I truly struggled on what to call this message. Urine feels so clinical. But pee, piss, piddle, or even tinkle felt too immature, or possibly offensive. So, I decided to call it what the doctors do. 

People ask me so many questions about how I handle this particular kind of bathroom-ing during endurance training and races: 

Can you pee while swimming (like while actually moving)? Yes.

Can you, and do you, pee while on the bike? Yes, and I do recommend. When I first started triathlon, I was proud of the fact that I never had to go during a half ironman (or even full). That’s 2.5-6.5 hours of sweating profusely while pushing my body to it’s limits. Yes, I was seriously dehydrated and likely caused some pretty gnarly long term damage to my kidneys. DO NOT recommend. 

Can you, and do you, pee while running? Yes, I can—and like many of you, I sometimes unintentionally do. But, I try to not make this a habit since I don’t like wet, smelly (often ruined) running shoes. So, I don’t recommend this one either. I will take the couple minute time loss of stopping in the porta potty. 

Do you pee in the pool? I didn’t want to include this question, but in the spirit of being a fully honest human… I don’t do this on the regular, but yes— I have. 

However you call it, we all know that peeing is part of life. Here are a few tips to make sure all is well when nature calls. 

  • It might not be true that, as Billy Madison said, “you ain’t cool unless you pee your pants,” but it is absolutely true that you won’t feel like your body is functioning optimally unless you are well hydrated. Refer to this urine color chart. Know the other warning signs of dehydration
  • Athletes, and all others who spend a lot of time sweating, need to take in electrolytes. During and after hot weather workouts, during and after indoor workouts (even in the winter), and throughout the day. I am not suggesting that you sit at your computer chugging sugary Gatorades. Try a no carb option, like Nuun tablets, or a homemade drink. 
  • PLEASE talk to your doctor about your options if peeing your pants becomes something that is regularly negatively impacting your daily life. 
  • Bodies change. Get blood work done 1-2 times annually to check for any imbalances and to check kidney function. Pay attention to the color of your urine, and go to the doctor when things just aren’t right. Males need to know the warning signs of prostate problems. Females will benefit from knowing the potential changes surrounding urination during pregnancy and menopause. And we all should be educated on potential warning signs of urinary tract infections and kidney stones. 

What comes out of your body (or doesn’t), are some of the best indicators of how everything is functioning internally. Please pay attention. 

If staying hydrated is cool, consider me Miles Davis. 😉