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Runner’s Trots

taking my two boys to Sequoia National Park in California for 9 days of
hiking including climbing Mt. Whitney so it’ll be till 7/20 till I get a new
post up. Feel free to look at previous posts on various tri related
topics.What are runner’s trots? The sometimes sudden urge to have a
bowel movement while running. Some complain of this being a near explosive
feeling, it spoils runs, and comes out of nowhere to runners of all levels of
experience. It can be a quite frustrating problem to solve.This problem
affects 20-25% of all long distance runners at some point in their career,
including the author. If you have it, you are not alone! It seems to occur with
the longer or harder runs when blood may be shunted from the GI tract to the
working muscles. In most of us this isn’t a big deal but in others it can lead
to diarrhea. As noted above, this feel can be almost explosive in nature and
that if something isn’t done about it quickly, well, there’s going to be a
problem! I’ve read that it’s sometimes considered more common in the lactose

Many will discuss this with their family physician, and
frequently, even a colonoscopy can be recommended. Unless you are having bloody
diarrhea, I think you can pass on the colonoscopy. (Had you nervous there for a
minute didn’t I. Actually, a colonoscopy is less of issue than you might think
as I can say from personal experience as an overĀ 50 year old male.)

So, if
you happen to be suffering from this condition, here are some

Maintain adequate hydration
Avoid caffeine as it’s a
colonic enhancer
Try to eat several hours before you run
Plan your route
to include a rest room (I run near a golf course with lots of them)
warm fluids before a run
Limit high fiber foods in the days before a
Consider a trial of limiting dairy foods for a couple weeks
exercise intensity gradually letting you body adapt to the up/motion

And, the one you won’t want to hear, a reduction in exercise. Some have
the best results when they can reduce the intensity of exercise SIGNIFICANTLY
for a few weeks with a gradual return to the previous high intensity workouts.
On good time to do this is after your “A” race when you’d normally back off a
little any way.

I can remember folding up toilet paper and putting it in
my running shorts “just in case” as the Beatles might say, I had to Do
It In The Road.
It will go away but it may take some changes on your
part, and, sorry to say, some trial and error.