Wikipedia defines Runner's Trots as a condition that often affects distance runners, and is characterized by an urgent need for a bowel movement mid-run. It is also know as "Runner's diarrhea" or "the gingerbread man" (hmmm, I hope my friend who goes by this monicker knows this before he actually called himself GBM).
Last week, people from Unilab's Diatabs team invited some bloggers to discuss about Runner's Trots. I learned that the condition is characterized by cramping, flatulence, diarrhea, and urge to defecate.
Factors that contribute to Runner's Trots are physical jostling of intestines, diversion of blood flow, increased transit time of food in the gastro-intestinal track due to hormonal changes, nutrition factors, stress, and pre-race anxieties.
Suggested management strategies include behavioural, nutritional, and medical.
- Encourage bowel movement prior to race
- Manage your stress / anxiety by meditating before the race
- Setup pre-run rituals (eg. eating >2hrs pre race)
- Monitor your nutrition during race week
- Understand your bowel habits
- Progress through to high distances gradually
- Clothes comfortable size
- Work on Pelvic Floor muscles - Kegels
- Limit milk and milk products
- Limit artificial sugars such as sorbitol
- Limit high fibre foods such as grains, beans, fruit skin, vegetable salads
- Avoid caffeine or energy drinks, gels
- Avoid spicy foods and alcohol
- Keep hydrated
Check if you have the following conditions:
- Lactose intolerant
- Gluten intolerance
- Other GIT conditions