This takes having a crappy run to a new level- according to a report in the South China Morning Post, a top Chinese runner won his category despite suffering from diarrhoea in the last six kilometres!
Wu Xiangdong was taking part in the Shanghai international half-marathon, and felt bad after the first 10km, and at the 14km mark he couldn’t take it anymore and had to, in the words of that Frozen song, let it go… mid-run.
“Even I couldn’t stand the smell”, he said. “I kept running and didn’t stop (to go to the toilet because there weren’t any) and I wanted to beat the African runner at the finish. I was really relieved when I crossed the finish line. It seemed I had more power after I excreted everything (during the race). I definitely would have run faster if I didn’t have this (episode),” he added.
He wasn’t sure why this happened, saying: “I don’t think it was because of what I ate- I only had a piece of bread and drank mineral water. I don’t want to remember this race!”
Well, given he finished in one hour, six minutes and 16 seconds, one has to applaud his attempt, though we do wonder if the reason he finished as China’s top finisher at the race was because no one wanted to overtake him!
To be fair, this happens to the best runners- it’s just that Xiangdong didn’t have the option of the nearest Portapotty. So why does this happen?
Basically, The physical motion of running manhandles your intestines (and whatever’s in them) for a prolonged period of time, says Men’s Health nutrition advisor, Mike Roussell. If you’ve ever made the mistake of eating or drinking too much water before you run, you know the sickening feeling of your stomach contents sloshing around.
When you run, your body also draws blood away from your intestines and into your aching muscles, causing a disruption in normal digestion, Mike says. That’s when, as they say, shit happens!
So what should you do?
If you’re on a training run and feel the urge, just walk. The jostling motion of running can make it tough to hold back the goods.
To help prevent diarrhoea, avoid fibre-rich foods such as beans, nuts and raisins for several hours before you run.
While fibre can give you plenty of energy and help you lose weight, some fibre-rich foods may also make your stomach and lower GI tract feel heavier if you consume them too close to an exercise session. It takes around two hours for fibre to leave your stomach and enter your intestine, so you’ll want to give yourself enough time between eating it and setting out on your run.