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Urinary Inconvenience

Gotta Go at the Wrong Time


Updated September 09, 2013

Long lines at the porta-johns can be distressing

Long lines at the porta-johns can be distressing

Wendy Bumgardner ©
Definition: You don't have ongoing bladder control problems, but the need to urinate disrupts your walking workouts or participation in volksmarches or other walking events.

Not Alone: How often is too often to need to urinate? From long experience of being a trail master at volkssport walking events, I find that at least half of the walkers want a restroom available once an hour. The other half can endure through a two-hour walk.

Common Causes: Past pregnancy and childbirth, pelvic surgery, prostate enlargement and prostate surgery, menopause, urinary tract infection and your diet and drinking habits can all contribute to needing to urinate more often than is convenient.

Too frequent urination may be a sign of diabetes. Tell your medical care provider so you an be screened. Early detection and control of diabetes is essential to preventing the long term health consequences of the disease.


  • Avoid urethral and bladder irritants: caffeine, alcohol, tobacco.

  • Avoid drugs and supplements that make your kidneys more active and producing more urine: water pills, antidepressants, antihistamines and cough/cold preparations including herbal supplements such as ma huang.

  • Drink a large glass of water 1 hour before you go on your walk, then urinate immediately before beginning the walk. This ensures that you are well-hydrated but you will have eliminated any extra fluid before you start.

  • Do not be afraid to drink water as you walk - you will be eliminating it through sweat and it will not produce extra urine.

  • Limit coffee and other caffeine to the bare minimum in the 2 hours before you walk.

  • Urinate immediately before the start of your walk.

  • Double urinate - wait a few seconds after urinating and urinate again to ensure complete draining.

Treatment: Urination is natural and the sign that you are drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration. If your urine is dark yellow, you are not getting enough water. If it is straw-colored to colorless, you are are drinking enough water. Dehydration is dangerous and unhealthy. Having to urinate is merely inconvenient.

Plan Ahead: Listen to your body and know how often you will need to urinate. Plan your walking route to include a restroom at the needed interval. When attending walking events and races, ask where the rest stops will be along the route.

Help Links
Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Stress Urinary Incontinence

Next page >> No Toilets! How to S*** in the Woods

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