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.
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.
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.
Now we all know the importance of proper hydration on a warm summer day especially if you are a runner and it’s race day but very often we get the basics wrong which in turn undermines our performance and leaves us high and dry midway through. So before your next big event take a moment to see you’re not making any of these hydration mistakes. Don’t let these silly errors stop you from crossing the line and follow each hydration tip.
Excessive pre-race drinking
Since it’s only water, more is less seems to be the norm amongst most racers but guess what, excessive pre-race drinks whether water or protein juices isn’t going to lower or water intake later on since the body is not capable of storing any extra liquids.
You’re more likely to end up racing for the restrooms and these mini pit stops will only further slow you down. You’re not a camel so don’t drink like one either. Have your last glass 40-45 minutes before the start.
Carrying drinks with you
Most of us love carrying energy drinks or water bottles while on the run and why not, seems like the most easiest way to stay hydrated without losing speed or time, isn’t it? But carrying those belts and packs are only going to weigh you down.
Most events have water posts setup every few kilometers and while it may only be water or a sports drink you hate, it’s enough to keep you up and running so stop skipping them and leave the bottles at home.
Excessive water intake midway
To prevent dehydration have you been told to gulp down tons of water? While high degree of dehydration does have its own risks, drinking too much in between your runs will leave you tired; feeling bloated and in pain since the body cannot store excess water.
Drink only when you have the urge to. It won’t affect your performance and nor will it leave you at risk of heat stroke etc. and will cover up at least 70-80% of the water content lost through sweat.
Using a new sports drink
If are able to gobble down almost any drink or food well then great, you’ve got nothing to worry about but yes if you’ve got a sensitive tummy that can’t handle every energy drink then your race day is a bad day to try a new one.
Give any new drink 4-5 days trial period and see if your system adjusts to it only then consider it fit for the race day or for now stick to water.
Drinking even during short races
Gulping buckets of water isn’t the secret to a good race especially if you’re race is short. This will only bog you down. Usually up to an hour or 2 of any run can be done without any drinks if your pre-race habits are right but for any run longer than that make sure you stop at water posts and grab a packet.
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