Abdominal cramps when racing

And godawful flatulence

4 messages
11/11/2007 at 16:02

Am I alone with this?

Increasingly often, especially during longer (half-mara) races, I get quite severe abdominal cramps. They tend to start about 90 minutes into the race, and come and go. They continue for a couple of hours afterwards - the type that make you light-headed and come out in a muck sweat. They're low in the abdomen, which is tender to being pressed when it's happening. They resolve themselves in time with several large bursts of extremely foul flatulence, but I don't know if the wind is the cause or a symptom. It happened today in a race, but I don't get it in training and I don't change my diet or routine on race days (apart from running further and harder than I otherwise would).

The stinky farts I can handle, the cramps I can definitely do without. 

Any ideas as to cause, remedy? 

11/11/2007 at 16:10

You're definitely not alone, Muttley.

It's predominantly the result of the parts of your large intestine that aren't tethered to other structured in your tum being thrown around as you run, and it's worse in races because the harder effort increases the mechanical stress on your gut and reduces blood flow.

It's unlikely to have anything to do with your diet.

I've almost managed to eliminate "runner' trots" and non-running-related irritable bowel symptoms by reducing my fibre intake, but still have what you describe during long races.

11/11/2007 at 16:12
Cyclists, cross-country skiers and swimmers don't have the gut problems that runners do even when they're working at similar levels of exertion.
11/11/2007 at 16:15

Thanks V-rap. I've always associated the trots with bowel movements, but I don't always get them in these cases. The main thing is that it's natural and nothing serious.

I often end up sitting alone in the train home after a race, though ... 

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