athletes · cycling · running

Okay, I’ll go there: Morning running/riding/racing and the poop scheduling problem

I’ve got a friend who I’d like to be weight training with. We’ve both got university gym memberships. It’s quiet there in the morning. I suggest we meet there at 7,-before work, lift for an hour, grab a quick bite to eat, and then off to work. She makes a face and declines. “I’d have to get up at 5 am,” she says. But why? I mean I was planning on a 6 am alarm and could probably snooze once or twice and still make it. The reason was delicate. Bathroom scheduling.

Nat isn’t so delicate. I once suggested doing something at 7 am to her. I can’t remember what or why. It must have been good. She laughed. “No way. That’s poo o’clock.”

A few friends on the bike rally like the later start, 9 am, because you get up at 6 and start riding three hours later. Plenty of time for breakfast and bathroom. That seems like a lot of time to me. My life is simple that way. I get up, I drink coffee, I go. There. Done.

Life isn’t so simple for everyone. I get that. There are sometimes lengthy discussions in the breakfast line at the bike rally about what foods are and aren’t good for regularity.

My suggestion of just stopping en route is often met with disdain. But stopping for number two, is worse again if it’s a race.

I know it’s an issue for runners who race because I see a lot of stories about this in my newsfeed:

So what’s your story? Is it an issue? What if anything do you do to make sure it happens before you race, run, or ride?

And hey, here’s Canada’s favourite emoji, only all rainbow coloured and sparkly! They had stickers like this, rainbow poo emoji, at Pride. I don’t get it. But then, I’m more British than Canadian in some things.

8 thoughts on “Okay, I’ll go there: Morning running/riding/racing and the poop scheduling problem

  1. Loved this — I have the “I need my routine” thing, and it can get mighty messed up and uncomfortable when I’m not at home! I read the links and laughed that there is actually research about this. For me it’s about trying to get up in time and drink coffee in a quiet space, and sometimes trying to get ahead of um travel constriction with things like senna tea.

  2. I lost 4 minutes on the Niagara Half to an unwanted but necessary poop break! So frustrating! Seems like if you carboload as you are supposed to the night before, you are more or less screwed…

  3. Great post! I don’t race, but this issue is still a problem for me when I want to beat the summer heat and run in morning without waking up too early.

    A similar problem for me: Morning yoga classes.

  4. Loved the post! I’m like you– get up, coffee, go, done. But races or big rides/other events can bring on nervousness and having to go AGAIN). So I’ve gotten used to creating my own zen space in a porta-potty. Not easy, but a skill worth cultivating.

    One more thought: could be worse– could be in a kayak. One of my friends had to go about 15 minutes before the start of a swim race where we were doing kayak support. It was impressive how she managed to leap vertically out of the boat, dancing across the decks of the other boats to the dock, run to porta-potty, and get back into her boat before the start. What people can do when they have to go is a triumph of the human spirit, uh, GI system…

  5. I always feel the day starts off right, bike or no biking in morning to work…breakfast (oatmeal or cornflakes with some fruit and milk), my bio break about 20-45 min. later. Leave home within half an hr. or so.

    Then leave home. On a bike touring trip, more complicated because of bigger breakfast…which preferably leaving to bike 1.5 hrs. after breakfast. I need time to digest, bio break.

  6. I’ve known triathlon teammates to take diarrhoea tablets before they race, which is understandable because it’s bad enough needing to pee (as a woman) on the bike or run section of a triathlon when wearing a trisuit, I can’t imagine having to poo during a race.

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