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Upset stomach while training

Any advice on nutrition, I'm trying various gels and even no gels while training. But going out early in the morning either for a 10-20k run or bike / run and in most cases ends up with me having gastric distress at the end or shortly after. Last week I got caught mid session and had me running for the nearest gym. I've got London in two weeks with a 7:30 start, and I don't want to be in the same position in the middle of Hyde park. Some people have suggested flat coke, some have said to take small amounts of Imodium or similar.


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    I know from experience that there aren't a lot of laughs when this happens. What are you eating before your training session and how how much between breakfast and training? What sort if gels (brands and are they concentrated or pre-diluted?). How hard a session are you doing when this happens?

    All the above could have an impact - I find I can't eat too much too close to a hard session, or almost any run. I've discovered the hard way which gels and bars I get on with and what form (my stomach prefers the pre-diluted 'iso-' type).

    You will sort this, though! What event is it and what distances?
  • robevansonrobevanson Posts: 12
    I tend to stick to High5 gels, I tend to react better to the ISO's than the concentrated versions and I know which brands really hurt me. I've experimented with porridge, flapjack and breakfast bars pre work out, with porridge being the better of the lot. But with it being quite stodgy I have to wait longer before going out.

    Race distances are Olympic and below, so training runs tend to be in the 10k area. I wonder if it is a fibre thing too. I was careful with my eating last year at the Virgin London Tri. It was a late draw in the mid afternoon, I felt fine until the last 2/3 k of the run and I had to make a dash for the toilet the second I finished.
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425


    For me a 7:30 race start would mean a 4:30-5:00 breakfast (oaty crunch type cereal with milk and a banana plus tea or coffee). That is my standard every day breakfast. For you it may be porridge. 

    In the hour leading up to the race a banana plus coffee or perhaps a gel. This is a top up and is well tolerated. If I miss out its no problem getting round the swim and gels are taken on the bike anyway.

    My big dump of the day is first thing and this goes for race day when it is generally looser and clears me out. I think the pre-race nerves account for this difference.

    In summary race day nutrition is basically the same as every day nutrition but eaten that bit earlier. I think if I were to base mine on gels I'd have the same issues as you.


  • fatchris78fatchris78 Posts: 4

    have you tried cutting out dairyand fats before training or racing i.e no milk in tea and porridge made with water ,i find it helps me?

  • robevansonrobevanson Posts: 12

    Not so far, but it's worth a try.

  • Hi robevanson,


    How much are you trying to eat in the morning?

    I find it easier to have a 'liquid breakfst' with a protein and powdered oats make-up as it seems to digest better. As for gels, you want to avoid real high sugary foods first thing in the morning. 


    For everyday nutrition you obviously need something convenient and easy, so even try yoghurt, banana and some seeds? 


    You may find that lots of trial and error is needed! 


    If you want any more help, contact me at: Contact me at: https://www.facebook.com/PerformanceScienceNutrition?ref=bookmarks

  • robevansonrobevanson Posts: 12
    Thanks Tom, In London I ate a light museli bar and a banana before the race. During the race I had one ISO Gel and only 450ml of electrolyte drink. This could account for my cramp on the run. Good news was that my stomach held up, it was a little gurgly, but manageable. I think that if I had another gel and/or more drink it would have been a different story.
  • StooDoggStooDogg Posts: 30

    This sounds similar to my "apple" issue although now it seems to extend to grapes as well so perhaps it is fibrous skins on the fruit itself? I ask that because they're the only different things I eat day-to-day, in the sense that breakfast, lunch and snacks are fairly consistent* and also that if I don't eat the above I'm good for long(er) runs too.

    * = So, for example I'll eat Weetabix or Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk for breakfast (say 7.45 - 8.15) along with a coffee with milk and no sugar; lunch (1.00) will be some kind of meat-and-salad sandwich on brown bread with some cherry tomatoes and asparagus or avocado if I'm at home or grapes or an apple if I'm working away; a snack between 4 and 5 is usually some oatcakes and then I'll go for a run around 7. Drinks throughout the day are green tea and water.

  • Rob,


    Due you experience and kind of warning signs? Cramps, wind? 


    Also I saw before that some one recommended no dairy? did that have an effect, sounds like your body doesn't tolerate a certain type of sugar (whether that is fructose or lactose).  


    How do you handle fibrous foods?

  • robevansonrobevanson Posts: 12

    Early signs during the end of my bike and early run is gurgling gut (slight wind)  Which I can contain, but after a while it's obvious it's not just going to be wind coming out. 

    I tend to be ok with fibre and never had a real problem with diary.  I tend not to have too much anyway as my wife is allergic to dairy.

    I think I'm going to have to strip right back to basics and take it from there.  I'm building my training back up ready for Liverpool, so now is the time to do it.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.

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