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I own an elliptical trainer and I do that 5 days a week and free weights a couple of days but I wanted to try to start running. I went to a running store and bought adidas that are supposed to keep my arches from overflexing too much because they are flat. Now I don't have the pain on the outer edge of my foot and up the outside of my calf that I did at first (as often) but I still keep getting side pain!

I make an effort not to eat for an hour and a half before going, but sometimes I start to get shaky (low blood sugar) and I still get the pains. Also I have started to pay attention to my breathing. I heard that you should breath in when your right foot hits down and exhale when left foot hits, but that is a quicker breathing pattern than I was doing and didn't seem to work either.

The pain is right under my right rib cage and the only thing that relieves it is digging my fingers under my rib cage, which is hard to do while running and restricts my breathing (I also look cool!)

Any suggestions would be appreciated, I am so frustrated. If its not my calf/foot its my side and I feel like such a wimp!

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If you can, try not eating for 2 hours. Although it may seem like a long time, I'm one of those people that will get cramps if they eat anything even REMOTELY CLOSE to when they run, and you may be one of those people too.

Just keep running and see if the cramps go away after a week. If not go see a doctor. It could be something else.
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agreed, I can't eat things for 2-3 hours within a run or I get cramps. try doing some crunches before you run and see if that helps
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Try running a little slower. Sometimes that will help with the cramps.

Don't worry about your breating patterns. You've been breathing since you were born, it's natural. You didn't worry about it when you were a kid, yet I'm guessing you could run just fine then.
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Don't worry about your breating patterns. You've been breathing since you were born, it's natural. You didn't worry about it when you were a kid, yet I'm guessing you could run just fine then.

:1: Like we say in engineering, "KISS" (Keep it stupid simple). Don't think about breathing, just let it happen. As for the pain, it's probably a side stitch. Jrjo has already gone into this before and his post in another thread should help you, so I've copied it here.

Sounds like a classical "stitch"... real common with distance running. The general consesus is it comes from a fatigued diaphram. Typically it happens with new runners or during a real strenuous run like a race or speedwork or possibly on a long run like you mention.

There's a few things you can do. One is to combat the fatigue of your breathing by conciously changing where you breathe in your stride. If you take a moment and focus in on where you inhale in relation to which foot is striding forward, then change it so you are inhaling when the opposite foot is striding forward. This can sometimes break the repetitiveness of what's fatiguing your diaphram.

If that doesn't work, poke at it. Literally. Pushing a couple fingers, hard under your ribcage right at where the stitich is coming on is often enough to get the blood flowing there and really does help. Push in for a count of five or even more, and do it a dozen times if necessary. This is probably the most common way to get past it.

And the last ringer is to simply stop and bend over at the waist like you are going to tie your shoe. This "crinkling" over of the diaphram, again gets it out of it's fatigued rhythm and does the trick to cure the stitch.

Aside from fatigue, sometimes a side stitch can be triggered by too much in your stomach or too little. Water sloshing in your stomach or dehydration. So there's a few things to learn about yourself and whether it's a cause. Most likely though, it's simply fatigue. As you run more and your endurance increases, the stitches will subside.


The last part is most important I think. After running for a while, maybe a couple weeks, it shouldn't be a problem. Don't give up!

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good advice from jrjo.
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I would like to throw out that everyone can get a stitch.

Some people think that they are a sign of not being fit. But I have seen that the REALLY fast people tend to get them in races just as much. I've also seen elites dropout of track sessions for the same reason.

So don't get discouraged.


My "friend" got a stitch in a race last year and was really hard on himself. He thought he sucked a lot more than he really did and he dwelled on it too much. He thought he was fat and out of shape. Then he later learned that it happens to all levels of runners because everyone faster than him had gotten one in competition, too. It would have made about 6 weeks of training more enjoyable had he just let it go. And nobody knows for sure exactly when or why you get them, so just block it out if you can.
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I would considering slower you pace or run/walking if you're having this much discomfort. There's no point in frustrating yourself and quitting! Even if you have to start with 30 seconds of running and two minutes of walking, if you're pain free it's a start. Running takes getting used to.
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I would like to throw out that everyone can get a stitch.

Some people think that they are a sign of not being fit. But I have seen that the REALLY fast people tend to get them in races just as much. I've also seen elites dropout of track sessions for the same reason.

So don't get discouraged.


My "friend" got a stitch in a race last year and was really hard on himself. He thought he sucked a lot more than he really did and he dwelled on it too much. He thought he was fat and out of shape. Then he later learned that it happens to all levels of runners because everyone faster than him had gotten one in competition, too. It would have made about 6 weeks of training more enjoyable had he just let it go. And nobody knows for sure exactly when or why you get them, so just block it out if you can.

One thing I learned--because I got stitches all the time at first: Hold your arms over your head--stretching your diaphragm. At the same time, s-l-o-w your breathing way down--taking deep, slow breaths--holding them for a couple of paces then letting them out. It really helped me. My husband thought I was a dork until he tried it and it worked for him.
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from my medical training it was explained to me that a runner stitch is a momentary muscle cramp from lack of oxygen to the diaphram. the army's to fix thix "on the run" was to give that great big AMRMY GRUNT. the grunt florced the blood thru, the muscle got blood and the stitch went away. it works very well for me as well as thousands of others.

breathing, ask a hundred runners and everyone will have a different pattern. I'll agree that you should not overthink it. go with what is natural and get a feel for it. dont try to run for times just go out and run.

as far as blood sugars. I am a hypoglycemic so i've had lots of experience here. eating 90 minutes is a great time frame, eat a large snack/small meal, something light and of carbs wheat grain is preferable over white bread. if it's too much drink a Boost or SlimFast or any of those about an hour before heading out, and if your still getting lightheaded instead of plain water take a 50/50 mix of water and gatorade to drink on the run. this will help maintain your glucose levels.
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