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Running Tips: Preventing Side Stitches

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If you’re a regular runner, you can deal with anything—a headache, muscle pain, blisters, etc. But a side stitch? That always puts off a runner!

A side stitch is a piercing pain in your lower abdomen. When it keeps increasing, you might struggle to go on. It could even ruin your flow.

Here are a few things you could try to prevent side stitches:

  • Work on your core: Most of your strength comes from the core. If your core muscles are weak, they tend to tense up often. A stronger core will assist you in your runs.
  • Focus on the breath: If your muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen, they can tense up and cause cramps. So, it is crucial to maintain an even breathing pattern to avoid side stitches.
  • Gap after meals: After a meal, your stomach is occupied in carrying out a major activity—digestion. It becomes hard to assist you with running and digesting at the same time. Remember to keep a gap of 2-3 hours between your meal & your run.
  • Take a step back: When you’re motivated, you might want to run fast and hard from the start. However, this can lead to side stitches if you’re not mindful about your breathing. Take a step back or quit if the pain is unbearable! You can always run again later.

Don't be demotivated if you’re keeping the above points in check, and a side stitch still occurs. It happens to the best of runners. You can learn here how to minimize a side stitch mid-run.

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