Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Endurance Poop 101


If you've ever trained for a marathon, triathlon, or anything of the sort, you are more than likely familiar with a lot of the different types of poop that plague endurance athletes. Let's just get it out in the open. It happens. Inevitably, unless you're some kind of freak-of-nature with a perfectly functioning GI system and a flawless diet, you're gonna have to deal with poop in endurance sports. I always believe that education is the best way to deal with taboo subjects, so...sit back, take notes if you wish, and become an Endurance Poop Scholar - courtesy of The Fire Inside. Note: You're never gonna think of me the same again.

Nervous Poop – Occurs in the port-a-potty on race morning. It’s easily identifiable because everybody’s looks and smells the same. I won’t go into details – if you’ve ever raced, you know what I’m talking about.


TNT Poop – It’s one or two big explosions and then it’s over. Usually occurs while running long distance and is preceded by a sick feeling that you may not make it. Falls under the category of “runners’ trots.”


Teaser Poop – This one is hard to differentiate from the TNT Poop until you actually get to the toilet. It has all the same signs when you are still 3 miles from a restroom or port-a-potty, but once you finally reach the long awaited destination, the need to poop just disappears. Beware of this one about 2 hours after you finish your run, though. See TNT Poop, but multiply it by 2.


Bait and Switch Poop – Appears to be gas, until you finally decide to let it go…and then all the sudden you realize it was not just gas. This is a tricky little bastard, though, because if it occurs in the latter stages of a really long run or race, you may not realize what just happened. So when you start thinking that everyone who passes you smells badly - get a clue - it was the bait and switch poop. Get to the nearest port-a-potty immediately and spare us all.


It’s Been a Long Time Coming Poop – If you take too much Immodium before your race, you may not have to visit the port-a-potty, but it’s likely that you’ll suffer from this poop about 4 or 5 days later. At least you hope it’s just 4 or 5 days later, or else people will start asking when the baby is due. You can identify this poop because you’ll hear angels singing The Hallelujah Chorus as it finally surfaces.


Good Old Fashioned Dump Poop – This poop occurs when you eat too much dinner the night before a long workout. It’s not explosive, like the TNT poop, it is just a good old fashioned dump that needs to happen. It makes for a very uncomfortable run, and beware – if you hold this one in too long and too often, it can cause internal hemorrhoids that result in the very disturbing Bloody Poop.


Bloody Poop – No need to describe this one. It is normally caused from torturing yourself by holding in the Good Old Fashioned Dump Poop for too long, but never assume that is the cause. It could also be a sign of very dangerous health conditions, so I’d advise you to see a doctor if you experience this one. Seriously.

Submitted by Benson:

Running Interval Poop - Could also be known as the runs, squirts, trots, raspberries etc. This poop(s) runs the intervals, not you. This poop occurs at regular (or irregular) intervals throughout the day. You have to plan your race/workday around never being more than a fartlek away from a toilet.

Submitted by Jill:

False Alarm Poop - The FA poop is where you go once after breakfast, head out the door for the Garmin to pick up a signal and RUN inside before it's too late...and then low and behold...holding your breath in the first mile because you gotta go again. And this just sets the tone for the rest of day. You spend most of the day within sprint distance of the toilet...for fear you'll go in your pants.

Submitted by Bigun:

Holy Poop - where you thank God and all the Angels that you actually made it to the bowl without messing yourself.


Now...I know that's not all of them. Comment with your own, and I'll add them to this list.

18 comments:

Benson said...

Running Interval Poop - Could also be known as the runs, squirts, trots, raspberries etc. This poop(s) runs the intervals, not you. This poop occurs at regular (or irregular) intervals throughout the day. You have to plan your race/workday around never being more than a fartlek away from a toilet.

Anonymous said...

sounds like we have an expert on the brown stuff.

Spandex King said...

I had a problem with TNT poop once this spring. I now refer to this area of the trail as Sh** corner. I got home and my wife said "You did what?" Hey it was either (a)The side of the trail or (b)in my pants. I chose A. I know carry some tissue when I run. Lesson learned!

Lisa said...

Yes, I hope to be at "LOL" & let's hope I can finish 30 miles in the time it takes you two to do 100. :)

Borsch said...

I'm speechless...

Christine said...

well of course I normally come to your blog for a little inspiration right before I take off and run. Apparently today it inspired my GI tract because half way through the run I got that "uh oh" feeling. I sorta let a little fart go...and it seemed a little squishy. I ended up turning around and fartleking home. I looked at the woods a few times..but decided now is not the time for poison ivy on my butt. I made it home luckily..and there were no messes to clean up thank god. But how funny...right after I read your post..that happened to me.

Jill said...

Right on the verge of sickness last night and the night before. I don't know what is wrong with me...but the "false alarm" poop. The FA poop is where you go once after breakfast, head out the door for the Garmin to pick up a signal and RUN inside before it's too late...and then low and behold...holding your breath in the first mile because you gotta go again. And this just sets the tone for the rest of day. You spend most of the day within sprint distance of the toilet...for fear you'll go in your pants. Yep. I am also an expert on Endurance Poop 101.

Maybe you and I can write a book about it...or maybe a podcast. Ha. (I'm only agreeing to it if we have fake names.)

Thanks for the incredible belly laughs tonight. I needed them!

Holly Jane said...

What about the sushi mushi poop? It was pretty brutal if I remember correctly!!! lol

DaisyDuc said...

So wrong but all so familar!

Bigun said...

I like the "Holy Poop" - where you thank God and all the Angels that you actually made it to the bowl without messing yourself.

I don't know...sort of envision another trip to the tomb for this post...I am, after all, eating breakfast...

Old Man and mid pack runner said...

funny stuff.
what about the: Oh no poop, where you realize you don't have any paper and you aren't going to make it back to a suitable poop site and you have to make do with whatever is available. shirt or sock?

Missy said...

Never, ever, never trust a fart on a long run, rules to live by #2 AND always carry one, prewrapped moist towelette...it can serve oh, so many purposes, clean wound, clean your face, clean your arse!

Vanilla said...

This post was hilarious! Thanks, but I don't even want to know where you found that image, or what else you had to sift through when you were Googling it.

Papa Louie said...

How about poop in peace?
It's when you keep getting bothered by someone wanting to use the bathroom while you are having your pre-race dump-fest on race morning and you finally yell, "can I just go poop in peace with no one bothering me"?

SUB6 said...

... and I used to so enjoy reading your blog ...

Eric said...

LOL!!! Nothing is sacred!!!

scott said...

Rip me a new one poop-Sneaks up on you when water and fiber is neglected for a couple days. The hardened mass moves slowly and quietly down the road. When it wants out down the narrow tube,a huge "log jam" happens. Panic,pain. Grown men scream"oh mommy it hurts so bad".We then hear mommy say"push,push".Relief. We plunge the john and forget it ever happened

Marathon Maritza said...

This post falls under the so-funny-I-almost-pooped-my-pants category.