Head and shoulders shot of a man running in a tunnel, lit up by blue neon lights

Running tips from runners with Crohn's and Colitis

Run The Night is soon approaching! We've gathered some top tips for running from runners with Crohn's and Colitis. Here's what they said...

You know your body - listen to it!

I have Crohn's and an ileostomy and run up to half marathon distance. The best advice is to listen to your body... if you're tired, either rest or maybe go out on the bike and cross train. If you have a stoma bag, you may want to tape under it or get a towelling back cover because if the edge rubs it's very sore!

Sarah Clarke

Keep your cool

Since my surgery, I've fallen in love with running - so many years when I couldn't leave the house even to go to the shop, now I'm hitting trails and getting lost running. The main thing is not to panic - sometimes due to nerves and lack of sleep, my bag goes mad! Always remember that while you might not want to, you can stop running and go to the loo. Every day is different - don't push too hard but enjoy every minute.

Rachel Sarah Flint

Be kind to yourself

I started running after a big flare up nine years ago to make the most of the times when I was feeling okay. Since then, I've done 25 marathons all over the world and achieved times and results I would never have dreamed possible when I started. My main advice is to start slow and don't put pressure on yourself. Enjoy the journey and see where it takes you!

Jack Chivers

Don't hesitate to hydrate

Crohn's does mean I have to do things a bit differently from my athlete friends who don't have IBD. I take a large dose of loperamide (with my gastro's agreement) before races and I tend to have very little to eat before (usually a Cliff bar as they agree with me). I keep well hydrated during a race and use SIS gels, as I get on well with them

Lucinda Dixon

Keep it simple

1. Remember you're not a pro and nobody is expecting you to be.

2. Keep it simple and pragmatic; maybe one long run and one tempo run.

3. Enjoy it and keep focused on why you're doing it

Kim Drain

Try routine but expect change

I just follow my everyday routine - change anything and I'd be all over the place, bowels and legs. Usual breakfast before a run, leaving plenty of time to relax and 'log out' beforehand.

Hil Brown

Runs and races won't always go to plan - sometimes you need to find a pit stop, and sometimes you need to abandon a run completely.

Mel Williams

Keep motivated

I've travelled solo with Crohn's to run 5 different marathons in European countries. Here are some tips:

1. Music - get yourself some anthems! These can be guilty pleasures such as Celine Dion.

2. Have mantras and quotes to tell yourself, and break the run up into segments in your head as every step gets you closer to the finish.

3. Remind yourself that you are going to be so proud when you finish as it's not just a marathon but a marathon whilst running with an invisible illness.

Alexandra Smart

Have fun!

We know Run The Night is looking different this year, but we still want you to have fun!

Check out our Spotify playlist made to motivate you...ready, set, GLOW!

Want to take part?

Check out all of our fundraising and social events.


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Helpline service


We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Our helpline team can help by:

  • Providing information about Crohn’s and Colitis.

  • Listening and talking through your situation.

  • Helping you to find support from others in the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

  • Signposting you to specialist organisations.

Please be aware we’re not medically or legally trained. We cannot provide detailed financial or benefits advice or specialist emotional support.

Please contact us via telephone, email or LiveChat - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except English bank holidays).

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If you need specific medical advice about your condition, your GP or IBD team will be best placed to help.

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