How to Pee on a Run (For Women)

By Amanda Theobald

Hey, all you female runners: Ever wonder what to do when you really need to pee while out on a run, and there’s no nearby port-a-potty? You’re not alone. Fortunately, we know the technique for how to pee on a run. Trust us, you will appreciate and succeed at this useful recommendation.

Peeing on a run is a pretty important, yet overlooked skill for a runner to have. It can come in really handy on long runs, trail runs, and race day.

A man’s experience with peeing in public is very different from a woman’s. Men need little instruction, but I am here to say women can have this same convenience, while being fairly inconspicuous.

Is it okay to pee outside? I went to Manhattan this summer and it smelled like pee everywhere I went, which may answer the question about whether it is okay to pee outside. Honestly, though, I am not advocating that we not try to find toilets or avoid port-a-potties at races or avoid lines or odors by going all natural. I would hate for everywhere to smell like pee. Nevertheless, sometimes you just gotta go.

Also, from my understanding (brought to you by greenanswers.com) it isn’t especially bad for the environment to be introduced to urine. It may damage some plant materials but is generally absorbed and neutralized by the soil. However, it is bad to pee near water sources because that can damage the environment.

Is it normal to need to pee? As you know you should consume about 16-30 ounces of water for one hour of exercise depending on weight and sweat rate. Check out this article for more information on hydrating. With all that extra water you may need to go pee at some point.

Perhaps you experience “panic pee”. This is the feeling of being about to pee your pants right before a race, regardless of how empty your bladder may be. I certainly have to pee a lot more on race morning from all the extra hydrating I’ve done the past couple days.

The Technique

As I said men need little instruction in this area, but many women do. I remember other college runners I knew talking about peeing at starting lines and thinking “how in the world is this happening? These girls must be much more comfortable with their bodies than I ever will be.” But then one of them taught me this technique. Actually she just told me to squat down and pull my shorts to one side. But let me give you a bit more detail. So instead of doing a normal squat put your left knee to the ground while the other leg is at a right angle to the ground. You should not be sprawled out in this position, but actually pretty compact. Then with one hand in the front of your body and one hand behind move all of the fabric between your legs to the right. It is important to have one hand behind you because that fabric may get in the way and become soiled. I have had this happen before; one more reason to always use synthetic wicking materials, they dry really fast. This position actually provides a lot of coverage by either leg; sometimes I even put my knees closer together to be more discreet. Nevertheless, I try to have at least a tree behind me and slightly to the left for extra security.

You’re welcome! I have been thanked by every girl that I have showed this to. You might not feel the same way, in fact you may be offended. If you’re not comfortable with it then by all means don’t try it. You’re really not missing out on anything. For some of you, this information might come in handy. For some of you this may be irrelevant because you might just drop trou and throw discretion out the window. Wherever you fit in, I hope no one ends up with wet shorts, because that can make a run much less enjoyable.
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