Side Stitches When You Run? >> 12 Helpful Tips

Whether it’s a 10k, a half-marathon, or a full marathon, we try our best to be fully prepared for our runs. We plan in recovery phases and tapering; we swear by carboloading and are careful to eat an easily digestible runners’ breakfast. We are prepared for heat, pouring rain, and wind with the right equipment. Nothing could go wrong, right?

And then we get a side stitch…

You might ask yourself: Did I start running too fast? Did I breathe irregularly? Was my breakfast too heavy? And, while the unpleasant stabbing sensation slows you down, you wonder if it ever will go away.

Find answers to the most common questions on side stitches and tips on how to prevent them:

How does a side stitch develop?

There are different theories on how and when the stabbing pain below the ribs – or even in the entire abdominal cavity – develops during running. The explanations range from poor blood supply in the diaphragm resulting in cramps in the abdominal muscles to irritation of the peritoneum, the serum lining in the abdominal cavity. The theory of poor blood circulation and decreased oxygen supply to the diaphragm makes a lot of sense.

The diaphragm…

… plays a crucial role in breathing. Through shocks while running, the internal organs…

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