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Stitch on the run

I have only done one Tri so far but my first Sprint distance is coming up shortly. I am confident that I can finish it in around 1hr20 and that's my target at the moment.

Currently the run is my weakest discipline, and I'm still a plodder. Anyway, on my first Tri as soon as I started the run I almost immediately got really bad stitch and could not get rid of it. At present I'm trying to find what the cause of this is.

Is it likely that not taking on enough fluids caused the stitch as my water bottle was pretty much untouched for the whole event? or was it simply down to bad breathing technique?

I have subsequently been doing brick sessions every Saturday since then but they have almost all been gym based.

The tri I have completed was tiny distances (100m swim, 10km bike, 3km run) and took a whopping 42mins, which is better than my target of 45 but I'm still appalled at my time.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    There probably is more than one thing will set off a stitch. Many who start running get one but they generally disappear as you run train more. If you get one there are several ways of getting rid of quite quickly, I've known these work so try:
    1 Crouch down like a frog then stand up again or
    2 Bend down, touch toes and stand or
    3 Pick up a pebble & throw it away or
    4 Breath on other foot strike. You will normally breath out when one foot hits the ground, change breathing out to the other foot - this one works for me

    It is unlikely to be dehydration but check the colour of your urine after the next stitch - it should be pale straw yellow.

    Could be food, try playing around with what you eat and when before exercise.

    Hope these help

  • I also tend to get stiches on my runs. I completed a sprint tri on the weekend and had real trouble that made me slow down quite considerably.

    funnily enough of the four races (all sprints) I have done this year I got stitches in 3 of them. The only one I didn't I had done two brick sessions in the month before, tended to be an hours ride then 30 min run. But also think that I drank less on the ride. The first two tri's I had drunk a full bottle of go electrolyte drink whilst cycling so hit the run 'full' but actually found this quite uncomfortable. I then reduced the amount I drank to half a bottle plus having dropped it on the cycle course didn't get to drink much at all. I didn't have any stomach pain on this run.

    I think that part is the training but also for me how much I drink. My brick sessions were okay and I don't tend to drink much on training rides but for some reason feel that it is necessary to drink loads on race day. Also, discussing with my mate who was in the same race he thinks it could be pre-race diet and says to avoid high fibre food, and as I eat brown rice or pasta alot before races this might be the cause. I will try switching to white pasta as this might ease the problem.

    Anyway, hope this helps and isn't too rambling or late to help.

  • Try and make sure that you calm yourself down during transistions so that your HR isnt over the top due to running like madman between the t1/2 areas. Also try only drinking water at the start of the run to let your body slow down into the groove of running.
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