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  1. #1
    i believe in me evanyc's Avatar
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    cramp while running

    on my last two runs (wed and today) i got a cramp right below my rib cage on the right side. i've never had a problem with this before but both days i started cramping up just about a half mile into my runs. i tried to run through it but after about 2 miles or so it was unbearable. today i walked for about 5 minutes then did another mile and called it quits. any idea what could be causing this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member StalkerZERO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanyc
    on my last two runs (wed and today) i got a cramp right below my rib cage on the right side. i've never had a problem with this before but both days i started cramping up just about a half mile into my runs. i tried to run through it but after about 2 miles or so it was unbearable. today i walked for about 5 minutes then did another mile and called it quits. any idea what could be causing this?
    I'm not a "real" runner like the athletes that hang out around here but I think the term is having a "stitch". I know for me (and some others) I have it when I run too soon after I eat. When did you fuel up before the run?

  3. #3
    Mountain Climber cyclingfiend21's Avatar
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    try to take HUGE breaths when this happens to stretch the stomach area, it should work after 5-6 deep deep breaths...hope that helps

  4. #4
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    Probably not getting enough water, make sure you hydrate during the day. Maybe something you have been eating the last couple of days. Stand up straight when you are running too so your lungs are filling up. Besides the deep breathing I will pinch it. Just rip into your side with your finger and forefinger and pinch the spot for about 30 seconds. Mine usually occur below the rib cage so I can really dig in and pinch.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rplong's Avatar
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    by the way, training for a triathlon or a duathlon? I can't remember...

  6. #6
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    Hydration, not eating too soon before running, proper sodium/electrolytes, sometimes sretching works for people

  7. #7
    i believe in me evanyc's Avatar
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    training for a tri. i also totally botched my training schedule. the last three weeks have been insane for me (finishing school, job interviews, moving) so i only managed to work out three times in three weeks! my first try is june 17th. takin three weeks off just 4 weeks before my first race sucks.

    i generally try not to eat for at least an hour but usually more like 2 before i run. hydration is probably a big part of it. whenever i feel the cramp coming on i try to breathe deeply and that makes it hurt worse but if i stick with it maybe that'll help. stretching helps some. i'm gonna try to drink some gatorade or something with electrolytes before runs and see how that works. thanks!

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    wow, I have to say, you and I are in the same situation.

    I was about to post a thread asking how to prevent stitches because I'm in good shape but lately I've been getting them badly. I assumed it was hydration because I hadn't eaten much or had any water today. Thanks for posting the thread and thanks to everyone with the advice.

  9. #9
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rplong
    Probably not getting enough water...

    Or too much... depending on what s/he means by cramp...
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  10. #10
    multi-sport junkie dothedu's Avatar
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    It used to happen to me alot. I was told to work more on core training (sit ups, planks, ect.). This helped alot especially during my brick workouts and races where they used to show up. Now when i get one i can tell where it comes from, usually eating too close to my workout or hydration. Try throwing in a few core workouts throughout the week and i guarantee you will see the difference. When you get one try breathing in three parts- first fill your stomach then your diaphram and finally your chest, when you exhale start the same way starting with your stomach. Slow your pace slightly and try this breathing and maybe you can continue running without stopping

  11. #11
    i believe in me evanyc's Avatar
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    hmmmm, that's probably true. i haven't done a core workout in 4 weeks since i haven't been going to the gym much at all and have been working out outdoors almost entirely. time to get back at it.

    thanks again for the advice all

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    I get my cramps in the same spot, under the right rib cage area when i try to push on the run faster than i know i can go too early. If i push hard towards the end with like a mile left in a 5K, i wont cramp, but if i start pushing early, like in the first quarter of my run i get them so bad i have to walk. It really never has anythign to do with hydration, food comsumption or anything else for me. I've run on super full stomachs, and when i've been extremly dehydrated. I stretch my abdomen before every run briefly. You can push yourself, but do it realistically.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danv1317
    I get my cramps in the same spot, under the right rib cage area when i try to push on the run faster than i know i can go too early. If i push hard towards the end with like a mile left in a 5K, i wont cramp, but if i start pushing early, like in the first quarter of my run i get them so bad i have to walk. It really never has anythign to do with hydration, food comsumption or anything else for me. I've run on super full stomachs, and when i've been extremly dehydrated. I stretch my abdomen before every run briefly. You can push yourself, but do it realistically.
    You got it exactly right if the "cramp" is a "stitch." There are various reasons that causes stitches. The most common is pushing the run too fast like you said. Going too fast causes rapid, shallow breathing and you don't expel all the CO2 in your lungs. This makes the breathing even faster. The secret to avoiding stitches like this is breath deeply using "belly" breathes and control going out too fast. Also pressure with you hands over the area or pinching/grabbing the area as another poster said helps. But if its a stitch, I agree that food or hydration doesn have any bearing.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  14. #14
    Juicy Rowdy's Avatar
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    Usually a side stitch is the irritation of the ligaments from the diaphragm and liver. Try pushing up on your liver and see if that helps at all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    You got it exactly right if the "cramp" is a "stitch." There are various reasons that causes stitches. The most common is pushing the run too fast like you said. Going too fast causes rapid, shallow breathing and you don't expel all the CO2 in your lungs. This makes the breathing even faster. The secret to avoiding stitches like this is breath deeply using "belly" breathes and control going out too fast. Also pressure with you hands over the area or pinching/grabbing the area as another poster said helps. But if its a stitch, I agree that food or hydration doesn have any bearing.
    This is pretty much right the only thing I would add is normally a stich or cramp occurs on the same side your foot lands as you exhale. For example if you exhale everytime your right foot strikes the ground, this will increase the chance you will cramp on your right abdominal side. This is due to those muscles being contracted when the inpact of your step shoots up your body. All you need to do is either take longer deeper breathes so your exhale dosn't occur each time you make that step, or start exhaling when your other foot strikes the ground.

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