Running with IBS
Don’t let this happen to you! Waiting for a test after having to fast for 24 hrs.
Over the last couple of months I have been having severe stomach pains after tough races. I am fine throughout my whole race and about 30-45 minutes after I have finished and cooled down, I become debilitated, sometimes for a couple of days. At first I tried chalking it up to a tough race and something I must have eaten. But then it happened again. And again. I can run 10 easy miles and be fine, I can run 3 hard miles and be fine. What kills me is the races. I race longer distance races 10K to Halfs and have died after every single one.
Finally, I decided to go see the doctor.
I told her I have no interest in stopping racing nor do I have any interest in taking it easy. Where do we go from there?
Luckily, she said she sees this in alot of runners and if anything I am flying on the mild side of it all, since I have no problems in my day to day life. She told me I had a very mild case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. She explained that running can cause severe stress on a body and although it does not cause IBS, it can unmask otherwise unnoticed symptoms of IBS.
IBS is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. Luckily, IBS does not cause permanent damage to the intestants and does not lead to other diseases like cancer. However, for some it can be very debilitating, but for most, like me, it tends to be mild and there are many ways to treat symptoms.
My doctor was able to give me a couple of tips before a hard run/race to help minimize the abdominal pain and cramping.
DO: Eat high carb foods: Rice, pasta, oatmeal, and white bread that are easy on the intestants
DON’T: Have caffeine (coffee, tea, or soda), dairy products, and high fiber foods, which can inhance stomach pains
DO: Stay well hydrated
DON’T: Eat closer than two hours before a run or eat large meals the day prior
Hopefully, these tips will help alleviate some of the problems I have been having and will keep me in good shape after the Falmouth Road Race, which is my next big race. As a mom it is hard enough to get time to run everyday and be able to particpate in races but to be layed up afterwards is completely unacceptable to me!
Have you guys experienced similar problems? Do you have any tips or remedies that have worked for you?
Hot in Boston: Working out safe in the heat
It is H-O-T-T in Mass. this week and it just reminds me how important it is to stay safe in the heat. If you are a big baby like me you will find cooler areas like the gym, under the fan, in a dark corner away from the window to workout in.
But if you are badass you will stick to your regular workouts which may *gasp* not include AC.
Here are so tips to stay healthy in the heat mixed and matched from webmd and the mayo clinic!
- The time of day is important. Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the hottest part of day. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout, especially if it’s going to be scorcher that day.
- Wear loose, light-colored. The lighter color will help reflect heat, and cotton material will help the evaporation of sweat. You may also want to try specially designed, “hi-tech” running shirts and shorts. They are often made from material meant to keep you cool.
- Sunscreen is a must. It’s important to protect your skin. You can get burned and suffer sun damage to your skin even on cloudy days. A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the night before. Then before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Carry a bottle of water or even a hydration pack such as the CamelBak. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. When you’re done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.
- Check the weather forecast before you start your workout. If there’s a heat advisory, meaning high ozone and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. These pollutants can damage your lungs.
- Most importantly, listen to your body. Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous.
- Get acclimated. If you’re used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
- Know your fitness level. If you’re unfit or new to exercise, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your exercise intensity and take frequent breaks.