Health · Running

Tummy Troubles.

Disclaimer- If stomach issues gross you out, skip this post. Nothing graphic, but let’s get physical personal today.

All of you runners out there know that tummy troubles are just part of the deal. Long distance especially (I find) means you will encounter something “not so fun” at some point.

I find that when I run >8 miles, my stomach can be sensitive the rest of the day (not always, but frequently). It’s nothing debilitating and sometimes not even noticeable until I eat. This doesn’t surprise me because I’ve always had a sensitive stomach. My mom has suggested that I take Pepcid before those long runs, but I always forget. I do think it’s a good idea.

For the past few weeks, every evening my stomach gets super uncomfortable. I feel bloated and full, and I can tell my stomach is acidy. Now being the incredibly intelligent human being that I am, I just realized YESTERDAY that this has been going on for at least 2 weeks. I talked to my mom about it and she thinks it’s related to my running, nutrient intake (sort of), and stress.

Running: My new training schedule has me do 2 long runs on the weekend (usually >7 miles on Saturday, 10 miles on Sunday). Remember I have a sensitive stomach, and when you have “issues” one day, your body doesn’t necessarily bounce back to normal the very next day (especially if you are ridding your gut of its natural flora). That mixed with the following, and my tummy has no time to recover.

Nutrient intake: I try to keep my diet very fruit, vegetable, and non-animal protein heavy (oh but don’t forget about the frozen yogurt 😉 ). My typical meals are something along these lines:

  • Breakfast: over-night oats, oatmeal, NF plain Greek yogurt with fruit and granola, chia pudding, or a smoothie (OR people, I’m not eating all that for breakfast)
  • Snack: fruit (usually an apple, orange, or banana)
  • Lunch: salad + protein on top (typically one of the following- tofu, tempeh, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, etc.) and some sort of fruit on the side
  • Dinner: could be so many different things, but I typically try to avoid refined and processed carbs and eat a lot of salad and veggies

So I feel like I get a wide variety of nutrients all throughout the day. However, this doesn’t matter if you’re having stomach issues and food is moving too quickly through your digestive tract.

I didn’t even think I was having issues until my mom mentioned that I’ve been tired all the time lately. Poor nutrient absorption can definitely lead to fatigue. All started to click…


  • I have had some huge projects at work with tight deadlines
  • My kitty is sick and I think about her all the time
  • Still trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life (do I want to go back to school? what do I want to do job wise?)
  • Kyle and I are starting to look into buying our first house together
  • Running (yes I know this is supposed to be my release and “something fun” but I’m a huge planner and am hard on myself so when I’m not where I want to be, this means pressure and stress)
  • Tired all the time- why am I tired all the time? I should have plenty of energy? I’m not getting as much done as I want to after work because I’m so tired. I can’t miss a workout. That means I’m weak. <–all things that pop into my head.

I’ve always been a huge stress ball. This has to do with me being a control freak, a planner, and OCD about certain things. I’m way better than I used to be, but still have plenty of room for improvement. And whelp, stress can cause stomach issues (acid)…

I mean, I missed a workout yesterday because I was just so tired. I made myself feel guilty the whole night instead of allowing myself to relax. I can easily move this workout to Friday (my rest day), but of course I need a little guilt trip first…

So basically all of that combined, we think, is causing me to have tummy troubles. For the next few days I’m going to try to increase my alkaline foods and limit acidic foods. And I will be taking Pepcid regularly (nothing long term). And I’m going to try to not stress out.

Do you have stomach issues during/after runs?

Diet wise- how do you deal with tummy troubles?

Ever give yourself a stomach ache because of stress? Yup yup.

47 thoughts on “Tummy Troubles.

  1. Tummy troubles are no fun – especially during a race! I try and find foods that keep it as calm as possible… and I usually stay away from coffee on race morning (this is not always easy). As far as the stress factor, this affects me more during shorter races – I feel like there’s no margin for error. Ironically, I’ve never had bad stomach issues with a marathon (or longer).

  2. That Instagram pic of all them cookies and colorful candy…. Is that your pantry? Hehe. Jk! Hope your tummy gets better.

  3. Oh no! I haven’t made a link yet between my runs and a tummy ache. I am actually running 8 miles today for the first time, so I’ll see how I feel after. In terms of stress, I think you’re long overdue on a deep tissue massage!!! Please, don’t stress over those things. Especially, over buying your first house. yes, there are worries because you don’t know how it works yet, but remember, it’s a beautiful time and try to enjoy it. (Btw, if you have any questions about how it works, I work in the industry, so feel free to ask me some questions, but then keep in mind that I am located in Canada, so there are differences). As for running and forced rest days: tell yourself, that it’s gonna benefit you in the long run, no need to stress 🙂 ❤ xoxo

    PS. I hope you fur ball of joy gets better soon!!!!

    1. You’re the best ❤ You're so right about not stressing about the house- it's supposed to be fun and exciting! Thank you for the lovely offer! I will definitely ask you if I have any questions 🙂 Thanks for all the love! Good luck on your 8 miler today! You'll rock it!

  4. I am just a very REGULAR person in the bathroom, especially because I do eat a lot of fruit and veggies. I don’t get any sort of heartburn at all and usually my stomach isn’t upset, I just frequently make trips to the bathroom. I totally hated the process of buying a house and it WAS stressful! You’re paying all kinds of money and a deadline will pop up here and I had all kinds of realtor issues too! Feel better 🙂

  5. How long has it been since your last physical? Just to be super safe, I’d have your provider do a once over. Be sure to mention all the new things in your life since your last one. Once you’ve been given the clean bill of health, you can start playing with the other factors. On an up note, you shouldn’t have problems with your Realtor 🙂

    1. I’m holding off on the doctor. I went for a physical and blood work in Feb. If it’s not better by next week I’ll go in though. I’m fairly certain this is stress related and it’s extra hard on my stomach because of the running.

      1. okay- as long as you recently were seen. Sounds quite reasonable to me. I’d try a two week trial of omeprazole . . . usually does the trick.

  6. I’ve actually started having some really bad heart burn issues after runs. I’ve never had that problem before but I’ve also never ran for as long as I am these days. I’ve never been the type of person to get heart burn so when it happened, I wasn’t even sure what the heck it was. It’s weird because it doesn’t happen every time, especially not on my morning runs because I haven’t ate very much but if I go for a run later in the day and depending on what I ate for lunch it seems to come cropping up as soon as I finish.

  7. i’m familiar with runner’s digestion issues for sure. sometimes it’s been due to dehydration during/after long runs or half marathons; sometimes it’s just from a week full of hard workouts and running and lots of veggies/fruit (which is most of my diet as well). i drink a LOOOOOT of water and sometimes take some over-the-counter stuff, but i’ve talked to my doc and it’s pretty common in distance runners with fiber-rich diets. and zilch on the stress issue (hope that gets better for you!). i’m lucky there.

  8. I don’t get stomach issues during/after runs often, but when I do, it’s not fun. However, I do notice I get horrible stomach pains and nausea when I’m stressed. (TMI I know, but I once had such prolonged nausea I took a pregnancy test because I was nervous it was “morning sickness”… it wasn’t haha.)

    I need to have a better plan diet-wise when I do get tummy troubles. Normally I just eat carbs to make me feel better, but I don’t think that’s the best plan hahaha. I hope you start feeling better! And you should never feel guilty for skipping a workout when your body is telling you to, girl! You are killin’ it 99% of the time, let yourself rest too. 🙂

    1. OMG you must have been supppper stressed haha! That’s crazy!

      LOL that’s typically my solution too. If my stomach is super acidy and I know I ate a lot of fruit and veggies, I eat some complex carbs haha. Thank you!! You’re the best- you’re so right! Skipping a workout is OK!

  9. Just a few thoughts that might help you…1) Try to get some extra sleep. There’s a general rule that however many miles you run in a week is the number of minutes earlier you should go to bed each night -> 20 miles = 20 minutes earlier each night. 2) I try to limit the amount of fiber I eat the day before a long run which helps things move through my system better. 3) Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. Dehydration definitely causes stomach issues for me.

    I’ve had some bad stomach issues in the past but so far so good this year. I hope you are able to figure out a system that works for you!

    1. You’re sooo right about the sleep thing. I’m a really bad sleeper lately. I will try to get in bed earlier 🙂 I think I’m going to try to cut back on the fiber the day before a long run too. I think it does contribute…thank you for all your great tips!! I’m going to make sure I do all of them 🙂

  10. Youuuuu know it! I actually planned on an elimination diet starting next week, but I went ahead and cut out coffee and already feel worlds better!

    Km no doc but my experience and chats with others has more to do on when/what you’re eating and running than specific nutrients. I often have issues regardless when I run in the morning like normal, but if I try and run in the evenings, it can make me I’ll the next day.
    For me, I know that my stomach simply can’t handle having that much in it before a run and I have to adjust. I know some runners take a medicine before long runs that starts with an I. Who knows!

    1. Oh wow! Yeah I’ve heard from other runners that coffee is no beuno on their bellies haha. Yeah, my stomach usually prefers when I run on empty or with only a banana. Anything more than that and it gets angry! LOL my mom is on to the pepcid thing then!

  11. Oh yes I have definitely had the post-run stomach issues. They got better as I got more used to running long distances, but then after taking a little bit of time off they came back with a vengeance. I felt absolutely wretched after my 15K the other weekend. The best way that I have found to manage it (diet wise) is make sure I’m hydrating extra well the day before my long run and make dinner kind of carby. I’m excited to get back to a place where it doesn’t happen anymore though.

    Stress messes with my stomach too. I hope your kitty is doing okay. ❤

    1. Awww man! Sorry to hear that your tummy needs to get used to the running again! I think I need to add a little more complex carbs to my diet, at least days before long runs. Thanks for the great advice and love ❤

  12. we are twins. i’m actually currently engaging in an internal battle with my own body. i feel SUPER run down and have a slight head ache — but TOMORROW is my scheduled rest day so I am seriously giving myself a hard time for not just running this AM, so of course my plan is to run in the PM. but my SMART brain is telling myself, hello, you need rest…REST. but i have no idea which brain to listen to, as it is a constant argument. phew, this is exhausting. haha

    1. Okay, so instead of our hormones and such “syncing” it’s our tummies. Twin moment! Soooo sorry to hear that you’re having issues too twin! Yes! Be smart and let yourself rest if you need it! Don’t be a dummy like me and make yourself feel guilty!

  13. I 100% feel you on the stomach getting a little wonky on runs over 8 miles. It’s really important for me to eat well the night before a long run if I don’t want to be miserable the next day. I tend to get that bloated stomach feeling a lot too, but I probably just need to clean up my eating a bit.

  14. That is no fun. I have Crohn’s Disease, so I know all about tummy trouble. Have you ever taken a probiotic? That might help you out. Also, I just read an article by Runners World to be careful about having fruit before you run. It could be giving you a bloated feeling. Fruit, fruit, makes you….well, you know the rest! 🙂

    1. I thought of you when I realized I was having stomach issues! I convinced myself I have Crohn’s Diseaes, IBS, diverticulitis, or a tumor…I’m a brilliant diagnostician you know 😉 My mom told me to start taking a probiotic!! I honestly just keep forgetting to take it. YES, fruit can do horrible things to some people’s stomachs before runs! Mine included (except for bananas, those are ok). PAHAHA just like beans, beans, they’re good for your heart? 😉

  15. I’m usually fine as long as I’ve managed to do my “business” before a run. Otherwise I get cranky. It’s the worst when you’re bloated while running–especially when there are people around!

    I agree with staying away from coffee right before a run for sure! That stuff can definitely mess with your stomach. Hope your issues clear up soon!

  16. Hmmm, I hope you get it worked out (not literally). I have seen EVERYTHING come out of people’s bodies during races. Everything. It is awful what I’ve seen. I hope you’re not at that point in your running career. It doesn’t sound like it is. I occasionally get tummy issues on a long run, but usually because I ate something really dumb the night before, like super spicy turkey chili. I’m sorry I don’t have better advice today.

  17. I haven’t had much experience with tummy troubles, but I DO know that stress can do crazy things. It sounds like you have a lot going on and a lot on your mind! I think the world would be a better place if naps and singalongs were normal every day.

  18. I get stomach issues A LOT (thanks to Celiac’s) but when I do long runs sometimes I end up getting sick to my stomach too which is no bueno. Not sure what to do to help though, since I’m right there with ya sista!

    1. Awww I’m sorry girly! That sounds awful! If I find a magical cure, I’ll be sure to send it your way 😉 Otherwise, I’ll just make sure that if we ever run together, there are plenty of public restrooms on our route.

  19. Ugh running stomach issues are the worst! When I was in last cycle and doing peak marathon training my stomach got seriously jacked and whacked. And it wasn’t just my stomach, but ENTIRE GI system. I really learned to cut waaaaay back on fiber around long runs for a while (not my usual norm, I’m a veggie lover), but what really helped was that my mileage slowed down. Once I eased up some it was a lot better. Probably not the information you wanted to hear, but I totally feel your pain!

  20. I always have tummy issues the morning or a race (pre race jitters, I guess) and most of the day after a long race. It definitely is better pending what I eat, but never totally goes away.

  21. OMG HOUSE-SHOPPING? I like how that’s tucked in there with all the stomach issue stuff (sorry I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to keep up your posts for a little while).
    Hope your tummy gets settled… that’s going to be no fun to have to deal with in a race! I’m sure it’s stress-related.

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