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Cramps under Ribs While Running

by Leah Easley
(St Louis, MO, USA)

I am a beginning runner, I am starting off with a 30 minute run.

I would say around 20 min into the run I get a cramp right under my ribs.

It's only on the right side.

I was told you are supposed to run through the cramps. Is that true?





Also what is the correct way to breathe while running? (in the nose out the mouth? or what is more comfortable for the individual?)


Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your running questions.

Your problem has got to do with your diaphragm. Your diaphragm is connected to your liver, spleen and stomach. As you are running these organs move up and down.

Now, the diaphragm also gets influenced by something else. Your breathing. When you breathe out, your diaphragm moves up, as you breathe in, your diaphragm moves down.

Now consider the following thing happening:
You are breathing out as your right foot hits the ground. You breathing out pulls the diaphragm upwards. When your right foot hits the ground, your liver pulls your diaphragm downwards. This causes the tension that gives you side cramps or stitches.

Just running through it is not really going to accomplish anything.

You can overcome this by changing your breathing pattern. Try to change it so that you breathe out when your left foot hits the ground.

Regarding the breathing through the nose or the mouth. Almost naturally you will find yourself breathing in through mouth and nose simultaneously. It is pretty hard to get enough air into you with only breathing through your nose especially when running faster.




Try to maintain a steady breathing pattern for regular supply of oxygen to the body. This will also help your issue with your cramps.

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Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Dominique

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