I need the loo!

I have just graduated, but will not be running until I have recovered from an operation, but I was desperate for the loo (not talking a pee here! - sorry tooooo much information) about 1 in 3 runs and nothing to do with the operation I have just had, does anyone else experience this? Have been so pleased to get fitter and loose some weight, however this has been truly horrible....


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17 Replies

  • it happens to all of us, I think... gravity, and the action of running, Try to go before you go out to run, and hang in there till you get home to go again. Sorry, don't have better advice than that...

  • thank you, tried that, as you say it appears to be all that 'jiggling about'.

  • I always wait until nature called me before I go for a run (for me it's only a problem when I run in the morning). I had to return once and don't want to repeat this experience. I have a cup of coffee in the morning and, well, that seems to trigger it about 30 minutes later....

    Sorry, if this was TMI!

  • Was trying to get the run 'out of the way' by running as soon as I left my bed early in the morning rather then taking time out of the day, another shower etc, however I may need to wait until 'nature calls' when I get back to running as all too awful. Trouble is it will give the excuse not to run!

  • That's definitely the case. I find going out for a run takes far more forward planning than people give it credit for. Have I been to the loo?, have I got my keys?, which route?, is my ipod charged?, shall I take my phone? etc.

    I always thought I'd strap the trainers on and just get on the path and start running, like in films. No way.

  • If only it was as easy as going to the loo 1st! But I absolutely agree with you....

  • From stuff I've read I understand this is quite a common problem - remember Paula Radcliffe?!! May be worth thinking about what you eat not only immediately before your run (if you eat at all) but also the day before run-day. I read quite a lot about pre-run nutrition when I was training for the Great North Run as I'm absolutely paranoid about exactly this issue and the advice was to avoid too much fibre in the diet, don't overeat the night before and also avoid any foods that your body's not used to. It may help to apply the same logic to your day-to-day training runs. And - of course - as others have said - it does help if you can train your body to do what it needs to do first thing in the morning!! Good luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Thank you scruttons for airing this issue, which is obviously a problem for many of us, and giving us all the opportunity to give/take tips. It has a been a big worry for me following surgery and the main reason I've not got into park runs yet. It must all be down to our food intake (and possibly medication?) so I guess a food diary should help to pinpoint the trigger foods.

    I have been looking at starting green juice drinks to help with weight loss, but maybe that is not a good idea. I shall start them on a non-run day first and see what effect they have. I think I saw on here that one runner takes Imodium before her runs. (No pun intended there!)

    Any tips from those who've experienced the problem will be gratefully received!

  • Had only just finished final week of C25K before I had my gall bladder removed (so we are not talking about marathons here!) and thinking I will need to start W1 again when I feel up to running again, but is a little too soon at the moment as surgery was 5 days ago. However I cannot go on as was..... Thank you all to replies, if anyone else has any tips, gratefully received.

  • Hi Beeks, I totally agree that for some of us poor souls who suffer with this, it may be helpful to keep a food diary. I do not suffer with GI problems to the extent you do, scruttons as I don't think I've ever needed to poo (no point being delicate here!) during a 30 minute run, but it can be a problem during longer runs. But it's not as straightforward as being purely based on time/distance. Effort is involved too and I have had problems in the past on a 40 minute hill run or a really hard intervals session.

    For many of us, it's a case of trail and error to see what works best for us. As others have said it can help to train your body. For me, running in itself did this to some extent, in that I became more regular in my movements! I usually run early in the morning, but won't go if I haven't emptied my bowel as I know it will be a problem. That's not to say that is a 'cure' as It can still be a problem when I think I am empty!

    I've read that one of the more useful suggestions is to reduce or eliminate dairy from your diet. I have given up milk (use non-dairy 'milks', but still eat a little cheese - sometimes lactose-free, sometimes not). This has helped, but not removed the problem altogether. The other suggestion to avoid or reduce roughage is not so easy to implement when running several times a week and wishing to keep to a healthy diet.

    I can still have a problem on my long, slow runs. I think wearing a small belt bag with water, map, windshirt, camera, sweets, etc, aggravated my already delicate stomach and I have been better on the occasions when hubby accompanied my on my run - he on his bike carrying my gear. I'm also more mindful of what I eat the day before a long run - or a race. As I continue with, and increase the distance of the long runs, I need to take on fuel during the run and this will be a case of trail and error again to see what works, ie gives me the boost of energy without giving GI problems.

    For the four 10K races I've participated in I have resorted to taking Imodium. The first few times I only took one instead of the recommended dosage on the packet, of two. But I still had a problem on the hard, hilly 10K race at Balmoral. On Sunday I took two before the 10K race and everything was fine. Obviously I'm not going to take medication before a training run, but, for the moment, feel I need the peace of mind for a race.

    There's an honest, down-to-earth post on this blog: shutupandrun.net/2012/05/ho...

  • Thank you for this I am still working my way down the 'links' comments and am relieved to find I am not alone! I don't think diet will work though as I had been running 5 times a week and I don't think that I can live daily on the white rice alone (my 'episodes' are tooo regular - even on a 25-40min run)! However some of the stories have cheered me up and when healed I will try to return to the running.

  • I found an old post I wrote some months ago on the same topic (it's incredible I found it on this page... well, to be honest, I had to use Google). There's also a link to an article I absolutely love :D


  • I laughed until I cried when reading the link - unfortunately I can relate to the article all too well!

  • Hi Scruttons. I too suffer with this problem, about 80% of my runs are stopped after about 20 minutes because of an urgent need for a toilet! Btw, I graduated in early July.

    I cannot give you any answers really, as I still haven't found the answer myself. I found that using the toilet before running doesn't always work (that is if I'm even able to). I looked on the 'net and some suggestions were to eat or not eat a banana before running, drink or do not drink coffee before running, too much fibre in your diet may be the cause, artificial sweeteners, dehydration, it may be the amount of effort being exerted due to being a new runner.

    So far coffee and bananas make no difference, I don't know about the fibre idea, for the last few days I've stopped using artificial sweeteners (will find out tomorrow if that makes any difference), the amount of water consumed makes no difference (it seems) and have reduced the 'effort' I put into my runs which makes them even slower than ever. :( I think Swanscot's suggestion of eliminating dairy will be worth trying next.

    Sorry this sounds rather negative.

    On the plus side, I must have the strongest pelvic floor muscles of any woman my age!

  • As you'll see from the replies above, it's a problem for many of us. I'm afraid sometimes there is simply no alternative but to emulate the bear in the woods (as discreetly as possible of course).

  • I had been worried on my early morning runs and ever darkening mornings about the 'strangers lurking in the bushes' only to find that I am that person and trying to emerge looking guiltless...... Was feeling 'inproved' from the operation on Saturday and did think about setting the alarm clock to go again from week 1 - something relatively gentle in my current state, but I am not sure that I would be able to do the bit of getting in/squatting/out of the bushes?

  • Necessity is the mother of invention!

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