No products in the basket.
Fitness and triathlon editor, Adam Kelly, gets to the bottom of why running makes you poo.
First up, you are not alone. The fact is that shit happens and happens to most of us who jog or run for extended periods. Indeed according to a review of gastrointestinal problems in distance running published in the International SportsMed Journal, 37 to 71% of runners experience similar issues.
And rest assured it happens to the best too. I happened to be lucky enough to be cycling along beside Paula Radcliffe in the Beijing Olympic Marathon. In the closing stages of the race, she suddenly disappeared, only to reappear and resume running.
The same thing happened to me for the first time while racing the National Triathlon Championships. A quick stop is so worth it, so you can refocus on your running.
The fact that you are about to race stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ response in your body, causing you to empty your bowels.
There is also a reason, why before any large sporting event, such as a triathlon, that the start area is riddled with port-a-loos. The fact that you are about to race stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ response in your body, causing you to empty your bowels. The body is very clever really – as it’s best to respond proactively – rather than reactively half way through the race!
If there is food in there, the body wants to get rid of it, as quickly as possible.
Your stomach and intestine are actually held in suspension, and while empty are perfectly balanced. The structure of the suspension is made up of little ligaments which attach the stomach to the body. When we ingest food or liquids, we can upset the balance of the stomach, causing stitches due to spasm. Naturally or primitively, we are designed to eat and drink while at rest, then take a snooze, before setting off to go hunting or gathering food again. So if there is food in there, the body wants to get rid of it, as quickly as possible. Here in lies the poop problem.
7 of the toughest ultramarathons in the world
Here are some dos and don’ts to try and help you control your problem, both on normal training runs and on race day.
Check out our Hard as Nails podcast:
Like this? You should check these out:
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest adventure news, events, and gear. Plus download our free guide to the 50 best walks in Ireland!
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.