Running Cramps

Running cramps, or running stiches, can sure mess up a good run!

Running Cramps

Here are some tips on how to get through it if you feel a running stitch coming on.

Don't freak out.

When I first started running with a jogging stroller, I would often get cramps in my side while running. I always think the worst, so I'm thinking maybe my body has changed from having a baby and I can't run any more. Turns, out I just needed to adjust to pushing a jogging stroller.

Usually it's not as big a deal as you think it is, and freaking out will only make it worse.


Try taking deep breaths. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Walk it out.

If deep breaths doesn't cure the running cramp after a minute or so, try just taking a walk break until the running cramp goes away.

Change your gait.

This is something I had to work on again while running with the jogging stroller. You may just be leaning towards one side of your body and need to adjust your gait a little to make the cramp go away.

Did you eat something funny?

Oh man, I found out the hard way not to eat a fish sandwich before a run. Once before a hill training run, I forgot to eat all day (also right after I had my son) so I ate a fish sandwich. That was sure a mistake.

I had the worst cramps in my stomach that whole run. So now, I make sure to only eat something light before a run.

Are you thirsty or did you drink too much water?

You can get a cramping feeling both if you are dehydrated or if you drink too much at once. So to prevent this, make sure to stay fueled all the time so that you are not feeling thirsty when you start running, and then throughout your run, just take small sips from time to time.

You will learn with practice what time and amount of fuel your body needs. Just be sure to practice this on your training runs and not in the middle of a race.

Eat a banana.

If you find that your muscles cramp from time to time (like a charlie horse feeling), this may be because you are low in potasium. You can take a potasium pill, or better yet, eat a banana. You know what they say about an apple a day? Well a banana a day is the runners apple.

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