If all else fails Part Two

Thanks for your feedback from my last post, both here and on Facebook.

This is a follow up post, but you'll notice I've called it 'part two' not 'number two'. (Sorry. I'll try to resist any more poo jokes.)

I've learned a lot since Part One, both about blogging and about runners bowel. It's only fair I share my insights.

Firstly - what I've learned from your reaction and comments

I've learned that honesty goes a long way when you blog. People DO want to know the gory details. (You sickos!)

I was particularly interested in your comments Brett, thank you!
  • The idea that runners bowel is a fight or flight mechanism, to lighten the body for the long run, is surprisingly comforting.
  • I have not tried a coffee and short run to get things moving. My experience is that once it starts moving, it keeps ON moving, so I don't know whether getting it going is a good thing! I am happy to test this theory, but might wait until the other side of my upcoming race.
  • I have started a food diary for the days leading up to my long runs because ultimately, prevention is better than a cure, especially when the cure is a pharmaceutical. If there is a hidden nugget* I can glean from documenting my eating, it could be extremely worthwhile.
  • I got the date wrong re Paula Radcliffe. It was the 2005 London Marathon when she stopped and relieved herself before running on to win. According to ESPN, the commentator said she was "stretching out a cramp". Now there's a new name for it.
  • And, not poo related, KKB will be my support man for the race.

Sharyn, I Googled Smecta and I don't think it is available in Australia. You can buy it online via Ebay but buying medications online from overseas makes me a little uncomfortable. Might talk to my doctor about it before I take this step.

I learned just last night that my friend Megan's strategy for runners bowel is Gastro Stop and highly processed, non-fibrous foods on the day before a race.

Another friend, who shall remain nameless, suggested that I might consider an enema or colonic irrigation. And I thought Gastro Stop was the "if all else fails" option...

Secondly - what I learned from my long run

Half an hour or so after I rose, and not long before I started running, I took one capsule. The packet said to take 1-2 tablets initially, but I figured since I didn't have symptoms at that time, I was best to be conservative.

Even with the medication I started feeling like I might need a toilet around the 14k mark. I stopped at Captain Burke Park at Kangaroo Point and there was no action.

I was feeling pretty good but had to stop at around the 22k mark, Eagle Street Pier. When I got around to Wilson's Outlook at New Farm where KKB was faithfully waiting with another drink refill I asked him whether he thought I should take another tablet - the pack says to take another tablet following each subsequent 'loose bowel motion' (I am definitely not making that up!)

He thought it was a good idea. I did too (or I wouldn't have asked). In retrospect it maybe wasn't such a good idea. It took a few days for my insides to get back to normal.

(I have another friend whose remedy for getting back to normal after a long run is a big, f*&k off curry.)

So my conclusion is that Gastro Stop is definitely an "if all else fails" remedy for runner's bowel. I'll definitely be hooking myself up for the 50k race. Maybe for my 42k last long run, I'll try two at the start, none during, and a curry after. We'll see.

But I'm not sure it's wise for weekly training runs.

*OK so I got another poo joke in. 


  1. Thanks for the review! I've been experiencing runner's diarrhea (I'm a newbie runner). My long runs are always punctuated with a need to go! So uncomfortable and it hurts when chafing occurs (sorry, TMI). I will definitely keep diarrhea meds as a 'last resort' for races!

    1. I don't think there is such thing as TMI on blogs about runners bowel! Thanks for reading, and good luck in your running endeavours.