How to handle bathroom issues on race day

Sooner or later every runner has had to face some or the other toilet related problem while on the run on race day or training session. Guess what, it isn’t something to be embarrassed about.

Even professional athletes have had to answer these calls of nature at some point but in case you’re worried you’ll lose time making these stops today I am going to share with you my secret methods to deal with bathroom troubles on race day.

Fuel up right

Your race day toilet schedule is going to depend on your fueling the previous night and thus getting it right is important. Make sure you finish dinner that night by about 7-8 pm as the body gets proper time for digestion and to process the waste.

Keep a log on how your body reacts to different food items and what gets digested quickly and things you need to avoid. Avoid trying new foods 2-3 days before a race.

light dinner


Prep Well

To get the blood pumping into your legs and get the intestines moving I would suggest a light jog for 2-3 miles an hour before the race. Not only will it fasten the cleansing process of the body but also prep your body for the upcoming job.

Pre-race jitters can also have an impact on our bathroom habits and is often the reason most newbies face Diarrhea etc. minutes before the race. Keep calm, focus on the task in hand to keep the jitters away.

Grab an Imodium

Whether you run, travel etc. I am sure an Imodium is always part of your medicine kit and rightly so and though I would recommend you get the system flushed before the beginning, in case of lengthy races like a marathon etc. an Imodium is ideal as it lowers the functioning speed of the gut and thus the stool turns less liquid. Have a trial run with the med 1-2 times before the race to see your body’s reaction to the drug.

Rise early

On race day I would suggest you get up at about 4-5 am. This will give you enough time to prep for the race. Combining it with some light breakfast and water or morning coffee can further help regulate the body functions.

Avoid coffee if you are not a regular drinker. Stick to water and sports drinks. You definitely don’t want to run high on caffeine.  Also avoid any sports drink you haven’t already tried before.


Stay a step ahead

Irrespective of what you do pre-race there’s always a chance of a toilet issue arising mid race and this where you need to stay ahead of the game. Get a map of the race or check out the race website and chalk out the toilet booths.

Knowing how far or near your next pit stop is can help you stay strong for longer. Plan well and avoid awkward situations.