Preparing for Sports and Staying Active with a Stoma
Before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I was an avid runner who trained at least 4-5 times a week running distances ranging from 5k to half marathon. As my condition got progressively worse, this diminished to near to nothing as I was unable to run with the accidents and being too far from the toilet.
After my Panproctocolectomy surgery just over 12 months ago, as part of the recovery process I mostly walked small distances until my wounds had healed and then slowly increased the distances. I bought myself a road bike with the aim of improving my strength and my fitness without the impact of running. I started my cycling and slowly built up the miles.
I am now trying to train at least 3-4 times a week, between running and the bike. Even with an ileostomy this is possible. I find the running a little bit more uncomfortable than the cycling but the running is made easier while wearing a support belt that I was provided through my stoma nurses. This helps to stop my bag from jiggling about while running. When cycling, I don’t wear the support belt as I find my cycling shorts help keep my bag secure and in place. I always carry some spare supplies in a bag on my bike for those “just incase” scenarios on longer rides. This just gives me a bit more confidence.
During the last few months, I have participated in various events raising money and awareness for Crohns & Colitis including the Carten100 (Cycling 100 miles from Cardiff to Tenby) and the Prudential Ride London 100 mile ride last weekend. During these events the biggest obstacle that I have faced is dehydration.
As an Ostomate, dehydration can be a massive issue but this is even more important as an “active” Ostomate. I have found that using hydration/ electrolyte tablets such as the Hi5 or Wiggle ones added to my water bottles really does help towards this issue, but also making sure that you use the event water and feed stations if they are available are great to top up your water bottles. If you are only on training rides/ runs local pubs, cafes or even McDonalds would be more than happy to fill your bottles up for you.
Since using the Pelican Vitamin E bags I have found that these are great while running, cycling and even swimming. I find that the adhesive on the bag gets more secure against my skin when it gets warm so that gives me the confidence to keep active. I find that as well as giving me confidence and security, the Vitamin E bags help keep my skin healthy after long hours of training. I don’t have to worry about my bag becoming loose or making my skin sore.
As an Ostomate my support network plays a key part of my motivation, during my time with UC I created a Facebook group called IBD Runners & Riders. This group now has around 800 members who are all UC or Crohns sufferers who are all active and then provide support and motivation to each other.
Dan uses our Platinum with Vitamin E bags to keep him secure and confident when training, as well as keeping his skin healthy. If you would like to find out more or order your samples, click here.
To donate or contribute to Dan’s Just Giving page, click here.