Before I was a runner the thought of someone knowing I was taking a poo was mortifying!?? I would hold it in all day until I could poo in the comfort of my own bathroom.?? If only Poopouri existed back then!?? I would still have had to worry about the plop-plop sound but at least it would have smelled like lemon potpourri!?? My inability to poop in public didn’t help my GI??issues and caused major cramping at times but my problems were eventually cured with running!
I remember the first time I had to poop while running: I was on the YMCA treadmill (which normally I despise, but I think it was raining that day).?? I was going for my longest run of 5 miles.?? Around mile 3.5 I had to poo!?? Well, I did what I always did and clenched more tightly????? no way was I going to poop at the Y and I certainly wasn’t going to give up on my first 5 mile run!
Somehow, I managed to finish my run and I hurried home. ??Holding it in while exercising caused me to cramp and have pains I never imagined and it took forever for the situation to… resolve itself.?? The pain lasted two days and I swore I would never hold it in again.?? Looking back, I was so lucky I didn’t end up??like this guy!?? I would never have been able to go back to my beloved Y!
Since that fateful day I have embraced pooping and can even have a jolly conversation about the joys of pooping!?? I choose training routes that have porta potties along the way. I’ve even stopped in a Walgreen’s to blow up their bathroom!
Here are some key things to remember about running and poo:
Can???t PR without a PRP!
Do what you can to make sure you clear your bowels??before a race because you can???t PR without a PRP (pre-race-poop)! ??Just the sight of a porta potty at a race makes me have to go. Besides, everyone is doing it, so don???t feel bad. But whatever you do ??? don???t look in the hole!?? No need to vomit, too.
Bring some TP with you!??
I saw this piece of advice before my first full marathon and thought that was dumb because there is usually toilet paper in the porta potties. I learned the hard way that??when you are slow, by the time you get to a porta potty later in the race, the TP has long since run out. Thankfully, I only had to pee, but if I had to poo, my only option would have been??to use my shirt, and NO ONE wants to see that!
Never Trust a Fart!??
We have all seen the signs and it makes us laugh BUT it is also a serious PSA!?? Proceed with extreme caution!?? Release a little at a time and make sure it isn???t going to release actual poop!
Walk it out!??
If you feel like you have to poo and there isn’t a potty or tree around, walk!?? Don???t run!?? Walking allows me to hold it in and the cramping to cease.?? I will walk a few minutes and then test the running again.?? If the urgency doesn’t come back then I continue to run at an easy pace but if it does I start walking again to the nearest bathroom ??? remember, you don’t want to end up??like this guy!
To decrease your chances of poop issues during a run make sure you are well-hydrated and don???t eat right before your run.?? Also reduce foods high in fiber in the 24-hours??before a run and NEVER take Metamucil before a run!