Urge to 💩 during hard efforts

Has this been discussed in the podcast? Maybe someone can point me to the episode.

Generally I’d say I have a strong stomach. I’ve never thrown up during a workout and can go a long ways on the bike eating junk food without stomach issues. In many years of racing I’ve had one instance where I needed to stop to avoid diarrhea disaster…halfway through a full IM run and it was either walk or explode, so I chose to walk and spent the next 13+ miles running (slowly) from portajohn to portajohn. Cost me a Kona slot in that one, oh well. Wrote that off to not eating my typical pre-race meal the night before, and probably too much fiber/food that morning.

Few weeks ago I went out for a 2x8min FTP test and had a very similar feeling about 4 minutes in. Had to pull the plug on those at 5-6mins to avoid a humiliating end. Same feeling came on today during 130% efforts, though was able to complete the whole thing as prescribed.

Is this the same as the common “runners trots” even though there’s not the sloshing of running going on. Perhaps simply more time between the last bite of food and the workout, as well as eating less fibrous foods beforehand? (I eat vegan/plant based, so no dairy…but lots of fiber)

Any sciencey stuff or personal anecdotes for what works and what doesn’t?


The only downside to wearing bibs.


For me, I have found that I have to be VERY careful with added caffeine. If I go above one caffeinated gel per two hours or so, my effort devolves to a desperate hunt for a toilet.

Aside from that, you really have to train your gut, which can be really tricky. I find my tolerance for sugar goes way down with heat and with extended efforts.

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Yeah. It’s called a ‘Tommy D’.

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No comment other than to say the click-bait thread title did the job.

I love this forum.


You have to push hard, not “push hard”.


I always feel the urge to fart while on the bike. Occasionally but rarely I have to stop myself because I realize it’s not just air.


Not a topic I was expecting to see in the forum :joy:

Stating the obvious, but have you tried eating earlier and emptying before the workout? If this is new, ignoring the IM because that was a long time ago, have you changed anything nutrition wise? The caffeine suggestion might be worth exploring.

Your body does have a cadence for these things, and you can adjust it somewhat. If you train early morning, try making sure you go before heading off to sleep?

If it is purely an exertion thing, then you might be in for a cleanse because you’re probably ‘more full’ than you should be :slight_smile:

it is soo hard trying to be sensible about this topic!

My hard effort is trying to make sure I’m done before heading out the door, especially with all the damn bathrooms closed now. :mask::grimacing:

Yea, these workouts were both post morning emptying. Nothing has changed diet wise recently, though I think caffeine is a common denominator in all 3 instances…so probably have to experiment there with some caffeine free vo2 max efforts and see what the result is.

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Hmmm…might be worth keeping note of pre-ride food to see if there’s any common thread.
I’ve found that certain kinds of artificial sweetener mess with my digestion- which, annoyingly, can often be hiding in hydration mixes or my long ride gummy bears :frowning_face:
Also heat can definitely be an issue- and, on that topic, dehydration can impact the rate of gastric emptying.

Paceline, much?

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Common courtesy says to do it off the back :wink:


This is a :ship: *tty tread!

Maybe you kept all the same but your gut “dynamics” have changed?

As others mention already, coffee is a biggy!

Have you tried consuming yogurt or buttermilk? Does that help being more ‘regular’? Just asking out of curiosity. See if consuming yogurt over a 2-week period makes a difference.

It could be something you eat before the ride.
If I eat eggs one or two hours before a hard effort, I will 100% poop myself. Had to happen twice for me to figure it out. Funny stories…

I had one triathlon where I had 2 miles left in the run. I got the same “notifications.” I decided I was not going to stop running. If things got bad, I would run through the finish line and go straight back to the water. Wait there until my wife found me and have her bring me new clothes.

Luckily, I was able to run straight to a porta-john at the end.

Close one.

The worlds most effective laxative is getting all your winter kit on. Almost everytime, I have to run back in the house just as I’m rolling down the driveway.