Whether or not you are a fan of running, we all love the thought of how a successful workout will make us feel at the end of the day. That thought alone can sometimes be enough to power you through a tough run. Of course, a cramp in your side can cause you to feel like making it to the end of your run is an impossible feat. Luckily, by simply regulating your breathing properly while running, you can easily avoid the dreaded side stitch.

 

By properly regulating your breathing with your feet's impact on the ground, you can keep the pressure on your core while running from being concentrated on one side, which can cause a side stitch (runnersworld.com)

By properly regulating your breathing with your feet’s impact on the ground, you can keep the pressure on your core while running from being concentrated on one side, which can cause a side stitch (runnersworld.com)

A side stitch can result from the pressure that running can have on your core muscles being concentrated on just one side of the body — the side which gets the stitch. To avoid this problem, the trick is to establish an odd/even pattern. For example, you can inhale for the count of three strides, in which case you would want to exhale for two strides. The faster you run, the faster your rate of breathing may become.

 

Whatever your pace, however, the key is to make sure you are maintaining an odd/even breathing pattern. When you are constantly exhaling when the same foot is hitting the ground, you are causing excessive strain and pressure to that one side of your body. This causes immediate discomfort on that side of your body — because one side of your body is really taking all the major hits when it comes to the pressure that running can put on your core, you may actually become increasingly vulnerable to injury in the long run because that side of your body will continue to be worn down.

 

By breathing in an odd/even pattern, it becomes easier to avoid the problem because this rhythm makes it so that you are constantly alternating between the foot which has its contact with the ground in sync with the start of your exhale. In doing so, you make sure that the force of running on your body, and more specifically your core, is evenly balanced. This in turn serves to not only help you avoid a side stitch but also to prevent long term injury.

 

What are some of your tricks for making your run easier and safer? Share your thoughts below or tweet me @tamarahoumi