A stitch in time...

A side stitch while running, cycling or swimming is a pain in the…er…well…side. So what can you do about them?

Pay attention to how you are breathing. Avoid fast, shallow, irregular chest breathing. Your aim is to develop regular, deep, diaphragmatic breaths so you can take in more air.

Firstly, make sure you warm up properly. If you are training outside in the cold, you are less inclined to take in deep breaths of cold air until you are warmed up.

Secondly, check your posture (yes, I am obsessed…). If you hunch while you train it is difficult to take in deep breaths.

Thirdly, regulate your breathing by getting into a pattern with your running stride, foot stroke or swimming stroke.

Finally, to treat a stitch while you are training, slow down and take a big deep breath in as fast as possible. Then hold your breath for a couple of seconds before breathing out.

So, next time you train, look after your breathing and it will look after you.