It may sound like a given, but running can exacerbate gastrointestinal problems. Gas is caused by swallowing air while we eat and by the digestion of food. Running can contribute to the problem by causing you to swallow more air than you would if you were sedentary. Based on my experiences with multiple running teams, it seems as though distance runners are a gassy lot.
Generally, this is nothing to worry about. Putting on the after burners during a race will not affect your performance, although it could make somebody behind you uncomfortable. Combining the constant jostling of your stomach fluids, the increased intake of air as you breathe hard, and many healthy foods that are important to better race performances means that gas is inevitable during at least some if not most of your workouts.
If you can get used to it, then you will be fine. You may need to see what foods tend to make you gassier if it causes you to become distracted or cramped, so that you can avoid those foods immiediately preceding a race. If you are getting cramped, try this exercise before you begin a workout:
- Breathe in to your belly, gathering as much air as you can hold. It should take a few seconds to inhale.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as hard as you can. It should take at least twice or three times as long as it took to inhale.
- Try to make a foomph noise as you exhale.
You may look and sound funny, but it can help.
For more information, Active.com had an article about “What is normal gas?“