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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:50 AM

Need help with side stitches.

Can anyone suggest a good, pre-run warmup to head these off, or any kind of exercise outside of running that I can do? I'm going to adjust the times I eat before running to see if that makes a difference, but from the reading I've done, I'm not clear exactly what kind of exercises may help with these too.

Thanks in advance!

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Reply Need help with side stitches. (Original post)
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 OP
Inkfreak Feb 2013 #1
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #2
sir pball Feb 2013 #3
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #4
2theleft Feb 2013 #5
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #6
2theleft Feb 2013 #7
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #8
2theleft Feb 2013 #9
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #10

Response to AngryOldDem (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:15 PM

1. I often get those

Now, I'm not an expert by any means. I've been running for about 3yrs now & just pick stuff up from reading or my buddy, a fitness pro. I have had a lot of success with breathing exercises & core & back training. Strengthening up the core helps me control my breathing a lot. Now, I'm 6ft 5inch & 210lbs so my pace & breathing is different than some I suppose. I try to make sure I take deep breathes & full exhales. That sounds obvious as I type it... But I hope ya get what I mean. In between the huffin & puffin.

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Response to Inkfreak (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 05:47 PM

2. Yeah, I know what you mean.

I need to work on my core, I think, and my posture.

I was out just now (first time outside in weeks, because of weather and work schedule) and the pain came back again, around the 2 mile mark, which was about where it started the other day. I stopped, walked through it, and decided as an experiment to do one mile, trying to keep a straighter posture while breathing more deeply. That helped.

I'm going to find some core exercises.

It also doesn't help either that I seem to have lost some of the endurance I had built up, because of weather and work. It's frustrating, but I keep telling myself it's temporary -- spring and longer days are coming.

Thanks for the advice.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:47 PM

3. They're very hard to preempt

You can do core strength work to try and stave them off, but since the Men In White Coats don't even know what they are exactly let alone what triggers the,, there's no really good preventative. In my 20+ years running it just seems that some people are more prone to them and there's not much you can do; build your intensity slowly while making sure to breathe deeply until you're up to workout level.

WHEN you do get them, my surefire cure is to drop back just a little, put your hands on top of your head and inhale-exhale fully while focusing on pushing your stomach in and out as much as possible with each breath (to learn the motion, we laid on our backs with books on our stomachs and tried to move them as far as possible). It looks silly and it's a bit awkward but it works like a charm.

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Response to sir pball (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:27 AM

4. Thanks.

I'm going to try the breathing exercise. (And I have been paying more attention to my breathing.) I also read somewhere that chewing gum helps, and I'm trying that, and so far that's working too.

I think what this could have been was more of a muscle pull than a side stitch. But I do occasionally get the stitches so it's good to have some new tools in my kit to fend them off.

I was able to run five miles comfortably yesterday, which was a big load off my mind. I was afraid this would be a nagging thing for awhile.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:46 PM

5. This is what works for me...

I trained for a marathon several years ago. This was the advice from one of the coaches on the team.... When you get a stitch, take two short breaths in, long breath out while you run. Do not change your pace. I found that I would take the quick breaths in time to each foot hitting the ground, exhale in the time it took both feet to do a rotation. Gone in a matter of seconds. Was amazing how quickly it worked.

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Response to 2theleft (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:04 AM

6. I've got a five-mile race this morning and if that happens I'll definitely try this.

Thanks.

Wish me luck -- I'm not going into this race in top form. Haven't been able to get out much this week, plus I'm still feeling the effects of a fall I took on black ice.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:03 AM

7. OH NO! Black Ice!

I hope you are not too injured from your fall.

How did it go?

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Response to 2theleft (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:05 PM

8. Not my best race.

But then, this is only my second attempt at a longer distance than 3 miles, so I'm trying to put some perspective on it. I finished in about 51 minutes, with a 10-something per minute pace. Seventh out of 16 in my age group. The stitch came back and I had to walk some.

Some races you feel good about; others, not so much, I guess. Just frustrating. A lot of things right now seem to be working against me, from the weather to my job. I can't get out as often as I would like, and the treadmill is a sad second option.

Yeah -- the fall was bad. Happened two weeks ago tomorrow. I'm just grateful I wasn't up to full steam (I was at the corner down from my house, so I was just getting started) and didn't land on my head or full on my back. My tailbone took the hit and it's still barking at me from time to time.

Thanks for asking.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:50 PM

9. 10 something minute pace is good for me.

I'm not a fast runner at all. Actually haven't run in a while - hip flexor and torn ligament in my toe during marathon training. 8 weeks of PT. Scared to get back at it.

Not being a "natural" runner and picking it up in my 30's, the hardest jump was from 3 miles to 5 miles for me. After 5, adding more on wasn't that big of a deal... No matter how often I ran, pushing from 3-5 was the hardest. My body was like, why do more than 3??? So, be proud that you made it and there is no shame in walking a bit from a stitch.

Google stitches - there are tons of tricks out there to try. Sorry the one I offered didn't work for you. You will find something that works.

Congrats on making it through the race!

PS - i have broken my butt bone twice. NO FUN. Nothing they can do for it, so no real need to go to the doc, but if it is broken, you will feel it for months and months. Doc said it takes so long to heal because they can't cast it. Sitting on pillows helped me. Might want to try - even if it is not broken and just majorly bruised, it gives some relief.

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Response to 2theleft (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:07 PM

10. I think that's what I did -- I cracked it.

I started running when I was 50 (53 this year). I agree this jump from 3 to 5 has been hard. I'm feeling a little better about it now. I will still try your suggestion -- I may need to just focus more on my breathing and see if that doesn't help.

Some days my tailbone hurts like a mother. I'm taking Aleve for it when the pain gets too intense and that helps. I do sit in a rather cushioned chair at work and at home (I'm a little like Archie Bunker when it comes to "my chair" at home -- if someone's in it, they know to move), but some days it aches like a bad tooth.

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