Couch to 5K
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Lower abdomen cramping while running?

Hello! So I'm trying to accomplish W7D1 right now. I'm more than ready to do this, but, frustratingly, for the past couple of attempts I get about ten minutes into the run and I start getting extremely painful cramps in my lower abdomen. They feel exactly like menstrual cramps, and they're so bad I have to stop running. Today I only got to 16 minutes because it was too painful. But, weirdly, by the time I walk back to my apartment and sit down for a minute or two, the pain just vanishes! And I know for a fact menstrual pain doesn't work like that lol.

I thought maybe it was what I was eating beforehand. Yesterday about an hour before my run I ate a small apple with 2 tbsps of peanut butter. Started cramping. So I thought, maybe I need more carbs. So today about 45 minutes prior to the run I ate a handful of animal crackers (about 170 calories worth). I figured this would be carb-heavy and light on the stomach. But nope, same thing! So is this happening to anyone else?

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I get extremely painful cramp type pains that stop me in my tracks and I've realised that when I'm pre menstrual I need to go to the loo before a run, as it's a full bowel that causes it. Sorry to be explicit! But everything is tightly packed in the abdomen and when we're in the run up (pardon the pun) to a period, the uterus takes up a bit more space than usual. That's what it is for me, anyway, and I only find I need to run on an empty bowel in that week, other times I can get away with it. Absolute agony when I get it, can hardly stand up straight and have to limp home doing deep breathing!

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No need to be sorry! Your explanation makes a lot of sense! It definitely is excruciating, I didn't think I was gonna make it home, but when I sat down a second, I felt tons better. Tomorrow I'll try running on empty and see if I feel better! Thank you!

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Good luck! Has made a big difference for me, I thought I was going to have to miss a week's running every month. Enjoy your run

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Yoga advice was always to empty your bowels before you start any exercise, so that sounds like a good idea.

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Please note,I don't have any medical qualifications. Have you tried running on empty? You don't need to have food on board to run the programme. If pain persists you should speak to your GP or practise nurse

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I haven't tried it, but I'll try that tomorrow and see if it works! Thanks!

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That's my method too. Running in empty with a glass of water beforehand, and an espresso. But that doesn't suit everyone, so drop the espresso...

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earl grey instead for me

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I would go with belonger's advice and make sure you are well hydrated (but not have a full bladder - that's different and wont help). Also make sure you are not straining as you run, but breath easy.

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Could be all sorts... some replies indicate that...:) But, it is really a matter of trial and error... it could simply be tension.. we do sometimes hold our whole bodies tensely... concentrating on doing the run! We do also, ( not you necessarily:)) sometimes land heavily... just sheer effort!

I hope it sorts for you soon..keep us posted? :)_

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Being another gender, I can't be specific, but I always run first thing in the morning, with only a banana and water, immediately before I start. When I have run after a meal, even when waiting a couple of hours, I always get grumbling innards........so I don't do it.

So long as you were well hydrated and fuelled the night before, you have plenty of reserves on board for any C25K run first thing in the morning.

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I get exactly the same thing it's nothing to do with menstrual cramps for me as I am beyond that! It hits exactly after 20 mins it's very frustrating and nothing seems to help me I have tried every suggestion on every runner's comment board just about! Eating, not eating, what I eat, coffee no coffee! It has to be the physical action especially when I run on a treadmill, all I can do is at the first twinge is go slower or to a walk and then try to build back up. Don't get it at all on the elliptical so it is to due the the physical action of running and jogging about those innards! TBH it's really putting me off running altogether at the moment, it's so agonising when it hits and I don't catch it in time.

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