Dealing with that tummy rumble when running

This might be one of my more light-hearted posts (see my post about falling over when out on a run) But since I have been a runner I have noticed one thing all of these years, how hard it is to judge what the dreaded tummy rumble means mid-run…

You may or may not know this, but running occasionally causes your body to let out some gases and running causes your body to move about a lot internally, so (for me at least) that means that the need for an untimely poo increases as the colon is shifting about and thus whatever is there is heading directly for the back exit (even more so at my current weight). These are all natural of course but when you are running it can be quite difficult to judge exactly what is coming out that backend…

I am always prepared

I run with a hydration pack and nicely in one of the pockets is what feels like half a roll of toilet paper as I run down a towpath that for two or so miles at a time has no toilet facilities I very well may get caught out and have to make an emergency evacuation. So having that little bundle of butt paper helps calm down any nerves I might have. Reassurance is key for me. I am that worried that I have a little pocket of change at hand in the happenstace that I require to use the paid toilets… You can never be too careful!

But Scott surely you know when you are running if you need to poo? Well, you would be correct, but also a little bit wrong. There have been times I have just been a little gassy and had no clue of what was to come which is a big ole mess of an issue if we are honest…

What happens when you let out that fart and it has a friend behind it?

You feel the pressure in your tummy build and you think, oh just a wee far coming, you try to be polite and make sure no one is about as for some reason running farts are not quiet, they have to be the loudest bugger known to man and it will always happen when that nice person is walking past. You concentrate a little and you ease that pressure with a fart, it almost gives you a little boost too! What a great day, what a feeling! Life is so good! But, wait, what is that feeling? Oh no… The look for a toilet or somewhere is a quick one and I have to say I have seen that panic on many a person face during a marathon.

When the nerves hit when you know that it isn’t going to just be a fart…

I always, and I mean bloody always have the feeling that I need to poo when I try to run home from work. I would go to the loo before I left to make sure I was okay, but about 1 mile in I would feel it and it would stop me in my tracks as the nerves come through my body… One mile in is way too early and I know that the best and closest loo is either just a few hundred metres away, but if I keep going for another mile and a half there is another one there and at least I got a couple of miles in… But can I make it?

But I went before I left… what’s the deal stupid body!?

It really doesn’t matter, most of the time they are a pressure poo as I just know that I will need to go and there is no point in playing around. Get it sorted now so we can get on with the evening. But (not that butt, but this but) it is a lie, a horrible trick, my body might as well be a jokester with what it has done! I think those poos are a pressure poo and it doesn’t really empty everything out. Deep down you and I prob know this, but we want to get that run in, we have waited all day for this run and I will not have the need to poo, ruin it. I will treat it as a blister and just pretend it doesn’t exist. Let’s get running!

That risky game

So on multiple occasions on this route back home I have made an effort to pick up the pace and try and make it to that bathroom. Can I make it? The only thing that knows is my lower intestine and it isn’t talking to me right now. There have been times that is has been literal seconds or felt like seconds away from not making it. I always theorised that it was to do with my backpack and that it was bouncing against my back and thus assisting with the need to go. But, I think that is a little silly.

When the risk fails

I think the majority of runners who go long will have or will have been seconds away from the occasional mishap when it comes to the bathroom. No one will openly admit that they have desecrated their wonderful shorts, but it has a good chance of happening, especially for those who run trails. The closest I got was when a public parks toilets closed and I had no options left. I threw all of my eggs into that one basket and they were closed for the evening. I had to think quick and luckily because it was on my favourite running route, I knew there was a Working Mans Club nearby, but I was not sure if it was near enough… Would I make it on time, if I don’t what do I do? Do you throw away the underwear? Do you hide in the bushes to deal with it? Argh, each panicked step caused another wave of thoughts and doubt. But, I got there and it was close… But far too close for my liking!

Speaking of silly, that’s all from me today! I thank you or reading and also apologise that you had to. Until next time!

For a few more of my running posts check them out below!

5 things I wish I had known before I started running

I am a slow runner and that’s okay for now.

Why can’t get comfortable running 5km?

4 tips to help you get your running back on track

To run or not to run a race – Doubting yourself

If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on TwitterInstagramand Facebook to also receive updates. Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

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