Friday, October 30, 2015

My Solutions for Common Runner Gut Issues

Good Afternoon! You made it! It's Friday! The weekend is upon us and I'm sure many of you have plans this weekend for Halloween.. I hope some of you are running some cool races this weekend or enjoying quality family time. Whatever you're doing, have a BLAST! 

In the month of November, I will be kicking off #purplestrong, which if you're not sure what that is, come back next week and we'll be talking about that on my blog. It affects a lot of aspects of my life, including my long runs, which hit my gut. 



Gut issues have been something I have dealt with a great deal this past training cycle. It has SUCKED. No better way to say it then that. If you're like most runners, you experience mid-run stomach troubles that may cause you to stop running or like me, force you to sideline running for a bit. I've had to do a lot of research in this area because I couldn't figure this business out. I talked to the guy at the running store, which helped me out a lot, but our bodies are so unique. Here are some truths I've learned.

1) Mid-run Vomiting 
I experienced this during my 25k in May. Running on a full stomach can lead to this issue. I didn't run on a full stomach at all, but I wonder if I ate something that made me sick hard to say..
 Solution: 
3-4 hours to digest food pre-run. Experiment to find your ideal eating time. Practice, practice and practice a fuel plan in order to avoid this on race day. 


2) Side Stitches 
Do you ever get that pain on the side above your stomach area? It's awful! It gets you at the wrong time. Sometimes if I start out to fast or my pace gets faster than it should be, I get them..
 Solution:
 I've experienced with breathing techniques and the one I find to be most helpful is to match my breathing to my strides. I exhale 2 strides and inhale to strides. Whatever my strides are, I match that with my breathing, which helps those side stitches go away. 
A secondary solution I've learned is sticking with a small pre-run meal. I find a half cliff bar is my friend. 



3) Diarrhea
Race day is the worst because my stomach is a mess for nerves. I have to constantly tell my brain, it's just a training run with thousands of other runners. My brain always knows better, but I am a nervous WRECK! I think my anxiety takes years off my life. Did you know anxiety gets that stomach and bowel moving..  GROSS right? 
 Solution:
 Stay away large pre-run meals. Your body doesn't have enough time to digest them.
Avoid Caffeine, and I know people love CAFFEINE GU, but that WRECKS my gut.. Oh, I've had some miserable races.. It gives me the energy, but I can't do it..
Stay away from high fiber foods 2-3 days before your race.. That's my own personal rule. NO Salads! 

Personally, I stick with NUUN... My stomach can only handle that stuff. 

4) Chills, Shivers
Do you suffer from chills, shivers or shaking near the finishes of your races or even post race? {Raises Hand} I am a silent suffer too. I could never figure out why my body was doing this. One race I got to the point where I wasn't sweating, I was getting cold, but the weather was warm. It was an odd sensation. I started to get a bit dizzy.. I figured out immediately what was going on. I was dehydrated and had lost electrolytes. How did that happen? I was monitoring my fluids. My medication requires high fluid intake and then compound running, I get a double WHAMMY! 
 Solution:
HYDRATE, HYDRATE AND HYDRATE. Do this before, mid-run and after.
Find the stuff that will work for you. I drink NUUN.


5) The Gas we pass
If ya'll tell me that you don't have gas, I'll just unfriend you right now.. I'm so joking! For real, I run with you people and I catch wind of it. So, let's get it out in the open and publicly declare, runners FART! There, I said it. If you're not farting, you're burping. I've done both on a race. This blog is straight up honest. How are we suppose to learn from one another right?  
 Solution:
First, pass the gas and also burp. Don't hold it. I remember feeling so EMBARRASSED to pass gas.. That day has come and gone. Avoid foods that make your stomach to have gas, but also calm your nerves before a race. Maybe some meditation or progressive relaxation sound tracks on your ipod is exactly what you need to calm your nerves. Also, reduce swallowing air, which makes THIS problems worse. Trust me....     


Any wisdom out there on the stomach troubles out there? 



Congrats to Melanie!! She is the winner of my Zen Coloring Book! 




If you're looking for some book reviews, come stop by with a cup of coffee.. I will be dishing up some great books :) 


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