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What are runner’s trots and how to avoid them?

187796936-By Sinead Mulhern

Runner’s trots. What a cute little name we’ve given to belly-aching diarrhea that will ruin a run and leave runner scarred by embarrassing mid-run encounters. It seems almost every runner has a tale of woe from times of tidalwave trots. This is a common complaint among runners and there are a number of things that cause it. The constant jostling motion of running can irritate intestines and blood flow is reduced in the gastrointestinal tract and redirected to hard-working muscles. Some theorize that running speeds up bowel movement.

If you’re scared of leaving to go for your run, take precautionary action. Here’s how to not poop your pants:

1) Let food digest before you lace up

Your stomach is already going to get a little irritated by the up and down motion of running. By jamming a full meal in there right before you go, you’re only going to make things worse.

2) Leave the coffee until you get back

Caffeine speeds up bowel movements. If you’re chugging back two cups of coffee before hitting the trails, you’ve brought these trots on yourself.

3) Avoid trying new foods right before a race or long run

You never know how your body is going to react to a new food. That’s why it’s best to eat the meals that you know don’t give you troubles. Keep things basic to lessen your chance of tummy troubles.

4) Don’t load on fiber before the run

Fiber-filled foods are the answer to constipation. Constipated people are trying to poop. You’re trying not too. Don’t eat fiber right before your workout.

5) Run at a different time of day

Sometimes matters of the body are trial and error. Morning run not working for you? Try moving it to the afternoon and see if the problem remains.

6) Try the trial and error approach with the gels

The same approach can be used for gels. Even if your running buddy or coach swears by one type of gel, your stomach might be saying the opposite. Switch them up until you find the right fit.

7) Slow down the dairy intake

For a long time, dairy has been pointed to as a diarrhea-causing ingredient. Finding ways to cut down on this nasty culprit could make for… um… runs-free runs.

8) Let the acidic fruits lie

Ever hear warnings about not eating fruit with a peel before you race? Fruits like oranges or grapefruits can wreak havoc on your belly. Just wait until after.

9) If you just pooped, it’s time to go

We don’t need to explain this further.