Showing posts with label runners gut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label runners gut. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Heart or Mine

Yesterday, I woke up and wanted to run.

So I did, but this post isn't about that.

This post is going to be about POOP. That's right POOP, FARTS and everything in between. You are now thus warned, read at will-but I'm gonna break the relationship between running and poop down "Everybody Poops Style." So either brace yourself or skip next in your reader.

This post is prompted by an email I get regularly. "JULIA! I have the worst 'stomach problems' when I run. HELP!" Ok first and foremost, they aren't stomach problems-it's a poop problem, don't beat around the bush. And second and second most, this is common-so common in fact it has nicknames: Runner's Trots, Runner's Gut, Bubble Gut, the list goes on. The bottom line is this: running makes you burp, fart, it makes the snot pour out your nose and makes you sweat like a fire hose-so why is it any wonder that it also makes your poop.

What happens to a can of soda when you shake it and shake it and shake it? It explodes right? Runner's gut is often experienced after longer runs, for newer runners it can happen after 10 minutes and for more experienced runners it can take an hour to hit. When you run, your intestines much like that soda can shake, shake and shake. What else happens? Blood that's typically there supporting your mile long GI tract is transported elsewhere. Elsewhere being the parts of your body that are taking a beating like your muscles, lungs and even your brain.

The trots strike every runner differently, and can be rectified just as differently. You may be the runner that can't go over six miles without a Port-A-John, or you may be the runner who can run an Ultra but the second you stop your gut wrings out like a dish rag. Whichever it is, you can follow a few steps to the solution:

1) Figure out your threshold: How long can I run before it hits me? Does it happen after I run, or during my run? Identify, identify and identify.
2) Examine your pre-run habits: Look at what you do an hour before you run, two hours before you run and 24 hours before you run. This includes, not only looking at what you ate but when was the last time you went, if you know what I mean.
3) Mess with the variables: So you've found out when it hits you, and you've looked at your routine. Now start taking out variables, Oh I eat a PopTart every morning before I run, let's take that out and see what happens.
4) Go back to step 1 and re-evaluate: Did anything change when you messed with variable a? No, move on to variable b and repeat.

oh noes! my tumtum!

See really, running is a create your own adventure game. The problem is it can take you a while before you find what works-the key is just sticking it out until you do. Knowing that this happens to the best of us can be reassuring, but when you're doubled over the porcelain throne convinced you're dying nothing helps.

From experience, runner's gut has made me never want to run again. In fact, after my first half marathon I spent more time in the bathroom curled up in the fetal position than I did actually running the race. Since then, I have been super diligent about avoiding my TrotTrigger foods: ice cream, refined carbs and leafy greens. Avoidance is only before runs and races, who wants to live a life without ice cream? That's as bad as a life without running, but in a world where I can have both is downright Utopian

Happy multicultural Utopian running world!

What works for me: Gluten Free carb loading, no milk and ice cream the day before (yogurt is ok), and coffee two hours before a run (do the math). None of this post has any source material, and I'm certainly not an expert so don't take my word for it-get out there and try.

NOOOWWWW that we are all brought closer together through poop, wanna talk food? What if it's part III of 12DoGA?
Got your attention? Part Tres features my favorite yogurt: Chobani Greek, I'm totally converted and you should too. Comment with your favorite yogurt and flavor, six people will get each get ONE FREE Chobani Yogurt of their choice.
Total Mileage: 5.3
Times: 50:12