Couch to 5K
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Terrible stitch

Yay, I've finished week 8 and I can already hear week 9 calling. I decided to tackle my biggest, steepest hill tonight and think perhaps I went at it too quickly. The result was the worse stitch I've ever experienced and strangly it wasn't in the rib area. It was more in the bottom right hand side of my stomach. Is this normal? I had to slow my pace right down and was taking very deep breaths to try and rid myself of it. It annoyed me because it had slowed me down but after about 4 mins I was able to pick the pace back up, although it was still niggling me, I managed to recover my average pace to around about my normal level (slightly faster than a snail!)

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Now you have to endure my Unscientific Stitch Theory. It goes like this: To run properly, you have to engage your core muscles. If your core muscles haven't developed enough to do what you ask of them (but they DO engage nicely) they'll lock up on you. So if this is true, there's good news for you in that stitch. Your core might be engaging properly to keep your midsection nice and stable. I have not had stitches, and I wonder why sometimes, because I don't even yet have a strong core, so surely if it tries to engage properly it should go into spasm. If it's not going into spasm, it's not engaging... Someone else might have the Actual Science of Stitches for you, so that you can correct this misconception I've inflicted on you, now.


Yep it is, it's all the jiggling and twisting around your waist and lower rib area. You can reach up for the sky with both arms, while you're still running. You can stop, bend down and touch your toes and then carry on. You can lean over towards the side where you have your stitch, hold it there for a few seconds. It usually goes as suddenly as it's begun


Thanks for the replies. I might try some core strengthening to see if that helps. I'll also try the arms in the air truck if it happens again, seems this could be done without stopping.


I suffer from side stitches quite often, usually because i'm running too fast. I had them on both sides, even in the center of the core. What I've found that works for me is to eat the identical meals 2-3 days before my 5k run and give my digestive system 3 hours to work on my latest meal. If I do feel a stitch beginning I will focus on my breathing, trying to take deeper breaths in and short exhales when my foot hits the ground on the opposite side of the stitch, ie: if I have a stitch on the right side I exhale when my left foot hits the ground. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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