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How to prevent a side stitch when running

Running on a treadmill is fantastic exercise for your cardiovascular health. But a sharp pain in the side is not only uncomfortable, but it can mean the end of a workout if it’s severe enough.

We do not know exactly what causes side stitches but there are some effective strategies that can help prevent this common problem from occurring.

All about the core
A stitch relates to the stabbing pain felt below the ribs, most likely a spasm in the diaphragm. Therefore, strengthening your core muscles and activating them when exercising (and even running) will help make them more resilient to fatigue and cramps.

Mum always say not be eat 30 minutes before a swim. And it’s a similar story when running – if your body is busy digesting food just before or while you’re exercising, there is less blood flowering to the diaphragm which in turn causes spasms. If possible, avoid eating or drinking sugary drinks at least two hours before working out.

Warming Up
We all know our muscles need to get warm first in order to function properly and avoid injury. So it makes sense that investing in two to three minutes of brisk walking before launching into a run can also warm up your mid-section and reduce the likeliness of irregular breathing patterns that could leave you in pain.

Deep Breathing
Getting enough oxygen around your body is crucial to your muscles when exercising. Research shows that breathing “faster” – ie inhale for two steps, exhale for one step – increases the depth of breath.  Try also breathing in via your nose and exhaling via your mouth to maintain this depth of breath pattern and also avoid a dry mouth.

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