So the more people we speak to, the more we realise dicky tums are SO common in runners. So, we thought we’d whizz up a quick blog in between foam rolling about it.
Training Your Gut
Firstly, you can train your gut! Just like you train your body to run the distance. You can train your gut to go to distance too and teach it to absorb carbohydrates on-the-go. GI issues are so common amongst runners but they should not result in under-fuelling throughout your marathon. 26.2 miles is too far to go without topping energy levels up. It can actually be really dangerous when the tank gets empty.
It’s definitely a process of trial and error, so you have to start testing out different solutions/energy gels/sweets. Or whatever your preferred fueling option is. The method of intake (sipping a fluid/chewing on sweets) and the timing of consumption well before the actual race in order to get it as right as you can. We’ve been taking gels around 45 mins in and then again. Every half hour and trialing one caffeine one in the mix. It’s great for a mental boost, but definitely give them a bash on your last few short runs before the big day.
In terms of products to use, you don’t have to be constricted to supermarket options marketed for sports. The majority of which are quite intimidating/intense in packaging. And are often full of sh*t so might actually cause your gut more issues than they’re worth!
Instead you could go for simple pantry cupboard items. Like homemade banana chips, a handful of raisins or simple gummy bears/jelly babies as they are all carbohydrate rich. HOWEVER, if you opt for the more natural options you must also be mindful of electrolytes. These are normally incorporated into the special sports manufactured brands.
Dehydration and Electrolytes
We’ve learnt this the (very dehydrated) hard way, electrolytes are vital in training as well as racing due to their ability to keep internal balance in the body and reduce risk of dehydration- something that can cause stomach cramping, nausea and other GI issues.