Gastrointestinal problems (when you have to stop to go to the toilet) have stopped many runners in their careers.
What can be the cause?
There are multiple factors contributing to gastrointestinal problems. A decisive point is the fact that during running our blood goes mainly to the extremities and not remins is in the gastrointestinal system. Further factors may be vibrations from running, dehydration, hormonal changes and reduced bowel movement.
How can I avoid stomach problems?
You should not only watch what you eat at race day but also the day before because food with lots of fat and fibre can remain in your body for up to 60 hours. Due to the reasons described above the food from the day before may result in a bowel movement during running sending you in search for a toilet. To avoid all this you should eat mainly „simple carbohydrates“ that are easily digestible. Great for breakfast for example is white bread with honey. We do not recommend Musli with lots of fibre and seeds. And you should mostly stay away from milk to as it can cause belching and nausea.
Eating during the race
Eating the wrong things during a race can really make things uncomfortable but eat you must. That’s why you should do as already explained in the article „Eating during the race“. That is simple sugars, enough fluid and some sodium. Stay away from nut products. Caffeinated drinks are something you should be careful with they work best when you drink them during the last third of the race.
Examples: Food to eat before the race
– The evening before the race eating pasta (rice or potatoes) with a simple low-fat sauce (no cream or spicy products).
– For breakfast we recommend white bread with marmelade or honey as well as tea or coffee (coffee only in moderation or not at all).