In my travels today…ok, in my attempts to focus that have failed, since I have only one more day before I go back to being a teacher…I found some additional information about what causes upset stomach and gastrointestinal issues during running. Some of these are very interesting. They are from Jeff Galloway’s book Galloway’s 5K and 10K Running, and are in list format in one of the later chapters:
- Running too fast or too far.
- Eating too much or too soon before the workout.
- Eating a high fat or high protein diet.
- Eating too much the afternoon or evening, the day before.
- Heat and humidity.
- Drinking too much water before a run or walk.
- Drinking too much of a sugar/electrolyte drink.
- Drinking too much fluid too soon after a run or walk.
- Letting workouts be stressful to you.
The point I personally find most interesting is #3, about eating a high fat or protein diet. The book was first published in 2008, which isn’t that long ago, and I know that low carb diets have been in vogue for quite a while. I know athletes that swear by the Paleo Diet, and they don’t seem to be struggling. Of course, not many people are excited to talk about their GI distress with their friends. Galloway seems to advocate for a balanced diet, which makes a lot of sense with his overall even-keeled approach to training.
In the big picture, the chapter explains that overall, GI distress is a response to total body stress. With that in mind, #9 is probably the biggest thing for compulsive people like me to be mindful of in determining a training plan. Workouts can be stressful, and I certainly feel my share of jitters before I hit the next week of my program, which increases time and distance every Monday. I’m sure that proponents of a mindful approach to running have some good advice on de-stressing. I plan to take a look at that research next.