W6R3 interrupted by stitch!: I have got into the... - Couch to 5K

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W6R3 interrupted by stitch!


I have got into the habit of running first thing in the morning before breakfast but I thought I'd eat something today as it seemed a bit mean to expect my body to run a full 25 minutes with no fuel. I waited an hour after eating my cereal & I felt like it had definitely gone down by the time I set off.

The stitch turned up at around the halfway mark (12.5 mins), I tried the usual tricks of slowing down, breathing deeply & pushing my stomach out but this one was a nasty one & would not budge so I ended up slowing right down to a walk. I did intervals for the rest of the time: Run until stitch gets bad, walk until stitch gets better and so on.

I feel a bit disappointed but already can't wait to try again, maybe without breakfast next time.

10 Replies

If i run before 9am i dont have breakfast, fuelled from the day before.

If i run from 9am onwards (parkrun for example), i have a small bowl porridge and half banana at least hour and half before.

Much is trial and error as we are all different. Stitch is often a sign of not properly hydrated.

Lazybones1 in reply to Millsie-J

Thanks for the advice! I'm going to use this as an excellent excuse to treat myself to one of those clutch water bottles!

Millsie-JGraduate in reply to Lazybones1

You need to hydrate pre run, and be mindful the evening before to drink water ready for your run the following day. Good luck!

TJELGraduate in reply to Lazybones1

We have them they are good 😃

I keep having problems with stitch as well; today I managed to somehow do something to a nerve while doing those breathing exercises, causing the pain to spike up from my abdomen to my shoulder and neck! I did keep going (saying OWWWW with every exhale) and it went away eventually, but it does make everything so much harder.

The tip about hydration is useful - I have to be careful because I tend to feel sick if I've drunk too much before a run, but I'll have to try and drink lots the night before.

Good luck for your next go at W6R3!


I run before breakfast as well. I am on W7 so the same runs as you did this morning. I read on a running website that as a general rule of thumb (we are all different after all) that people can run around 6 miles in the morning without needing to eat beforehand. As our bodies access the stored fat reserves - which actually makes it better for weight-loss.

Another thing I was told, which seems to work for me is to time your out breath when your opposite foot (opposite to the side the stitch is on) hits the ground. I find after a few of these the stitch goes!

Hi, I like to run first thing so get up just after 6am and eat a banana before I get dressed. While I'm getting ready I sip a glass of water and go out about 6.45. So far this has worked for me. I then have breakfast once I'm back, have done my stretches and had a shower. Just my way of doing things.

Well done for getting to the end of W6, you're well on the way to graduation.

Happy Running!


Hi, I too like to run first thing in the morning at 6am. A glass of water & a few jelly babies sweets before I set off works for me. Only once did I eat breakfast before & I suffered. It really is what works best for you. Well done on getting to week 6.

Yes the water you drink the day before is what is hydrating you in the morning. At least 3 litres the day before exercise. Preferably 4.

There is a method of releasing a stitch by pushing your fist into the side where the stitch is really hard. I have tried it a number of times and on one occasion it worked like magic... Presto! stitch gone in a flash. Every other time it did nothing and I could not ever work out what i did differently the time it worked.

I also find I so way better with nothing in my stomach. I've discovered first thing in the am, no food, and no stitches!

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