Ever get that annoying sharp pain in your side when running? Not only is it annoying, but can negatively affect your training or race performance.
Why do you get these cramps, and how can they be prevented in the first place?
When running or working out vigorously your diaphragm is working extra hard as your breathing gets more intense and sometimes cramps up, causing a sharp pain in your side sometimes referred to a side stitch. This is potentially caused by gas in your stomach.
If the pain is too intense you may have to stop and walk for a bit. Also try stretching by raising your arm and leaning over the opposite side as your pain is. It is also helpful to change up your breathing pattern and try to take long, deep breaths.
To prevent cramps in the first place watch what you eat and drink before you run. You may have eaten too close to your run, or eaten gassy foods that could cause you to cramp up. Sugary drinks can also cause cramps, so try to avoid them before your workout. Finally, try to take deep breaths when running.
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About the expert: Curtis Thompson is a multiple time state champion in track, thirty-year Crim runner, and owner of Complete Runner in Flint. Follow his running blog to learn more running tips and product reviews.