Running Cramps

by Andrew

Hello, my name is Andrew.
I am a fourteen year old boy.
I recently started your beginning running program to reach 30 minutes of running.

I started running at the 5 x 1 min walking, 4 min running level because I knew I could easily do it.

I followed the program for about a week when one day i was running a mile at school for PE and towards the end I got a cramp right below my right ribs.

I got the same cramp 2 days later at a theme park running from ride to ride, and 2 days after that when I did my daily running. The first time I got it, it came at the very end of running, so I thought it was normal, but then when I did my daily running it came after only about 2 minutes of running. I continued running and then the pain also came right below my left ribs.

Today when I was in school the cramps came back except I wasn't running at all, I was just walking. I asked my friend who was in the school running club and he wasn't sure why it was happening.

Is there something I'm doing wrong? I don't run a lot, only 5 days a week, maybe 1-2 miles of jogging with breaks in between, but yet the cramps keep coming and I can't run for more than 5 minutes straight with the pain. Please help me!

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Andrew.
Thanks for your question.
When you have pain when running, there must be something going on. From what you are telling me I am not sure if this is something a bit more serious and it could be wise to go see a doctor.
I am not a medical expert and have to tell you to go to a doctor if problems persist. After all, it would be unwise for you to just take any advice from a guy that builds a running website for fun!

Having said that, a few causes which are not medical that could cause your running cramps are:

  • Shallow breathing

  • If you do not breathe in deeply enough, eventually you will pretty much just run out of oxygen and this can cause a side-stitch. So, make sure you do your running at an easy pace. I often call it conversational pace, if you were running with a buddy, you'd have to be able to hold a conversation with him while running.
    If you are a beginning runner, that's definitely the thing to do. And as you run at this pace it is also easier to focus a bit more on your breathing and to make sure that you really take in deep breaths to avoid running cramps caused by your breathing.

  • Eating just before running

  • Another common cause of running cramps is eating too much or not enough before you run. This can cause stomach aches.

    Hope this helps a bit. If your running cramps ersist, go see a doctor!

    Good luck with your running.

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