Sunday, August 27, 2006

Side Stitches

I was finishing up a long run with my marathon team yesterday when all of a sudden a painful side stitch developed. There are many theories as to why stitches develop from irregular, rapid breathing to spasms in the diaphram, the major muscle responsible for breathing. In either case, there is a secret to getting rid of side stitches quickly.

My stitch was located in my left side. While running, focus on exhaling when the right foot (or opposite foot from the stitch) hits the ground. Not every time the foot hits the ground, but when you do exhale do so when the opposite side foot strikes the ground. It is also helpful to slow down and get your breathing under control. This trick usually gets rid of that stitch in seconds. It is amazing. It allows the musculature (diaphram) on the stitch side to relax and release the spasm that is causing the stitch.

Happy Trails,

Coach Jenny

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