My college health teacher told me some tips for that and I have never had problems since....
Warm up, relax, try to breathe as normally as you can, slow your pace, and lastly (the one that helps the most)...She said usually you get a side stich/cramp from having your diaphram out of rhythm.
When you feel that coming on, try to relax, but when you exhale push your stomach inward (think about squeezing a bottle)...I have found this (making sure you are pulling your stomach in while you exhale) seems to get the best results....
Hope this helps...
If you are training just for fitness, recreation, or fun (and not serious racing/athletics), then I say you are probably training at too fast a pace. For me, when I took Galloway book advice and targeted training at 2 mins/mile slower than what I thought I could do if I really tried, I never again had rib cramps/stitches. Then, I slowly picked up the pace to get back to where I had dropped down from, but without discomfort or pain. My rule is that you should not stop because of rib pain or being winded, but because your running muscles tell you that its time, or you are sticking to a methodical plan.
take that approach and you reach your goals with less chance of injury or the demotivation of stopping because of pain.
that's what worked for me in going from a ceiling of a half mile to 22 miles.
When having this issue in training my track coach recommended dropping and doing some crunches. The blood flow from the crunches cured the problem evey time. Try to give yourself sufficient time between eating and running as this is a big cause of cramping. If you don't have the energy to run on an empty stomach drink some Gatorade. Pepto Bismol is also great for stomach acid issues when running, but should be taken at least 20 minutes ahead of time.
I have had the same problem. I figured out to I needed some light food in my stomach. If I ran on an empty stomach it would happen to me. I needed to eat about 30 min before running. Try it without eating then with eating. I also started using muscle milk with water. Don't eat a lot just something and drink something as well. Warm up then do your run see if it still happens. That is how I worked it out for myself. Good luck cramps suck.
I've had the same problems in the recent past... I took a form class at the local running store here in Okemos, MI (as they're free). You might check to see if you have one in your area. Anyways, I was instructed to begin a whole new journey of correcting my form. Starting at the "core". I found out that your running form is only as efficient and pain-free as your core is strong. Once I began focusing on my core for 15 minutes, 3 times a week, I noticed... hey!... no more cramps! RIGHT ON! Here's a link that might get you started: Core Strengthening Exercises
I'd love to hear what you find works for you & take care,
I use a similar strategy as Runr262. I think it's usually about relaxing. I loosin up my my arms and get them further from my body. Relax my hands. Take deeper breathes to get more oxygen in the body. Sometimes I'll slow down my pace and rest my hands on my head to open up my lungs more.
Often I get the cramps if I run on an empty stomach or if I didn't warm up before the run.
I had this problem when I ate before I ran. Now I run before I eat, but only for 45 minutes max, to not go into starvation mode.
Lots of great ideas above. I think I might have to try some new strategies.
If you specifically mean the stitches under the ribs on the right side, here is a great article that explains it:
I've tried the thing about always landing on the left foot while exhaling and found it didn't always work. Taking longer, fuller breaths helps sometimes too.
I agree with some of the entires below...pre-run hydration preparation...i.e. the night before and before you run. Also, post run hydration to prepare for the next run or next workout.
However; when you get a side cramp during a race or a run, the best way to get rid of it is to...
1.) Relax your body, especially your torsoe.
2.) try to burp up, or make yourself burp...I know it sounds weird, but don't knock it until you try it. The motion or process of you trying to conjure a burp works out the cramp.
3.) Squeeze the area of the cramp.
Let me know how it goes...
When I get a stitch in my side, I make sure that I "belly breathe". Relax your stomach muscles and expand your stomach as you breathe in and contract it as you breathe out. Works every time for me.
Boston Marathon Finisher
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