For example, during lengthy marathons, the prolonged exertion and repetitious foot strikes can cause colon walls to flap and strike together, causing bleeding. However, GI bleeding is not normally associated with short-distance jogs. A note of caution: If you are experiencing pain or abnormal symptoms during or after exercise, consult a physician.
Commit to a Comprehensive Training Program
The more prepared you are for races and marathons, the more confident and less anxious you'll be.
Develop a Consistent Running Schedule
Regular training, sleeping and eating habits can also help to develop bowel regularity. Knowing what to expect and when—such as when you need some quiet time with a magazine—can minimize the sudden need to find a bathroom while running. It's also important to stick to your routine on race day.
Incorporate Kegels Into Your Fitness Routine
Weak pelvic muscles, especially in women who have given birth, may exacerbate GI problems. Strengthen these muscles with Kegel exercises or consult your physician for other treatments.
Mimic Race Day Conditions
Most races are in the morning, so Nieman routinely works out early in the day. "Training at the same time that the races are is a big, big strategy," he said. "This allows the body and intestines to get accustomed to the regimen."
Research has shown that dehydration can worsen GI problems, according to Nieman. The goal is a liter to a liter and a half per hour, depending on conditions.
Decrease Fiber Intake 2 to 3 Days Before a Big Race
Nieman suggests replacing whole grains, fruits and vegetables with white rice, bagels, noodles and fruit juice, all of which offer carbohydrates without the fiber. "It's not the healthiest thing," Nieman said, "but the last thing you want is a lot of fiber in there causing pain while running."