Here’s how to avoid having to go to the bathroom during the race

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Every runner has experienced this during training: around half-way through, you have to go to the bathroom. At the bottom of this article, we offer some tips for what to do in that case. If this happens during a race, you can of course forget about achieving the time you had been training for over months. So here are a few tips for avoiding a pit stop during a race. 

Empty everything 

If you go to the bathroom just before the start of the race, there is a good chance that you will not need another bathroom stop during the race. But it is not something that everyone can do at will. There are some tricks that can help. A tried and true formula is for example to have a warm drink in the morning (coffee, tea, warm water). It’s not helping? Then do a brief warm-up to get things going. Your last bathroom visit should ideally be just before the start of the race. So don't head too soon for the starting blocks, for once you are there, you cannot easily leave again if you need to go to the bathroom. 

It starts a few days in advance 

Don't eat too much spicy food or dishes rich in fat in the days before the race. These could result in an irritable stomach or bowel during the race. Be careful about using sorbitol as well. This artificial sweetener is found in many products. Too much of this product can also cause problems. 

Don't forget the first water stop 

Dehydration can cause stomach cramps, so when the first water stop appears, don’t just go right past it. You can read a few tips below on the perfect way to “tackle” the water stop. 

Don't eat or drink anything unfamiliar 

This is a golden rule. If you have never eaten an energy gel, don't do so on the day of the race. It doesn’t give you superpowers. Quite the contrary: if your body is not familiar with the product, it might have a bad reaction, with the accompanying stomach and bowel problems. So don't do it. 


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