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11 Hacks to Not Crap Yourself On A Run

Running has the greatest crap-to-run ratio in all of sports. It's the only sport where it's common to see athletes surging to the finish line with crap dripping down their legs. Kind of gross but it is what it is and part of the sport. As uncomfortable of a topic it is to discuss, it is even harder for those struggling with it. It's something that many runners always ask me about and I've helped many overcome these GI issues so they never happen again. 
  1. Dairy - If you eat or drink dairy, don’t. At the very least, eliminate diary the night before and morning of a run or race.
  2. Fiber - Dark, green leafy vegetables are one of my favorite types of foods to recommend to anyone. But if you have had GI issues during your run, cut them out the night before and the morning of your running workouts and races.
  3. Slow-Digesting Carbs - Oatmeal is a slow digesting carb and is very popular amongst athletes. I like steel cut oatmeal a lot but it should be consumed 2-3 hours before a run or race.
  4. Fast-Digesting Carbs - Eating a banana before a run is a great option. It’s best to have a banana 5-15 minutes before running a race or workout.
  5. Get Your Mind Right - Meditation is a must for any athlete serious about their results. The mind is often the biggest obstacle standing in the way of a solution. Train it.
  6. Overcome Fear - One of the best ways to overcome fear is to practice being fearless. Don’t let your fear of GI Issues prevent you from hydrating and fueling the way your coach suggests.
  7. Try Different Fuel - If you want to perform at your best, you must fuel and hydrate well before, during and after your workouts. This is especially important for long runs and long distance races. Only have fast-digesting carbs during runs. Avoid eating food during runs. There’s a reason Ultramarathoners do it but that’s it.
  8. Practice It - Never try anything new on race day. Better yet, practice what you eat/drink before and during your runs for months. Experiment for a few a weeks, find what works for you, and stick with it. Get your body used to running this way. If you practice it, your body will adapt. Do not think you can train one way and race another way. It doesn’t work. Consistency is key.
  9. Perform Well - You will be tempted during a run or race to skip hydration/fuel. Don’t. Your brain will tell you that you don’t need it and you may even rationalize that passing on hydrating and fueling is better for your stomach. This will lead to sub par performances at best. Resist the urge. Stay committed to the plan and run well. This will build your confidence.
  10. Stick To Your Routine - If you are traveling to a race, eat and drink the same stuff. Bring it with you if you must. If you train months, or years, don’t waste your effort by being lazy with preparation.
  11. Listen To Your Coach - If your coach gives you a strategy, do it. No excuses.

Many runners struggle with crapping on the run and it debilitates them from enjoying their running both in the moment (obviously!) and future running and racing. I truly hope this post helps at least one of you free your mind on your next run.


Scott Fishman

Coach of Team All-American since 2006

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