours after a meal. I found that cheese and other dairy and some proteins like meat cause problems - try some starchy carbs before you contemplate a run - like bagels or muffins - they dont seem to cause me any grief!! Failing that always be prepared with extra tissues and plan your routes as others have said with plenty of "emergency" stops!!!!! Good luck
    Woodsie ;-)
  • First post so here goes.....

    I have read somewhere:

    Running in the morning, you rely on the food intake the night before and not the breakfast you eat before the run. If you run at the same time each day, say the evening, your lunch shold be the main meal.

    Hope this helps (a little)
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