WARNING!!Today, my dad sent me an email that was one of those, "hey maybe you should look at this" emails. You know, one of those gentle pushes that only a parent or close friend can make. Because it was a really useful article, I wanted to share it, but to do that I also have to fess up to something: for nearly the entire 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon, I felt like I was about to poop my pants. To be clear, I did not actually poop my pants, but the situation was pretty critical for a while!
|(Virgin Money London Marathon)|
1. I get really nervous before marathons. Stress can release hormones that can slow or even stop your digestive processes (this definitely happened to me). Once the race starts though, the nerves subside because you don't have the time or energy to worry, which can then restart your digestive process at the most inopportune time.
2. Though I had experimented with energy chews on an 18 miler before the race (without issue), the majority of my training was done without. It's possible this could have wreaked havoc on my digestive tract the day of the race.
|Wouldn't know there were any issues by these smiles!|
1. Eat lower fiber foods the day before a big run/race.
2. Do a little warm-up run to "get things moving" with time to hit the port-a-potties before hitting your start corral.
3. Adjust your carb/sugar/hydration plan for race day. Being under-hydrated or too much carb/sugar mix could cause problems.
So if you have belly issues, don't worry you're not alone! There are lots of different things to try. And worst case, you wouldn't be the first person to poop your pants while running - Grete Waitz famously had diarrhea, kept running despite millions of people watching, and still won the New York City Marathon. Maybe Grete Waitz was with me in spirit that day ... I just wish she had picked a different way to make her presence known.
Have you ever had stomach problems during a big race?
What are some of your biggest lessons learned?