Problems with Fitness

hey guys, i was just wandering if anyone could pass on some tips about running,

I used to be a really good runner when i was younger, i started running again (training wise) about 4-5 weeks ago, the first few times were fine, but after about 2-3 runs every time i ran from then on i would get a stitch and i cant get around it, i've checked the net and it comes up with breathing techniques and dont eat or drink before running etc. tried all of that i still get it, i ran the other day and controlled my breathing by exhaling every time my left foot hit the ground and it was a fine run, but the next few times no such luck? if anyone has any advice what-so-ever or anything similar please let me know, thanks
This isn't really going to help. However, when I get stitch, which I do almost constantly when running, I just suck it up. Just keep running through the pain, and for Gawd's sake try not to cry.
You need to stretch your diaphragm whilst running, if you want to get rid of the stitch. Do this by taking deep breaths whilst running, pursing your mouth like you are about to whistle, and exhaling as forcefully as you can.

What you're doing with this method is creating resistance against your diaphragm contracting. In layman's terms, you're stretching it.

It works for me. As does holding my breath if I get a stitch. KEEP MOVING though.
Sounds like you might lack a little core stability if you haven't trained for a long time. Try getting some variety into your exercise. Replace one of you runs with circuits or something similar. Try to do some ab and arm exercises when you get in from a run.

Set yourself a goal, maybe something like the following:

Start off with 100 ab reps but split it up into, for example, 20 crunches, 20 half sits, 20 reverse sits (lie down, bend 90 degs at watse, legs straight up and try to lift you hips off of the floor, 20 twist sit ups, 20 normal sits. If you can do these exercises on a "Swiss Ball" all the better.

Follow up with 100 press ups but break it down as follows: 10 reps, 20 reps, 30 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps

The above should go some way to strengthening your core stability (would suggest you get some professional advice to support the above). You won't see an instant improvement, however, things should better after a few weeks.

As an after thought. If you have had a really painful stitch recently that has hurt even some time after you have stopped, it might be that you have strained something. Take it easy for a few days and then break into the running gently when you start. Not withstanding what Death said above, you are better stopping and stretching off rather than running through (unless you are on a selection course with some phsyco PTI breathing down your neck!!)
okay, i'll try the core stability thing, i didnt realise doing work like that would help? but i'll try it
as for running through it, i tried that once, the next day my stitch was there constantly even when i walked, the pursing of the lips i tried as well, it doesnt seem to make much difference, sooner or later the stitch always comes back, it just worries me a little seeing as though i have my RCB briefing in Sep, i'll try the techniques however, Thanks
Probably stating obvious but main cause of a stitch for me is if i drink or eat too much before exercise. I think its two hours after eating you should wait. I found it odd that drinking had the same effect as well. Sorry if this is a bit of a bone post.
As has been alluded to in the above posts, the problem is your body not being used to the level of activity you are asking it to carry out. The specific part that is posing you a problem is your diapraghm which is essentially a thin film of contstrictive muscle tissue covered in connective tissue, which acts to seperate the contents of your thorax (your lugs and heart) from your abdomen (your gut etc) and to aid in respiration by expanding and contracting the chest cavity.

When you run or exercise, the diaphragm (like most other muscles) is moved about more than normal. This leads to the pain in the side that is called 'A stich'. The best cure for it is to gradually increase your exercise, and allow your body to adjust itself to the increased exercise level. This can take a good month of solid training. It's just like the feeling you have in your legs after running for the first time in ages. It takes a while for your muscles to recover, but with increased training, the recovery period drops dramatically.

As a short term solution, you should try raising your arms and some gentle stretching when you start to feel the stich. But do not stop, just concentrate on something else and it will go away.

best of luck


Lash out a few quid on a decent Polar heart rate monitor and buy yourself a copy of 'Heart Rate Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot' by J. Parker. Follow his instructions. You will soon be running fluently at a pace you can manage.

I suspect what is happening is that you are trying to run at a 'remembered' comfortable pace which is a tad higher than you can sustain. It always happens to me when I have a lay-off from running.
The stitches will go after a few months always happen when you take up fitness after a long time off I use to get them all the time before I joined. But I did find the breating deeply helped a lot and also drinking a pint of water before a run some people say it encourages a stitch but I seem to always find I never got one if I had a pint of water beforehand.
minime33 said:
The stitches will go after a few months always happen when you take up fitness after a long time off I use to get them all the time before I joined. But I did find the breating deeply helped a lot and also drinking a pint of water before a run some people say it encourages a stitch but I seem to always find I never got one if I had a pint of water beforehand.
Thats most likely because the water you consumed, had expanded your stomach, leading to less empty space in your abdominal cavity. This essentially acts as 'padding' for your diapraghm allowing it less room to move and become irritated.
Okay ive tried drinking a pint before hand, it made it worse. I'm going to try what you guys have said and just keep hard training, hopefully then after a month or so when im more used to it it should go away, thanks for all your advice anyway, i'll keep posting, Thanks
Buy a Powerbreathe trainer - it essentially strengthens your diaphragm. I used mine for a while and found stitches weren't as bad and didnt happen as often. You can also use it as part of a warm up which prevents the stitch happening at all!
might sound strange but whenever I get a stitch whilst running I apply pressure to wherever the stitch may be and carry on running through the pain...not sure if its a mental placebo but it seems to work ...
where would i get a Powerbreathe trainer from? and ive tried applying pressure it would work for a while but as soon as i let go it would return, its too constant, i take it as though most people get stitches then? you guys got them a lot more before you joined Sandhurst? did you stop getting them after??? thats what im worried about, if i get into Sandhurst and obviously to run loads and im getting these stitches im not going to be able too, i just need to be sure that these do go away after a while?
There is an easier way to get rid of a stitch. Breathe on 'the other foot'.

I bet you have a regular breathing pattern when you're running ie breathing in on every left foot strike or something. When you feel the stitch coming on, breathe 'on the other foot'. The stitch is caused by the muscles going into a spasm - change the foot and it'll fade and go. Try it - it works.
yeah i've tried that one, apparantly your supposed to breath out as the opposite foot to the stitch hits the ground, i did that once and it worked perfect, the next few times i ran it didnt seem to work though, weird huh
Tarzan said:
okay im going to go and buy one, theres a shop quite close to my home, thanks
Bit cheaper here on Ebay if you havent gone to the shops yet!

Or just run with your S10 Respirator on :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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