Trail Running (UK) - - Body Maintenance -

The jury’s out on what ex­actly causes stitch, but ac­cepted think­ing is that the pain comes cramp­ing in your di­aphragm and its lig­a­ments. One thing that’s agreed upon though is that stitches are very an­noy­ing. AVOID THEM If you are prone to stitch there are a few things you can do to ease the pain of a stitch. Stick to wa­ter for hy­dra­tion, avoid­ing fizzy drinks. Ide­ally, you should leave at least two hours be­fore train­ing, so your di­ges­tive sys­tem and mus­cles aren’t com­pet­ing for blood flow. Warm­ing up should also help, so start each ses­sion with an easy pace for the first 10 min­utes. Good breath­ing is es­sen­tial, so in­hale and ex­hale through the mouth, and try to breathe deep into the belly rather than tak­ing shal­low breaths. Sim­i­larly, make sure you have a good form by avoid­ing run­ning hunched over. This will im­prove your pos­ture, which in turn helps breath­ing.

TREAT THEM With the on­set of stich first try to change your res­pi­ra­tory pat­tern, tak­ing deeper breaths over more strides, for ex­am­ple. If the pain per­sists, slow down and reg­u­late your breath­ing, and as you ex­hale pinch the area where the pain in be­tween your thumb and fin­gers. Re­lease the pinch as you in­hale. Re­peat un­til the pain passes.

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