Couch to 5K
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Horrible Stitches

Hi everyone. I am due to run W1 R3 tomorrow and ever since my first run on Monday I have been getting EXTREMELY bad stitches when I’m simply walking to work. I don’t get stitches when I’m running, but any movement on my rest days causes me to get a horrible pain in my right side. Has anyone experienced this, or knows what to do? I have tried breathing in and sharply breathing out and that makes the pain subside for a few seconds but it always comes back.

Please help!!

8 Replies
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Try to breathe more slowly and deeply as your walk - perhaps you are breathing too quickly and shallowly? You can also try to breath rhythmically while you are walking - breath in for 2,3 or 4 steps and breath out the same way - whatever you feel is right for you - it may change depending on the pace of the walk. I could never run when I was younger - mostly what I remember about it is "getting side stitches" but since starting out on C25K and training myself to breath rhythmically as I run, I have never suffered one attack of the stitches over the last 4 years. :)

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I shall try the rythmic breathing. Hopefully makes a difference. It’s just so painful - I’m hoping it’s because I’ve got a really bad cold and breathing is affected!!

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Relax... I know it is hard..but try to relax and slow right down.... sometimes at the start we hold ourselves very tensely... Just try to land lightly and breathe gently. Breathe, like you do every second of the day :)

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Yeah I feel incredibly tense when I run, can’t relax as of yet but I’m seriously trying to just go with the flow and enjoy the run. I think W2 would be a bit better for me because I’ll be running for longer - meaning I have to go much slower!

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Just try, to think of other things.. I spend most of my running time looking around!

As the runs get longer, there is more time to just relax and ease along... but in the early days, I used different runs to focus on different bits of my body, like landing gently, ( kissing the ground with your feet, I call it), relaxing shoulders and fists and face... rounding my ankles etc etc.. :)

You will get into it :)

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I shall try occupy my mind on today’s run! Hopefully I enjoy it more than the other two runs!

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Are you staying well hydrated , not just on run days but every day? Your hydration for run days comes from the previous day........try to drink regularly every day.

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I’ve been drinking a lot of water! So don’t think hydration is the problem! I read somewhere that new runners get really bad stitches, just can’t work out why!!

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