Long distance runner’s commonly experience runner’s trots while training for endurance events, and often times it can happen during the race event. Runner’s trots is the feeling of cramping and diarrhea that arises during running races. Associated symptoms of runner’s trots can be nausea, bouts of flatulence and diarrhea that can happen during or after the run.
Runner’s trots affect people differently. It is thought that the running motion, constantly moving up and down, stirs the bowels. Stress of exercise, lack of blood flow to the intestines and dehydration are also thought to contribute to causing runner’s trots. Although there are many possible triggers, there are certainly ways to prevent the onset of runner’s trots during a training or racing event.
• Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking water regularly prior to a training session as dehydration may lead to irritating the bowels.
• Eat your biggest meal 4-6 hours before the event to allow time to digest foods
• Don’t consume foods that are high in fiber before an event.
• Eat foods that are familiar and don’t consume unfamiliar training aids such as sports bars and goo if you haven’t used them for training before.
• Eat foods that are naturally constipating. These foods would include pasta, oatmeal, bananas and rice.
• Limit intake of dairy products as they may contribute to runner’s trots.
• Avoid caffeine as it acts as a diuretic and can cause diarrhea.
• Plan long training workouts near bathrooms and facilities.