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Stitch on the Run 🏃

Hi, I recently competed in one of my first sprint triathlons and found that after the bike ride and five minutes into the run I found myself with quadruple stitch, thereby forcing me to walk and heavily damaging what would otherwise have been an acceptable time. Being a newbie to the sport I was wondering whether anyone had any tips/ advice for me to avoid the same scenario for future races. I'm not sure whether it was to do with gulping air on the bike for example so any advice would be greatly welcomed, thanks ????????????


  • I suffer the same but have got through it by 1. Experimenting with different energy gels on the bike because I mainly link the stitch to the gels, 2. I ease myself into the run and get my breathing nice and steady which seems to keep the stitch at bay as opposed to when I run all out straight off the bike just to end up crippled after less than a mile, 3. Better breathing during the swim = less swallowed air which helps avoid the stitch but more importantly avoids getting overly windy.
  • Hi Ben - I am a long term runner and in my experience stitch has a number of possible causes, but I have found the solution that works the best most often is the following.  Most people when they start a run, shallow breathe.  They breathe based on the oxygen being currently demanded by the body, unfortunately a few minutes later you need a lot more oxygen, but now you are behind the curve and gulping in air is not going to help, you will have to slow down.  In addition most people do not breathe out very well when running, breathing in is no problem it comes naturally, but if you don't make room for fresh air, by breathing out a reasonable quantity of the CO2 heavy air in your lungs you are just not making the most of the opportunity.  So run tall, head up, chest proud, to keep the lungs and air pathways open and focus on breathing out.  Don't overdo it, but just make sure you actually think about it.  Of course, you should practice this is in training, when you go for a run, as soon as you take the first steps, focus on breathing out; this will mean that when your body starts to demand more oxygen, you are already providing it and not behind the curve.  Finally, try and incorporate some bike to run simulations in your training (so called bricks).  You'll find lots of articles on how to structure a brick session.

    Good luck, this may not solve your problem, but it often does and in any case, proper breathing will benefit your running anyway.

  • thanks for thenadvice guys, much appreciated

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