Side cramps are very common when running, especially for beginners. There is no concrete evidence of how and why side cramps occur when running but are commonly attributed to nervousness, shallow breathing, or tension. However, some studies suggest that blood movement to the diaphragm muscles during physical activity can cause irritations on the pelvic cavity and the lining of the abdomen, causing side cramps.
Side cramps, also known as side stitch, can be avoided. Proper preparation before running decreases the risks, injuries, and cramps during or after a run. Here are some tips you can follow to avoid any hassle that can take away the fun out of your favorite physical activity.
Preventing Side Cramps When Running
A strong core helps reduce and eliminate the risks of cramps on your whole abdominal area. Strength training to improve your muscle’s strength allows you to run faster. Planks and donkey kicks are also advantageous for running.
When you strengthen your diaphragm muscles, you are making them tougher and more resilient to pressure and fatigue. As you improve the strength in this area, cramps will become less likely. A stronger core also helps reduce other risks and injuries as you enjoy your favorite physical activity.
Do Warm-Ups Properly
A proper warm-up helps regulate your heart rate gradually. It also prepares the whole body for the amount of stress and pressure it will take as you enjoy your daily run. Begin your routine with brisk walking. Gradually add speed to your movement before you continue with your regular running pace.
Starting too fast can beat up your muscles and cause pain and cramps during or after your run. Starting too slow is also bad because it defeats the purpose of building up your speed and endurance. Follow a warm-up routine that is beneficial in improving your statistics while considering your muscle’s reaction to running.
Adjust Your Breathing
If you experience side cramps during a race where stopping or slowing down puts you in a compromise, adjusting your breathing pattern helps you endure and eliminate side stitches. Breath unevenly to help your body adjust to the pain and your muscles work to prevent stress from hitting one specific side at a time.
If you’re breathing in for three steps and out for three steps, switch it up, so you’re breathing in one less than you breathe out. The change in breathing pattern adjusts the muscles It takes skill to run and adjust your breathing, all while in a competition. Practice different breathing skills during your routine runs to perfect this technique.
Fatigue in your diaphragm muscles is common for most runners. However, this is preventable and can be solved by merely strengthening your core. Side craps tend to be more frequent with beginner runners than those who have been running for years. This means that to be a better runner, you will have to invest in other areas of your body, such as your muscles, breathing technique, and posture. Sooner or later, you’d be the runner that you dream of becoming.