Your daily run can take a turn for the worse as soon as you get a cramp. Instead of stopping your workout, learn how to control and get rid of your cramps and power through. The first thing you should consider is your pre-run routine and how you can stop the cramps before they even happen.


Photo by Wendy Sun

The dreaded side stitch can be prevented a few different ways. What you eat could be a cause, so a solution is to eat foods that are lower in fat and fiber before a run and then wait a while before going on your run.

Another cause might be your drinking habits beforehand. Drinking a lot of fluids can increase the likelihood of cramping up and drinking fruit juices increases that risk even more.

The best way to avoid any type of pain or injury when running is to stretch. Warming up the body will get rid of that initial shock when you start running and lower your chances of cramping up. Side stitches tend to be an issue for beginners as opposed to long-time runners, probably because frequent runners know how to warm up and fuel their bodies properly.


Photo by Kate Spitler

Nonetheless, we all get cramps so it’s good to know some methods to get rid of them before you give up on your run altogether. My favourite technique is to put the opposite hand on the side of the cramp and the other arm up in the air and breathe deeply. It might look a little strange in public but after just a few deep breaths in this position, I’m ready to start running again.


Photo by Jordana Colomby

Remember to really focus on your breathing because often people forget to breathe normally while they exercise. It might mean starting off in a slower jog and then working your way up to a run. Jolting your body into a run is never a good idea and will most likely end in cramps, so pace yourself and your likelihood of getting stitches will seriously decrease.