Tuesday, August 28, 2012

runner's stitch

On yesterday's run I got that old dreaded "runner's stitch."  You know...that pain in your side?  I hadn't had that since I was a kid.  I guess it comes with how much harder I'm trying to push myself to hustle.  

I Googled it (what did we ever do before the Google?) to find out the "why" and "how not to" about runner's stitch.  Seems it's a bit of a mystery.  Some think it comes from breathing too shallowly, which causes basically a cramp in the diaphragm.  Some think it's from one's guts bouncing around too much and pulling on the diaphragm in a specific way.  Some think it's from always exhaling on the same stride - say, the left foot, for example - and thus working the diaphragm in an uneven way.  What I get from this is it seems to be all about the diaphragm.  LOL   The only non-diaphragm answer I read was something about how running downhill might make it worse because it stresses the whole body in general more.  I actually LOVE running downhill...love feeling how it works in my butt and the front of my thighs.  I ain't giving up my running downhill.  And besides, the stitch happened on the flat part of my run.

The important thing here is not so much the cause but what to do about it, I say.

Possible tactics for dealing with it include intentional deep breathing BEFORE running, pursing one's lips to blow hard (like blowing a trumpet) AMIDST running, when the stitch sets in, being sure not to eat too much before running, and maybe pressing ones thumb into the pained area to help relieve the pain. 

So tomorrow I'll add some breathing stuff to my warmup routine, and will be ready to blow the imaginary trumpet if needed.

Won't THAT be cute?

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