Monday, October 24, 2011

The Need to Pee: Peeing While Running!

Disclaimer:  this is an up close and personal post, I apologize in advance.  Btw, have you entered my giveaway for some nuun, it ends on Wednesday!

Do you use the bathroom ten times (at least) before you leave the house for a long run?  Will I find you in line for the porta-potties before a big race?  Are you worried about what to do if you have to pee and you are not even in half way through your half marathon?

I hope at least some of you said yes, because I need to know I am not alone on this one.  Since I have started running, the "need to pee" has haunted me or should I say stressed me out. What am I supposed to do if I have to pee during a race I wonder?  What am I going to do?  What if there are no porta potties around?   What if there are porta potties around and I don't want to give up precious seconds to take time to pee... WHAT IF?!?

Actually, in reality, there is only one time I have ever had to go during a race.  It was my first official race, the B.A.A Half 2008 and I made a rookie mistake of lining up way too early instead of 1) playing it smart and warming up, 2) going to the bathroom a million times, and 3) jumping in at the last second.  Well,you know how this story goes, as soon as I crossed the starting line, I felt the urge.  By Mile 3, I knew I had to stop.  So, like the experienced runner I was, at the first porta potty I saw, I stopped. Forget that I had to wait a good 5 minutes to use the toilet - it did not even occur to me at the time to be worried about this.  Instead, I was too obsessed with the idea of taking off my long sleeve, non dri-fit teeshirt and leaving it for the running gods as I waited in line.  Mind you, this meant taking off my running arm band that held my oversized iPod and then readjusting it on my now t-shirt, but I digress...

Today, I am not so carefree that I am willing to give up a good five freakin minutes for a potty break (it is totally ok and all the power to you if you are, but what can I say, I am "Type A" all the way.  So what do I do instead?  How do I avoid losing those moments that my take away my PR? I feel a list coming on ...

Top Five Ways on How Not to Lose a PR due to the Need to Pee

5)  Stop drinking an hour before the race.  Prior to the race you should be hydrating like crazy (you will know you are doing a good job if you feel the need to go like ooo 24/7).  The day of  the event drink 16 oz of water (I like some of this to be nuun) about 1.5 hours before the run.  But then cool it. You have done what you can do put down the bottle. 

4) Forget what I just said in #5, well sort of.  Right before the race let yourself have one more swing of water.  It will keep you tied over until your water stops.

3) Salt it up.  Make sure to consume salty foods (e.g., soup, pretzels, peanut butter, pickles).  These will help you retain water, remain hydrated, and stop the urge to go.

2) Make best friends with the porta potties BEFORE the race.  The best advice I ever got was get in line for the bathroom, go to the bathroom, then get back in line for the bathroom. It works!!  You can do all your stretching in line and then just warm up a little before. If nothing else, DO THIS!

1) Let it flow.  Ok, I know this is a bit controversial, but I have come to terms with it, so hopefully I won't lose some followers here.  For me, it is impossible to run when I have to go, bad, so when all of these things don't work, I recommend you just GO, and when I say go, I mean go in your pants.  Yes, there I have said it.  You may not agree with me.  But this is just how I roll (haha) I am cool, I pee my pants, and I am proud of it! 

I agonized over #1 (haha double meaning, love it) a ton!  Do I just go? How do I do it?  Will I chafe?  I even googled it, which actually came up with nothing.  So I was left to just go at it on my own.  How did I do it? I am telling you all this because I wanted to know how, but no one would tell me.  Well, simple, I just slowed a bit, relaxed and peed.  It was warm, it was yucky, my shorts felt meh, but in a few minutes all was forgotten and it was like I had never even gone.  That's it, that is all there is too it.  Although truth me told, i have only tried this in shorts, I am not sure how great it would be in capris or pants (stay tuned for that).

As per other bathroom habits, you all are on your own. I am not that brave, I hit the porta potties...I guess I am not that hardcore after all...

Don't leave me hanging out here people.  Fess up, what do you do or am I the only one out there with this wonderful habit...have I lost you yet?

Disclaimer:  these are just my thoughts and what has worked for me, so take it all with a grain of salt (again no pun haha) and do what is best for you and YOUR body!


  1. I often just let it go on the trail - especially in deer fly season, when to stop would mean being eaten alive. Being male, I can "hang it out" the side of the inner shorts and do the Reaganomics "trickle-down" thing. Running barefoot or with huaraches, it's not a problem.

  2. Thank soooo much for posting this, I know you must get this alot but you are my new favorite running blog! BLADDERS UNITE! :) Any way I just ran my first 10k marathon up in Lake Tahoe and right in the middle of the race i had the tormenting urge to let it flow but i couldnt just let my self go like that [OCD problem] so it kinda just came out simletaneously, however thanks to your wise yet blunt words I will now be prepared. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!
    -your fellow runner Rebecca