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Running and stitches


Scot
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So I have been running 4, maybe 5 times a week mostly 5K's or smaller, faster runs. I've never had stitches before but for some reason recently it's been worse than ever. Always at the same distance into a run, about 2K. It's unbearable and I normally have to stop.

I don't eat and hour before running and have tried to alter my breathing but it still happens! Anyone got some hints and tips to prevent/get rid of, stitches?

Edited by Scot
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I forget where I read it (somewhere reputable I know), but plenty of water. I had this and I drink about a litre of water before 5K - you feel a bit full for a few mins but after that you'll be fine.

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I forget where I read it (somewhere reputable I know), but plenty of water. I had this and I drink about a litre of water before 5K - you feel a bit full for a few mins but after that you'll be fine.

See I was always told to avoid water directly before. Cheers though, I'll definitely try this.

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Sip your water, I sip throughout the day intermittently. Never drink a cup of water before a run. And chew your food, like really chew it till it turns to mush. I feel like a hypocrite, regularly eating meals in about 1 minute but it does help!

Edited by smarty90
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Staying hydrated definitely helps, and as has been mentioned, sipping is better than a belly full of sloshing liquid.

Personally, and anecdotally, I find that changes in my diet tend to contribute to increased numbers of stitches. I find that if I've consumed more sugary/fatty foods in the days before, then I get stitches.

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my method of stitch removal is: check how you're breathing when you run. If you normally breathe in when your right foot hits the ground, swap it round, so that you breathe in on a left foot strike. And the fitter you get, the less you'll get it.

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Do you warm up before you train? I have heard its something to do with the intercostal muscles cramping but i don't know how true that is as i've heard so many theories regarding stitches.

If have also heard that if you are topping up on water you should warm it up in your mouth first but again i've no idea.

I dont think anyone knows really what it is, but i've found that as i became fitter they stopped

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I felt a stitch coming on during my bleep test the other day. It was disgraceful, until about a year ago I was regularly running 5 miles, and even 8 and 10 miles in good time!

Now the weather's looking up I think I'll get back out there soon.

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Have a few days off maybe? I know you can really do nothing but cardio and you don't need rest days but if you're frequently getting this issue give it a shot

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