Farts Don’t Make You Fast Guys…

Written by: Jonny Stevens

Farting man

Sorry Mom. I’m writing about farts today. Take solace in the fact that it’s for the benefit of all the Run2Run readers, some of whom will take the information in this post and use it to improve their training, get faster, make the olympics, and win a medal for the U.S. of A.


A post on iflscience.org  (the spoof site of iflscience.com) a few days ago claims that timed farting will boost your running performance. The fact that it is on essentially a poorly thought out version of the Onion has not stopped it from being shared on facebook hundreds of times, so we thought why not take a look at its claims.

Most runners are pretty in tune with their bodily functions and know what to eat and more importantly what NOT to eat before runs so they aren’t making a sprint to Mrs. Murphy’s bushes mid-tempo. Eating farty foods (note: I am not a trained nutritionist so there could be a more scientific, less funny word to describe those foods) before a run in an effort to gain a competitive advantages sounds risky at best. Often, I find that what follows farts is a solid reason to stop your run entirely.

Best Case Scenario is that it's a solid reason. Sometimes it's a little runny.
Best case scenario is that it’s a solid reason. Sometimes it’s a little runny.

While poop stories are funny, you shouldn’t go around looking for trouble. I once had a coach say that you weren’t a real runner until you pooped yourself in a race. But I’m pretty sure there are some Olympians who have not pooped mid-race, so I will continue to respectfully disagree what that maxim.

When I was coaching, a freshman kid asked, “What do you do if you have to poop really badly in the middle of a big race and you can’t stop?” I said “Depends.”


Until Galen Rupp adds the adult diaper to his racing kit, let’s all just agree that this is a last option.

I would however, be interested in reading some scientific research about this method (Steve Magness where you at!?). Hardly the bastion of scientific accuracy IFLScience.org doesn’t even attempt to make clear what about farting makes you go faster. The headline says it will help with your pacing, while the article compares it to the nitrous Paul Walker and crew use in the Fast and Furious movies.

Johnny tran too soon
^Teammates when you don’t quite make it to the bathroom in time.

The reason nitrous works for a paintball gun is that the nitrous or CO2 is compressed into the canister then released through a small opening at a high velocity. I highly doubt that you are able to ramp up the psi of your bowels to the 750-1000 range, even if you use this product (note to self: clear search history after this post).

For the Fast and Furious types N2O works because it cools the engine allowing for more oxygen to burn, then releases more oxygen when the N2O breaks down.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are not an internal combustion machine. In fact, if you have internal combustion inside your rectum you are in for a <a< span=””> href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Jt_g10Jug”>world of hurt.

The post also claims that some runners are butt chugging whippets in order to gain a competitive advantage. Again, that doesn’t sound like anything other than a sore butt, but we are now lucky enough to have the phrase “butt chugging whippets” as part of our collective running lexicon. Woe to the person who wants to make an ice cream sunday after their ultra-competitive, morally lacking, believes-anything-they-see-shared-on-facebook roommate get’s their hands on the whipped cream.

"Hey have you seen the cool whi-ohmy-MY-GOD! STOP IT! I THATS FOR EATING!"
“Hey have you seen the cool whi-ohmy-MY-GOD! STOP IT! I THATS FOR EATING!”

So we’ve decided 100% that this article is stupid, and if you shared it on facebook without a disclaimer saying “Well duh, obviously this isn’t true, but it’s funny to think about a 56 year-old marathoner who has a proprietary farting method to make you better at running” then you probably need to reassess how you get your running tips.

Go buy a a training guide from actual coaches like Brad Hudson or Jack Daniels. Or get help from a nutritionist.

I suppose there is a kernel of truth in the fart story. The better you eat and fuel yourself, the better you can run. And often fruits and veggies can cause you to be a little more regular than you….regularly are. allow myself to introduce myself


Also Emma Coburn eats bean cupcakes! That’s worth at least 6 farts and 10 seconds in the steeple!

Jonny Stevens is a skier and hockey player who got tricked into doing cross country as a freshman in high school. After running for the University of Colorado for 5 years he returned to the mountains and worked for a non-profit while tricking freshmen into running xc at his alma mater. Then he was lured back to Boulder by the chance to work for run2run.

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