Ten Things You Don't Have To Worry About

Relax... 10 running worries you can ditch today

Posted: 18 May 2005
by Mark Remy

You're a busy person. You have enough to think about. So you can forget these 10 worries once and for all.

"I don't have time to squeeze in a run today."
As little as 10 minutes a day of continuous running can boost both your fitness and your mood.

"I might have to pee during the race."
Think you'll be the first? Any time a group of hydrated, nervous people gather, nature will call. It's a fact of life. Be discreet and no one will notice your pit stop.

"I'm eating the wrong food before my race."
If it works for you, there's no such thing as the wrong food.

"I'm breathing wrong."
Lots of runners believe there's a right way and a wrong way to breathe, but that's just a Iot of hot air. Just do what comes naturally to you.

"Running will make me too tired for sex."
If this is true, you're running too much. Moderate running - and you have to be the judge of what 'moderate' means - keeps you fit, energised and de-stressed, all of which can improve your sex life rather than ruin it.

"I look slow."
Slower than whom? The majority of the population who don't exercise at all? The 95 per cent who couldn't run a mile without stopping? As a slow runner, you're still the cream of the crop.

"I sweat too much."
Women sometimes worry about this more than men, because they think it's unfeminine to sweat. It's not. A fit woman is an attractive, confident woman. And to get fit, you have to sweat.

"I missed two days of running, so I'm out of shape."
Missing up to a week of running won't diminish your fitness. Cross-train vigorously once or twice during that period, and you may even improve your conditioning.

"I didn't cover the distance I'd set out to run."
Some days you're just not going to feel good on the run, if you're 10 minutes into it and it's going badly, be flexible enough to cut the run short, or simply walk for a while.

"I won't be able to sleep the night before my race."
Well, maybe not, but it won't matter. Concentrate on sleeping well two nights before your race, and you'll be okay. That's the night that counts.

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I'm in training for the Alsager 5 and have had the unfortunate experience of the joggers trots. Twice I have got to roughly 4 miles and the tummy cramps have started and there is just no holding it in. Anyone have any tips on food/preparation? It's really put me off running outside of the gym.
Posted: 01/02/2007 at 16:31

There's a few threads on the forum about this very same subject Andrea, so you are definately not alone with this problem.

Some of the cause could be:-

Too much fibre

I used to regularly suffer and found that it I tucked a packet of tissues in the waistband of my shorts then the problem stopped. Yes, honestly it did. So for me it was all in my mind.
Posted: 01/02/2007 at 17:13

I agree totally with FF. I can go out for my regular 10k training run and have no ill effects at all - but enter a timed run and my tummy and bottom sometimes go wobbly - though fortunately only on a couple of occasions!

I always used to have a large 'real' coffee with hot milk before running as I'd read the coffee is good for adrenaline but of course the stomach struggles to cope with digesting the milk. So now I stick to a cup of tea and treat myself to the coffee when I get back.

It would be interesting to hear a proper medical opinion - I'll check out some of those other threads. I've been veggie for over 20 years and have a really good diet and don't usually suffer - so put mine down to nerves even if I'm not totally aware of it at the time. Probably fruit before a run or even juice doesn't help either.

My only rule before any run is to make sure I get up early enough to have something to eat and drink as well as a pint of water so I can flush through!

Posted: 01/02/2007 at 20:18

Andrea, do you have a regular time that you run? I used to get problems until my body got used to my routine and I started 'going' before I went out, seemed to happen quite naturally on its own. Which is fine until I decide to run at a different time of day of course.
Posted: 01/02/2007 at 21:51

Andrea the only other thing I can think of is to do a lap of around 4 miles (or whatever distance "it" usually hits you) but make sure the lap ends near your home - then do whatever distance you were aiming to run.

Posted: 02/02/2007 at 10:36

or make sure you have friends en route to call in at ... though that messes up your times!!

Posted: 02/02/2007 at 13:25

I'm fine when running - it's when i'm swimming that I often get gut cramps and the alarming sensation that i'm about to blow chunks! Anyone know why swimming has this peculiar laxative effect (maybe the pool water needs changing?).
Posted: 02/02/2007 at 14:16

Speedos too tight? :)
Posted: 02/02/2007 at 14:50

LOL. Could be...

Posted: 02/02/2007 at 15:00

Thanks for all your tips.It's good to know it's not just me. Fingers crossed I get round ok on sunday. Thanks again :)
Posted: 02/02/2007 at 16:39

Well, I've been going through fruit like no ones business for 3 days, and to be honest all my runs have been awful for farting like a trooper with every footstep lol and needing the loo, soz to share this with everyone but I reckon it could defo be fibre... think I'm gonna have to calm it down, otherwise, I might sit on the loo and turn myself inside out...

Posted: 02/02/2007 at 17:00

Fruit has a tendancy to bloat and cause digestive problems Pug - swap over to vegetables and salad things instead - chew on a carrot instead - as much vit c and other vital things - but not so much sugar and easier to digest apparently.

I did my usual 6 mile circuit this afternoon and am pleased to report no problems at all ... but Sunday's frostbite league run may be a different matter ....
Posted: 02/02/2007 at 17:56

Since I've been running and training , eating healthily I've had few problems of irritable bowel I had before.

That said I had terrible trots at a local 10 mile XC run after having iraqi food at a party the night before! Thank goodness I had tissues for a nomally running nose!
Posted: 24/02/2007 at 16:26

I am doing my first marathon in London this year and have been training regularly, however I have always had problems that I cannot 'go' to the loo regularly and find that on some training runs find the need to 'go' which at the moment have managed to hold but am worried that on the practice run in sutton on sunday I am going to suffer the same. Are Diacalm etc recommended and/or do they help when the 'urge' comes on it really spoils the run (so to speak)
Posted: 07/03/2007 at 23:17


2 hours before
and try no to worry-is hard

if you haver yo go, the do it in the bushes

take tissues
Posted: 07/03/2007 at 23:20

I look at it as a bonus - at least I never have to worry about being bumged up! :)

There doesn't seem to be a straight answer to this, but I suspect it may be due to the running action massaging your intestines and encouraging the peristalsis movement. As imodium slows this movement down it should do the trick perfectly.

Posted: 08/03/2007 at 22:56

I too have suddenly found out what 'runner's trots' really means. I usually take immodium.
Did the Hastings half marathon last Sunday, very slow but got round OK. THe day after I reacted to the immodium and spent the morning visiting the loo. A bit confussed now as I had put it down to the running action/nerves. Any thoughts?
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 11:53

maybe you had a tummy bug
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 11:54

Ahh, this is the subject that made me stumble across this forum :D I've tried eating differently, I've tried carrying tissues with me, I've tried trying not to be nervous, but nothing's really worked.

I took one immodium just before I set off yesterday for a run and was fine! I ran 10 miles whereas I usually have to find a loo (or a bush) at 4-5miles.

I think mid-morning runs might be better timing for me, but that's not great as I work in the day.
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:14

its just one of those things baa
its a pain
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:14

yeah - it is a pain, I'm always in the % of people who get weird stuff like this. For my training runs, I plan my runs so I go past a loo around the 5 mile point. Immodium seems to be working though, I've only tried it once and can still poo. I was worried I'd bung myself up for days! :D
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:26

you might want to do 2 immodium before reading-the loo qs are quite long
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:27

Thanks, I think I might. I'm planning on doing a longish run on saturday, so will test out two immodium then!

No-one tells you about this before you start running. Humph.
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:29

nor about the black or absent toenails
nor the chaffing
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:31

They should you know, there should be leaflets or something. None of my toenails have fallen off yet though, always look on the bright side eh?
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:38

looks at chaffed toe-nail-less body


bright side you say
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:39

:D my bright side is that I still have all my toenails, you'll have to think of your own bright side I'm afraid!
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:42


maybe ill go for a plod to do just that

if i dnt catch you before, enjoy Reading
it is a very nice half
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 12:44

I'll think of you all ... my brother's doing the Reading half; I'm doing the Lincoln 10k. And will end up with chafing under my right top-of-arm and possibly another lost or black toenail - only one black one at the moment ....

I've decided it definitely helps to run on an empty stomach and no booze (going back to the original thread). Trained tonight with the club and was so hungry when I got back that I've just wolfed down a big pasta dish and poured myself a glass of wine - usually a no-no during the week.
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 20:55

glad i'm not the only sufferer nice to read all your tips and advice. Another thing that i have noticed being new to all this (i really must join a club) is why have i put on weight when i have upped my training from just the gym to running as well? I don't feel I eat the wrong things but was expecting a little weight loss and even better a flatter stomach! What am I doing wrong?
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 22:37

well, it may be muscle, ot it may be you getting hungrier cos of running

running wont flaten your tummy BTW
Posted: 13/03/2007 at 22:38

I've tried different solutions in the past as have suffered the same. I do always take immodium before a race. But the thing I found that makes the biggest difference is what I eat the night before and the size of the meal. If I eat several smaller meals the day before a long run I usually find that I am ok. If I have a massive meal or too much rich food then I'm in for a disrupted run.

Lots of people have the same problem - there was a thread about a year ago where people posted where they'd been when caught short...
Posted: 17/03/2007 at 17:30

I've suffered with this for some years now - have tried everything and just learned to live with it. Know where all the toilets/bushes are, carry tissues, no caffeine etc, etc.
I used to find Immodium did the trick and saved that up for race days or long runs. Then that stopped working so I switched to Lomotil (only on prescription). But recently I've become tolerant even to that. Anyone know of any other medications?
Posted: 03/04/2007 at 12:48

Time of day deffinitely has an effect for me. My mid-week evening runs are fine, but morning runs are a real problem so my long sunday run is always affected. My routes are planned round the availability of pub toilets and secluded bushes!

Immodium really does the trick, but I save that for races. I hope I don't become tollerant, so manage without it for long runs.

I expect I could help myself more by experimenting with food and eating times the day before a long run. I'm a veggie and probably have too many vegetables too late in the evening the night before.

My non-running friends were very amused when they found out about this little 'problem'. It's not the first thing you think about when you take up running.


Posted: 03/04/2007 at 13:20

River runner - I looked into this for my mum when she was sick - and there are few drugs stronger than imodium - you can actually take up to eight a day of these (this is not a recommendation before anyone says - just the information the pharmacist\bowel specialist passed on - my mum was sick through chemo), but anything stronger has a very drowsy effect. These drugs are modified from opiates, which the stronger you go the more "opiate" the effect. This was what the pharmacist told me when I asked for her, so I would be careful going down the drugs route as stronger may have other undesirable effects.
Posted: 03/04/2007 at 21:20

phew glad to know I'm not odd then.

I suffer from the trots, sometimes I'm fine sometimes I get cramps like I'm going to pass out, then have to make a dash to the loo. I've tried everything, I dont take tablets as I've tried to control it. I try not to eat anything 3hrs before a run. but this doesnt always work.

and jeeez (i'm new to running) and just getting black toe nails on my big toe, well its a bit brown at the moment at one side, whats that all about??
Posted: 03/04/2007 at 21:35

Thanks all. I agree - the drugs route isn't good but for races it can be the only option.
Black toe nails - just another lovely side effect of running I'm afraid. Smaller shoes can help - or you just wait for them to drop off! Lovely!
Posted: 04/04/2007 at 08:38

Or you can go to the doctors and they can pierce the nail for you and this will save it.. nice - the black is a build up of blood underneath and without it being let out, the nail will die and fall off.

You do get a very soft pink one underneath though. :)
Posted: 04/04/2007 at 09:53

Thanks everyone

 Really appreciate the info on this website.  I've had to use a couple of local pubs that I don't drink at.  Do you think I should go back and have a drink in order to say thank you, or is just saying thank you at the time enough?

Not sure I like the idea of black toe nails.  Why does that happen?

Posted: 11/02/2008 at 22:20

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