Side stitches can happen. Follow these tips the next time you feel an ache coming on—and learn how to prevent the pesky pain.
Plagued with mid-run side stitches? Do this next time you feel an ache coming on:
- Don’t panic! It’s only a cramp.
- Focus on maintaining relaxed, even breathing.
- Slow down and place your hand around the area that hurts.
- As you exhale, pinch this area between your fingers and thumb. Relax your hand as you inhale.
- Continue this pattern for five or six breaths.
- That should do the trick!
What’s a side stitch anyway?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually an invisible gnome stabbing your ribcage from the inside. A side stitch is a spasm in your diaphragm (or the surrounding ligaments), often brought on by fatigue.
The Best Cure is Prevention
Avoid the pain in the first place by…
- Hydrating properly
- Strengthening your core (think planks and pushups)
- Avoiding heavy foods two to four hours before running
- Focusing on breathing during workouts