• Coach Phil Jarvis

GI Distress on runs : A few ideas

Apparently 30-50 per cent of runners experience lower gastrointestinal (GI) distress during long or intense runs, including diarrhoea, abdominal cramping and an immediate urge to defecate according to recent studies.

There are Solutions and this is not something you simply have to live with.

Most runners find the cause of their lower-GI distress is diet-related. The simplest modifications – such as avoiding foods that are high in fibre or fat, or contain irritants, in the days before a race or run – can keep problems at bay.

In their place, eat naturally constipating foods such as white pasta, white rice and bananas.

A good way to detect your personal food triggers is by keeping a diary of your food and your bowel movements. Remember that for the average person, it takes between 24 and 72 hours for food to travel from gut to U-bend, with runners tending to be on the faster side.

Whatever you do, don’t stop eating ...

If you continue to experience frequent lower-GI distress or see blood in your stool, you should consult a doctor, who can detect any underlying problem.

Lactose and gluten intolerance (including coeliac disease), as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ischaemic colitis all make you more susceptible to lower-GI distress. I had IBS for a period of years due to heavy Training loads whilst trying to qualify for the World Duathlon Championships in 2004. Luckily for me I discovered Neovite Colostrum which sorted my problem out in 3 months flat.

Until you find out what works for you, continue to pack that Toilet tissue into your Run Jacket Pocket!!

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