A week ago I was 1 of nearly 500 people who battled the crazy Ohio spring weather to race with Speedy-Feet in the 7th annual "No Buts About It" 5k run/walk for colon cancer awareness.
One common problem endurance athletes face is dealing with GI issues. Whether it be a race day problem or a nagging issue during training, it is a factor that needs to be addressed. Endurance athletes, including myself, often deal with any one of the following issues:
- "Elevator Goes Up": aka vomiting, burping, acid reflux, or heartburn. Not sure I can diagnose myself fully, but a better medical term would be reflux. I've noticed this during training primarily, and it generally relates to my nutrition.
- If I haven't drank enough water during the day I'll notice a difference in my digestion. I try to drink 3 large bottles of water throughout the day (not including the fluids I take in during exercise).
- I try to eat foods that won't upset my stomach and allow plenty of time between larger meals and workouts. I'll plan out my meals according to my daily workouts. For me, I need a little snack prior to working out, usually something pretty small and bland. I can eat pretty much anything prior to a long bike, but not when it comes to swimming, running, or bike interval workouts.
- Last year I was introduced to Generation UCAN. Since using this product I've had steady energy (fewer sugar spikes/crashes from sugar or maltodextrin products), sustained energy (time released delivery of glucose), and less gastric distress (larger molecule of Superstarch passes through the stomach and digests slowly in the intestines). Contact me and I will send you a couple packets to try out!!
- I've also noticed if I eat smaller, more frequent meals my digestion improves. I adjusted the amount, quality, and frequency of my eating habits during races as well. Through trial and error I've found what foods to eat pre-race and during - everyone is different and I recommend you figure it out well before race day.
- "Elevator Goes Down": aka diarrhea...no pretty way to describe this one, sorry.
- All of my running routes have a backup bathroom plan. While I prefer a restroom or port-o-john, I always carry tissue paper in case of an emergency.
- I try to plan my workouts according to the time of day. I tend to have GI issues when I run, especially later in the day - swimming and biking aren't typically effected.
- This past month I was introduced to Vector 450. I haven't used it long but let me tell you: my GI system is much more predictable after using this product only a few short weeks. I won't go into detail, but if you suffer from GI issues (and by the way, GI issues are directly related to nutrition and immune systems) then definitely try this product out. I will be reporting on Vector 450 as I continue using it this season, but so far it has been a good addition and support to my training plan.
- Exercise Induced GI bleeding: athletes with bloody stools, diarrhea, and abdominal pain should see a doctor as they could be experiencing decreased blood supply to the GI tract.
- My family has positive history of GI issues. I've seen a physician to monitor any problems to be sure they aren't a symptom of a larger issue. Better to be proactive about your health and address issues before they turn into problems.