I’ve been determined lately to find ways to get back into long distance running. I know it’s not something that will happen over night but I do want to at least try. In the process I vow to listen to my body and not push myself into sickness. I will be patient with myself because I do believe that running is still good for me.

In an article I read on LiveStrong they described the benefits of running for people with Crohns…

“A 2006 study in the “Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology” by N. Narula and colleague showed that exercise may decrease Crohn’s activity and reduce psychological stress.

Crohn’s patients are at increased risk for osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise like running can help build bone density and prevent osteoporosis.”

I’ve bulleted some tips I’m trying to stick to as I build myself back up to a long distance runner. This is just what I have learned from a little research and trial and error on my part. In no way am I saying it is what every runner who has Crohns should do. If anything, the thing I’ve learned the most about Crohns is how different each body is effected by the disease and how what works to tame it for one person can set someone else off into a furry of inflammation. So here is my list, for me, and you if you choose to give it a shot.

  • Have a solid basis of 3 to 4 mile runs then very slowly work mileage back up. I’m planning to do this for at least a month.
  • Don’t push your body past the point of no return. Listen to your body! If you feel things going south slow down or stop altogether. There’s no point in making yourself sick just to say you finished your goal time or mileage on that certain day. Some days are going to be better than others.
  • If you are going to try to go on a long run, make sure you know of places you can stop to go to the bathroom. The last thing you need is to be miles out, start to feel like you have to poo, and not have anywhere to go. The stress of that will make you have to go even worse!
  • Crohns already causes the body to sometimes suffer from dehydration. Going for runs speeds up dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and while running.

I’ve been trying really hard to stay hydrated lately and I think it’s been working. I ran 3.25 miles with a friend a few days ago and felt amazing the entire time and even after! Yesterday I ran hills with my little bro and actually survived! I will admit that at the steepest parts of the hill I did feel like I was going to poop my pants (don’t worry I didn’t). Brandon wisely pointed out though that the hill was so steep that at some points we were in a squatting position, pushing as hard as we could to make it to the top. Also remarkably similar to the position you take on the toilet to go poo. This made me feel better 🙂

So yes, I think the key right now is hydrate, hydrate and hydrate! Today I took the day off to relax (also a key point I think) but tomorrow I will wake up with my crazy brother at 5:30am to do P90X yoga and hills again later. I must say it’s nice to have my little bro back from Colorado. It gives me someone who gets my butt up in the early morning to work out. And I just love his company 🙂 

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Best times with my brother 🙂

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