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Medical Newsflash: What to Know About Gastrointestinal Problems on Race Day
Medical Newsflash: What to Know About Gastrointestinal Problems on Race Day

12 February 2018

Dear runners, we hope your engines are warm, and the legs are ready to roll! In this newsflash, we talk about the common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders on race day, and what to do should any problems arise.

FACT: The most commonly occurring GI problems during running include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps/pain, and diarrhoea. The longer the distance, the higher the risk of potential GI problems.

How do I avoid GI problems?

  • Know your diet, and what works and doesn’t work for you
  • Don’t try new foods/liquids pre or during the race, as this may cause GI upset
  • Avoid too many refined sugars and glucose rich meals prior to the run. This can lead to diarrhoea, with resultant dehydration
  • Run the race at the pace you have trained at. Pushing too hard and being undertrained can lead to GI problems
  • If you have been ill with GI upset in the 2-3 days prior to the race, it is advisable not to run, or at least to seek help from a medical doctor if you are unsure.

Go with your gut on this one, and you should be problem free on race day. We wish all of you a wonderful, and most importantly, a safe race.

Good luck!

The OMTOM medical team

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