Hi everyone. I am having a strange problem and I hope someone can offer insite. (it's a long story, but I'm hoping someone can find something in the story)
I started running 1.5 years ago. When I first started running, I use to get side stitches. As I got more in shape, these went away. Since then, I have run a half marathon and marathon with no problem.
After my marathon, I about a month off to recover. Then I got back into training for some shorter distance, focusing more on speed than endurance. At the beginning, I had some stitches, but I thought this was due to losing some training during the time off.
After 4 months of speed training, the stitches yet to disappear. I have tried everything and read everything I could on stitches (not eating before I run, making sure I had an empty blatter, breathing deeply)
Yesterday, I ran a very hilly 8K race, and in the last mile, I keeled over in so much pain the medic car actually stopped to help me. I was able to finish the race, but in pain, which was disappointing as my legs wanted to keep going but my side couldn't. Even today, I feel very sore in the right side of my torso. Last night, I got a few side stitches just walking around my house.
The odd thing is, Mon-Friday, I run on the treadmill. I do hill and tempo runs - seeing how much I can kick up the speed before I fly off the end. I never have any problems during those runs. (well, infrequently, but I can breath throught those fine) But on the weekend, I head outside and without a doubt, I will end up with severe side stitches (even though those runs are a little slower and usually not too hilly)
The only differences I can see between the treadmill and outside runs are (1) not as much pounding on a treadmill and (2) I have a water bottle handy on the treadmill and tend to take very small, but frequent sips of water. When I am running outside, I carry a water bottle but since it's difficult to get at behind me, I tend to drink less frequently and larger sips.
I am thinking it's the water that is the difference, but I am not sure how to overcome it.
Someone else told me that he heard stitches were from dehydration, which I never heard before. It would make sense for yesterdays run as I was parched (72 deg in Washington DC in December! Unheard of). There was one water stop, where I had one small cup of water.
Anyone have any ideas on how to help??? I have another race coming up and I would hate for this to be the reason I have disappointing results.
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