The Potty and Poop Post

WORKOUT – Ran on TM  11.0 miles/1:22  7:27 pace  1. incline

I don’t know if it was taking a rest day yesterday or what, but I felt like I killed today’s treadmill run.  like I was just “there” and ready to bust it out.  Don’t you love those runs?


Reader Ramona sent me a sorta funny but seriously asking a question email,

I’m training for a couple of races this spring. One thing that bothered me about my last race is the time it took for me to stop at the Port-A-Potty. I definitely go before the race, but sometimes need to stop during the race.

As I look to upcoming races, do you have suggestions for how to handle it? Do you know of any tricks people use to avoid wasting time at the Port-A-Potty?

I kinda feel like I should bring in the big dogs meaning SUAR on this one…  But if you run long enough, you know that feeling where your business isn’t done and needs to be.

The fastest way to cut that porta potty time is to NOT have to stop at one.  So to do that, I get up an hour before my leave the house time to drink coffee and do my thing. DRINK COFFEE! even if it means having to get up early.

From what I’ve read online, most people say cut back on fiber a couple days before the race and stick to simple, plain foods.  That might cut down on your double poopage on race day.

Another tip that a lot of runners swear by is taking a couple Imodium tablets before the race which helps with cramping, diarrhea and upset stomach.  But I think you want to take it AFTER you go in the morning.  Ginger capsules are another natural option; I’ve never used either so I can’t really say, but many runners are religious about their Imodium.

Once you get to the race and you still haven’t gone, do a little warm up jog to hopefully loosen things up; plus, it’s good to warm up anyways.  Arrive at the start early enough so that you have time to make a couple trips to the porta potties if necessary.

Some porta potty tips:

*Pick the line with the most guys; they go faster.

*Bring your own supplies.  If it’s a big race with a lot of runners, they might be out of TP by the time you arrive at the throne.

*Lock the door.  LOCK THE DOOR.  Just this past Sunday at Tinkerbell I opened the door on someone doing their private business. Lock the door.

*Master the “hover”.  Hold onto the door handle and do a squat so you aren’t touching the seat and you don’t have to worry about the toilet liner papers.

*Don’t forget anything in there because you won’t want to go back and might forget which john you were in.

You start the race and you STILL haven’t gone.

If you feel like you have to pee in the first couple miles, don’t.  It’s probably nerves and will go away.  If you still have to pee after a few miles, ok, go.

But now the urge to drop weight hits.

*Research the route before the race starts.  Just like looking at the elevation, look on the map where the porta potties will be.  There’s significantly less stress when you know there’s a bathroom in a half mile rather than doing a frantic search for a tree or parked car.

*Start undressing.  Take off your runner’s belt and hold it in your hand; take off your gloves if you have them.  Get your toilet paper out and ready.

*Choose clothes that are easy to pull down quickly with minimal effort: looser Nike Tempo shorts are going to be easier than tight fitting capris.

*Finally, do your thing in peace.  It’s just a couple minutes, not the end of the world.  You’re not a professional athlete whose choice is to either to poop themselves or lose big race money. It’s ok to stop.

*Don’t beat yourself up over it; mentally frame the poo pit break in a positive way… “I just got a rest break!  I feel lighter now, my body is ready to really run now, no more stomach pain from here on out.”

The first race I ever stopped to go #2 was the first race that I broke 1:40 in the half marathon.  And when I ran RnR Savannah, I had to stop at mile 10 and I still ran the race faster than I expected.  and much more comfortable after that.

Do you have any other porta potty advice or tips?  Any horror stories that you want to share??


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