Race Morning Intestinal Difficulties


Experience From - Aaron Leitner , Rich Schick , Scott Weber , Jeff Riddle , George Beinhorn ,

Aaron Leitner

I know, digusting! But, this is something we have all battled ( and I don't recall ever seeing this discussed on the list, so I'll be the one to go out on a limb), and I was wondering if any of you out there have any surefire methods that really work? It seems the morning of every race, I always feel bloated, and I just can't go. Don't really want to go wet-n-wild (you know, the apparatus), as there has to be something more natural? Oh well, thought I would ask.

Rich Schick

I think the best way to prevent bloating, etc., is dietary. I used to have a lot of trouble until I learned to avoid high bulk, high carbohydrate meals for the 24 hours preceding a run. My favorite pre race dinner is a nice big steak and a baked potato with lots of butter. No salad. No other vegetable. Race day breakfast is bacon and eggs if I can get a hot breakfast or peanut butter and bread if I have to rough it.

If you eat high bulk items, its got to come out somewhere and there is just one option, its just a matter of when. The bacteria in the gut that produce the gas just love carbohydrates, throws them into overdrive. Its little wonder why runners who support the myth of carbohydrate loading are often so fragrant and prone to non vocal outbursts. Like most runners my routine diet has plenty of carbs, going high protein for a day is not going to deplete me.

Scott Weber

Raceday 'bathroom problems' can be lessened for most athletes by following the advice of Tim Noakes: Avoid milk and dairy products completely, or at least, in the last 24 hours before competition. And, go to the line with an empty intestine. This is accomplished by eating only highly refined, low-bulk carbohydrate foods that leave little residue (white bread, cookies, sweets, rice, potatoes) for the last 16 to 24 hours before a race.

One of my favorite quotes...don't remember where it came from...is something to the effect that if you want to make sure you run the worst race of your life, make sure that you go to the traditional pre-race spaghetti dinner and load up!

Jeff Riddle

A can or two of Diet Coke works for me like coffee does other people. I usually get up early enough to drink relax and read before going to a race.

George Beinhorn

Yeah--I take 1500mg of buffered vitamin C powder the night before. Can't recall ever having to poop during a 50-miler.