A Runner’s Trots also termed as “runner’s diarrhea” or “bathroom break” usually happens during or after a run, which is characterized by cramping, flatulence or gas pain, diarrhea and the need to do (popular among Pinoys as) “No. 2”.
Former American record holder and USA Track and Field Hall of Famer Bill Rodgers once said, “More marathons are won or lost in the porta-toilets.” This is because 60% of distance runners experience stomach or bowel distress. Meaning, three out of five had to stop for bowel movement during a race or training (Paul Carmona, Runner’s Trots, 2007). The percentage increases with longer distances.
What causes it is not entirely clear. However, there are triggers such as the physical jostling of the intestine, food intake, stress, pre-race anxiety among others.
In a special session organized by Diatabs Team, guest speaker Chris Everingham of the Philipine Volcanoes shared strategies on how to manage Runner’s Trots.
- Behavioral: • Encourage bowel movement prior to race • manage stress and anxiety • Meditate • Have pre-run or race rituals (eg eat hours before the race) • Have a journal to monitor food intake during the week • Know bowel habits • Wear comfortable sports apparel, etc.
- Nutritional: • Limit milk products, artificial sugars, high fiber foods (eg beans, vegetable salads, beans artificial) • Avoid caffeine, gels, energy drinks • Avoid oily and spicy foods, including alcohol • Practice the amount of fluids during training to know fluids comfort in stomach and avoid dehydration
- Medical: • Take one Diatabs capsule an hour prior to race or training to prevent bowel movement during a race (TIP: Don’t take anything new before a race)
Don’t let Runner’s Trots stop you from achieving your PR!