toilet breaks

I have just read with interest the advice on immodium and being caught short, during a race and on training runs. My problem is more to do with the waterworks! I, of course hydrate before a race with drinking water. Both about 2 hours before and directly before a race. The excitement of the race makes me want to 'go' quite soon into the commencement of the race, most uncomfortable. Is it accepted practice or not to find a spot on the verge side of a race, or not. Oh I forgot to mention I am female. Men can stop very easily. I have never a female stop, but maybe I have never noticed. I would welcome andy advice and experience on this matter, as to how much water to drink before and how long before a race/training, and if anybody has stopped to carry out the necessary.


  • Cecilia, the only time I wish I was male is when I'm at the start of a race and I'm dying for a piddle!

    There is no hard and fast rule on how much water to take but you might want to run with a water bottle and belt which will allow you to have little sips as opposed to sinking a large amount just before the race. You can pop some tissue in the belt too for when you pop over the fence/hedge/gate!

    My advice is if you have to go then go where you can but if you go in thick bushes be ware of perverts as before I did the Mancheser marathon a couple of years ago (it started in a park)I popped into a bushes and this old man was sat there peeping at me!!! To be fair I think he was a tramp and I was probably invading his space more than he was invading mine!

  • Yes, Cecilia, it's perfectly acceptable to duck behind a bush (preferably not in someone's garden) and take a leak. It's easier if you wear shorts that can be pulled aside rather than pulled down.

    At the London Marathon, the women seemed to "go" in groups, just like they do at parties.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Scotty4Scotty4 ✭✭✭
    I've seen many men but only the occasional female nipping off for the call of nature. I can only sympathise; yes, it is more of an inconvenience for women to 'disappear' for that private moment. But yes it is accepted among runners to do this; even if passing motorists risk crashing whilst rubber necking !

    Having done just a few long races though; it has struck me that a lot of the pre-race relieving of the bladder is down to pre-race nerves, more that actually needing to go.

    From personal experience I've found on long training runs (and indeed races) that I might need to 'go' after a couple of miles but have found that the endurance factor of the run itself has actually curbed the need to 'go' given time, and that by the end of a 1/2 marathon for instance, that feeling has totally gone. Everybody is different of course, but I believe the psychological state of being in a race makes us need to go (more that we actually need to) purely bacause that is one of our many apprehensions about being in a race situation.

    In conclusion. If you need to go......Go.
  • a "wee"cautionary tale!I felt desperate to pee minutes before the Helensburgh 10k one year and thought I could nip to the loo before the start.I didn't notice the 2 steps down to the coutyard before the toilets and fell,dislocating my shoulder and breaking my finger.I managed not to piss myself but could not do the race and ended up being tended to by St Andrews ambulance.
  • As a bloke and an over-hydrator I can only express my sympathy as it's easy for me! I noticed in one road race last year one woman who kept slowing down and speeding up and I couldn't figure it out until I realised she was looking for a convenient place to pee - it must have ruined her race. On the subject of women going in groups I did notice 3 women peeing in the gutter before last year's Dublin marathon -not exactly elegant but the toilet facilities are never as plentiful for women. On the positive note - hat's off to the organisers of race the train who, despite a remote and rural route had plenty of portaloos lining the course.
  • If you gotta go, then you gotta go! I agree it's probably psychological. But in a long run, water gets diverted from the bladder and kidneys, so you shouldn't have to during any race longer than 10km. I agree with carrying a drinks bottle so you can drink as needed, there are so many belts on the market now. Take a leaf out of the bikers' book and sip whenever you feel the need to.

    Sheila Anne.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    the only suggestion I can make is not to drink immediately before the race and maybe take your final drink 3 hours before you start. If you then start drinking about 2 miles into the race you should be ok. I usually fill an empty lucozade sport pouch with water or use watered down LZ sport. Works for me!
  • I've never needed to go during a run but then I'm only a beginner doing short distances. I also do scuba diving though and it can be really embarrassing in an inflatable dive boat when you need to go. Guys just pee over the side and now so do I. I don't know if it will be useful for runners or not but have a look this website and see what you think. Hope it helps.
  • Thankyou Ash for the website address, it presented a completely new idea, which I shall certainly investigate, not sure that I would use it in a race, without a lot of practice, however there are many instances that I can think of when it would be useful. I certainly did not know that this device existed.

    I am finding that I can drink up to 2 hours before a training run and then directly seconds)before I run and then top up with a sports drink asI run along. I have found that sports drinks do not find their way to the bladder so quickly as plain water. I did not know that once the bladder has some urine in it that it can be dissipated on a longer run into the body. Reassuring piece of information. Thanks everybody for your help on this subject. I will be putting it all to the test in a half marathon at Lake Vyrnwy in 10 days time or so.
  • all this is really helpful to me, I have done 2 10 ks, and suffered the only two incontinence episodes of my life during these!! not funny!! - I never have this trouble on a long run, I probably drink less before these, and have taken the "Hydrate before a race" thing too far.
    I also for a long run make the last thing I do a quick pee, so have been practising doing this a little earlier, as in a race.
    I'm doing Bristol on Sunday, so I'm going to try not drinking too much beforehand, but take water with me, and make use of the drinks stations also,

    I had wondered if energy drinks went through me quicker,, but you think not, cecelia,

    One thing I know for sure, I can't run and "hang on at the same time!!
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