Q: Why the need to doo doo during a run?

Hey Lauren,
I often find myself sprinting for a bathroom either during or right after I run. Is this a diet thing or a running newbie thing?

-D-Money

A:

Runners' Restroom

D-Money,

Definitely a common newbie thing, but no one is safe!  The pounding stimulates the gut and can push through food faster than you are used to.  That should subside as you adapt to running.  In fact, after you’ve been running consistently for a while, your body will naturally want to poop at the thought of going out for a run, especially if you get on a semi-regular running schedule (i.e always at 8am or something).  It becomes one of those Pavlovian responses.  Pretty soon, if you don’t go for a run, you won’t poop. 🙂

Running is so much better if you’ve already released the beast, but sometimes the body doesn’t cooperate.  There have been times before hard workouts where I’m practically willing myself to go, jumping up and down or whatever tricks I can think of…all so I don’t have a mid-run emergency!

If you want to avoid the mid-run nature stop in the morning, I recommend waking up and drinking 16 oz of water right away.  Within 15-30 minutes, you’ll probably be ready to use the loo, and then ready for an uninterrupted run. If its consistently happening in the afternoon, you may need to move your meal up a half an hour earlier before you run (or push the run back a little) and have some more water with your food, or a little extra fiber (choosing a grainier sandwich bread could be all it takes).

Sometimes though, it just happens.  There is a reason runners talk about poop so freely. We’ve all awkwardly used a Starbucks bathroom without buying anything.  I invite all readers of this post to comment with their own advice on the topic.  Lets see what the community as a whole has to say about this one.

Tips people?
-Lauren