Gastrointestinal disturbance is very common among runners, and while the researchers aren’t sure exactly why that is they all agree it’s a common ailment. Probably something to do with your increased metabolism, blood not flowing through the intestines as it is diverted throughout the rest of your body, and just the general shaking of your internal organs as you run.
If you run marathons or longer races, then you are even more likely to feel a bowel movement coming on just from the sheer length of time your individual runs are.
No matter what the reason, you’ll eventually need to poop on a run. So what should you do?
First, you could try to find a rest room or port-a-potty somewhere.
The other option is to find a convenient, out of the way space where you won’t be disturbed. If you are running in or near the woods, that’s especially easy.
If you have the time, dig a small hole and try to land as much as you can in there. When are you done, break it up a little and bury it under the local soil or plant-growth to help speed up how long it takes to break down.
Try to avoid anything poisonous or that you might be allergic to, or anything with thorns or stingers. Also avoid defecating right next to or in a body of water, which can foul the water for the local animals or other passer-by.
If you are prone to problems, get used to carrying biodegradable toilet paper in your key pouch or a pocket.
This video offers a slightly more in-depth explanation about how to handle yourself and what to do, and assumes that you don’t have much in the way of supplies with you:
Whatever you do, just try to remember not to leave a mess right where people are likely to walk and try to clean up a little after yourself.