- Eat mindfully pre-run. There are many theories as to why stitches occur, and one of them factors in what and when you eat pre-run. Foods that are higher in fat and fiber take longer to digest. That doesn’t mean they are bad foods, but if you eat them within one to two hours before a run, they can cause havoc—creating stomach upset, stitches, and other problems. Experiment with a variety of foods pre-run, eat lightly, and give yourself plenty of time to digest.
- Invest in a solid warm-up. Going from sitting to running speed may save you time on the watch, but it can create irregular, rapid-fire breathing patterns, which can translate to you bending over in pain on the side of the road (with a side stitch). Invest in two to three minutes of brisk walking, gradually work into an easy running effort, and then into your planned running workout pace. Doing so will increase the quality of your workout and decrease the risk of stitches that arise from pushing the throttle too soon.
- Regulate your breathing. With efficient breathing patterns that are in sync with your body, runners can benefit from the same technique by matching their breathing to their strides—inhaling for two to four strides and exhaling for the same. The faster the pace, the shorter the sequence (fast pace = one or two strides per breath, slower = three or four strides per breath). This can not only prevent stitches, but also improve the efficiency of your oxygen transport. Plus, it’s a great way to keep in touch with your running effort levels without a watch.
- Slow down and exhale to release the stitch. If you still get another side stitch, implement this strategy and it will go away in seconds (I promise). Slow your pace and exhale as the foot on the opposite side of the stitch strikes the ground. This doesn’t mean every time that foot hits the ground, but as you exhale, do so in sync with that opposite side. When you exhale, you use the muscles of your diaphragm. When this happens in unison with your foot striking the ground, the impact forces travel up the body and through your core (your side too) and exacerbate the muscles in spasm creating that stitch. When you change the side of the landing forces to the opposite side, the tension causing the stitch releases. For example, your stitch is in your right side. You slow your pace, and exhale as your left foot is hitting the ground. Side stitch is gone and you’re running without a side stitch.
- Iron deficiency occurs called anemia
- According World Health Organization, iron deficiencies are the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world
- It is caused by low dietary iron intake and poor iron absorption
Sign of Anemia:
- Feeling weak and tired
- Short attention span
- Decreased performance
Need for Iron:
- The greatest need for iron is during growth or periods of blood loss
- Active female athletes have increased risk of iron deficiency
- It decreases performance for the athletes
An active female athlete involved in a rigorous training program has an increased risk for iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency is common with or without anemia.
- Decreases performance for the athlete
- Often is not detected on a standard blood test.
- The capacity to transport oxygen to the cells of the muscle via myoglobin is impaired
- Energy production is limited [vital for competition]
- Male athletes may also be at an increased risk for iron deficiency
- Vegetarian athletes
- Athletes should eat meals or snacks that contain adequate quantities of iron-rich foods and, in some cases, see a physician for a recommended iron supplement.
Foods rich in iron include:
- Red meat
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
- Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
- Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas