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when i run i sometimes get a cramp/pain in the lower abdominal area, either on one or both sides, it feels similar to a stitch, does anyone know what this might be? how would i prevent it?

what is the best way to breath when running? short fast breaths or longer, deeper breaths?
 

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unless it's stomach cramps..... food/hydration related probably.

it quite likely is a stitch..... debates on what causes a stitch still ongoing i'm sure peeps will be along with various techiques get rid of them such as:

changing breathing pattern, often you always breath in/out as the same foot impacts each time.
tensing the abs on that side as if someone is about to punch you.
stopping and stretching them out.
touch your toes (stop running first)

i found my stitch problems went away when i started doing swimming/triathlon as my core muscles became stronger.
 

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I went on our training run last night like i do every tuesday and never struggled before, last night i had to stop 6 times due to a tightness in my chest and lower abs. I even had to take off my heart rate monitor because i felt it too was strangling me.

I have never experienced this before just on a training session.

Saying that we did a 5k time trial tuesday aswell and it was my fastest time yet.
 

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I've been suffering from this as well. I've only just started running (been going about a month now) and only run very small distances.. don't laugh but I'm managing 1.2 miles without stopping...

I know this is small fry to folks on here but I think if I wasn't getting the 'stitches' I could do more distance. I wondered if it was due to not warming up properly or maybe that my water that I drink as I run is too cold?? (maybe a daft idea but a thought that crossed my mind all the same)..

I found this forum to try and find a cure to the problem and have since read that warm-ups for my level of running are not necessary..

So, does anyone think it could be that I'm drinking water and/or the water is too cold or something??

Any other reasons for these stitches?

Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer..

;)
 

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how much water ? how soon before running ?

come to think of it..... how long do you leave between eating and running ?
 

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I normally leave at least an hour or so after eating before running and normally drink about a 500ml of water whilst running and normally a pint of water ten minutes or so before I set off..

Do you think this could cause it?

:huh:
 

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nearly a litre of water to run 1.2 miles?....
i guess you could try reducing this, although keep an eye out for signs of dehydration.

foodwise, depending on the run & the food i leave a good 2hrs after a proper meal.
some simple foods, porridge / ceral / rice pud etc i can get away with less.

one of the possible causes of stitches is movement/rubbing of internal organs.. which can in be excacerbated by having more food (i.e. weight) in them.
althoguh there are many theories about stitches!
 

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to echo ed's post... I'd leave 2 hours after eating before hitting the road and also I wouldn't bother with drinking the pint of water before you set out, depending on conditions I usually won't drink anything during my long runs of circa 14miles, and not drink anything in the 30mins leading up to the start of the run.

Don't think you're not doing anything great by 'only running very short distances' it seems like only yesterday that I could only manage about 1.5 miles without stopping (in reality its 2 years now, but seems like much less!). Keep at it and you'll find it much easier as time goes on, but I'd certainly say that drinking over a litre of water for that kind of distance is far too much and could well be contributing to, if not causing your discomfort!
 

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Hi thanks for your replies.

It's actually 2.4 miles... its just that I can only do 1.2 without stopping :embarrassed:

I hear what you're saying and when I go out today I'm going to leave it at least 2 hours after eating and only drink on the way round if I really need to...

I'll report back and see if that's helped.

In the meantime, thanks very much for the advice.

Richard, thanks for your words of encouragement, I console myself with my 2 mile or so run by thinking that at least its better than nowt! :d

I would like to aim for the 2009 marathon but I'll have to see how it goes. :eek:
 

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Sounds not dissimilar to how I started... my route was 1.9 miles, at first I couldn't make it all the way round but it wasn't too long before I could make the loop in one go, then I started planning alternative routes that were a bit longer and just slowly built it up! You're darn right it's better than doing nothing, especially when you have aspirations to go further!

A Marathon in 2009 is not an unreasonable expectation at all... assuming no major setbacks you should be fine! :d
 

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Richard

I followed the advice.. it had been over 2 hours since I had eaten when I ran today. I didn't drink any water beforehand.

I took water with me and managed to run approx. 1.6 miles without stopping (a personal best). Then I walked for a bit and had a drink of water, not a lot though (as Paul Daniels was fond of saying) and shortly after I got a major stitch.

This meant I had to walk for about a quarter of a mile and then I managed to run/limp the rest.

I completed the 2.4 miles in 22.31 which, by my reckoning, is an average of 9 mins 30secs a mile... I'm quite chuffed with this. I've only timed myself once before (on Tuesday this week) and it was 25.05 for the 2.4 miles.

So... I'm thinking that the water might be causing the stitches.. will experiment further on Saturday (my next run).

Many thanks for your help

JT :)
 

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Hmmm.... how much time are you spending running? If you're averaging 9:23 min/mile(by my calcs) and you're walking sections of it too, it would indicate to me that you're running at quite a pace! Tonnes of people run slower than 9:30 min/mile pace without walking, so it suggests to me you may be going off quicker than your body wants to. I'd say on your next run, go out and run a lot slower, almost to the point where you feel you'd be walking if you went much slower, and then see how far you can manage. At typical easy running pace you should still be able to hold a conversation, if not, the chances are you're going too fast.

It might be worth you running as you normally do, and timing how long it takes you to complete the 1.4/1.6 mile run? That'd give us an idea of what pace you're running and a better idea as to whether it may be too fast or not.

I'm not saying it's definately the answer, but likely a number of things linked together, couple this with the eating/drinking regime you tried today and hopefully it'll help a little more :d

Keep us all updated - we'll get to the bottom of it soon ;)
 

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I'd go with the water/food thing... but also another GI-related issue might be... poo? Heh, not a nice idea, but "performance enhancing poos" (ie those done just before leaving the house) are a must.

If I'm running after lunch it has to be 4 hours later, with only some fruit an hour or so before... I hate the feeling of being weighed down by anything, and it's probably not healthy, but my long runs which so far have gone up to 9.5 miles have been done first thing in the morning on only a banana and half a bottle of lucozade sport.
 

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Interesting thoughts... I didn't think I was running too fast but maybe I am. I certainly couldn't hold a conversation whilst running unless I learnt to communicate via gasps and wheezes...

My next run is Saturday so I'll go slow and see what happens.

almost_no_specifics, thanks for the tip.. I'll try and squeeze one out before my run on Saturday :d

A big thanks for all the advice so far and I'll certainly keep you posted :)
 
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