I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but I find during some quicker races (5ks etc) that I get really bad tummy troubles towards the end.
In the past I've learned to not over do the number of gels I take on a Half Marathon or something, as I've experienced problems late in a race; but in a 5k when I'm naturally not using gels or anything it can feel quite simliar if I'm racing for a PB.
I'll tend to get up early, eat a small breakfast (small bowl of poridge or something) about 3hrs before the race and have a tea or coffee, but that's my normal routine before a long run on a Sunday - it's just the quicker runs (pardon the pun) when I'm trying hard that get me.
Any advice is much appreciated, as I'm convinced I could shave off 10-15 seconds without this discomfort and worry of something embarrassing happening!!
I haven't had problems at, er, that end, but I did use to find I felt very sick at the end of races, as though I was actually going to throw up on assembled spectators (at the end of half marathons). I had a similar thing after a shorter cross country run when I was overtaken by two runners speeding up towards the finish at a point where I thought I couldn't go faster because I felt sick. I've never used gels. Anyway, it turned out that not drinking my usual cup of coffee on race morning (like you, 3 hours before) sorted out the problem and I haven't had it since. So although your tummy problem is (in some ways) the opposite, cutting out the coffee might be worth a try?
Here's some advice I've heard and used: don't carb up the night before, eat low carb the day before a race (white bread, white pasta) stuff that will go straight through (if you want to carb up, do it the night before the night before). Also, take some night cold remedy the night before the race as it really settles your stomach for the morning, I take Tylenol PM, don't know what's available in the UK. Your mouth is a bit sticky in the morning but it really has worked for me. So far.
+1 for Justines reply, go low fibre the day before, white rather than brown bread, pasta etc.
Thanks everyone. Will give those a try.
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