Question about stitches

Mitch's Question
Hi Lee,

What do you know about 'stitches'? I have done a lot of training over the years, and prepare thoroughly, but still occasionally get, and always at the worst possible moment. I have read a little bit about them, and there's a varied opinions about their cause, but what do you think is the cause of most stitches, in your experience?


Lee's response

Hi Mitch,

We have a short article on stitches here:
Apart from the obvious of what did you eat (light meal and minimum 2hrs prior), drink and how hard were you running another option may be the strength of the abdomen and diaphragm. A combination of weak stomach muscles and excessive bouncing while you are running could aggravate the weakness leading to a stitch. Things such as a core strengthening program or pilates will help strengthen this deficiency.
Running hard downhill as you are tiring/ fatiguing along with a poor posture or weak abdomen may result in alot more twist and rotation in your core adding a lot more stress. If you are weak then obviously the stitch is the end result that it cannot sustain the effort.
I hope this helps.