How do you get over stomach cramps while running?

It's annoying. Sometimes I can go a whole mile without cramping, other times it feels like someone is twisting my insides like a balloon animal. What do you do to get over them and finish your run?


  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,103 Member
    Take a large glass of electrolytes before running. Work up slowly, walking when necessary. It should get better.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,050 Member
    edited July 2020
    Do you mean stomach, as in intestinal cramps, or something that might be more in the diaphragm? If it's actually intestinal, you might be running too soon after eating, or running too fast. The only time I've had intestinal cramps running was during really hard workouts, longer distances than usual, faster, etc.

    If it's more in your diaphragm, then it might be caused by your breathing. You can try this while you're running: breathe out forcefully when you land on your right foot (but not every time your right foot lands--only when you're ready to breathe out.) Make it a pattern--breathing out every third time your right foot lands, for example. Somehow, either the rhythm of it, or just concentrating on breathing, seems to help with side stitches.

    Good luck!
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    It doesn't work for anyone, but I find that running fasted virtually eliminated any cramping issues for me. During times when it isn't practical to run fasted, I will slow way down if I get any cramping and I'm usually good to go again within a few minutes.

    If you're talking about intestinal cramps, many people find that specific foods are a trigger for pain/discomfort while running. Typical culprits can include foods that are higher in fiber and fat.
  • Go_Deskercise
    Go_Deskercise Posts: 1,630 Member
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,370 Member
    For side cramps, slow down.

    For stomach cramps, look at what you're eating and when. I find that sugary and fatty foods will upset my stomach. Ice cream or cheese are always a mistake. Running too soon after a meal will also upset my stomach.
  • lightenup2016
    lightenup2016 Posts: 1,050 Member
    I second (or third) the benefit of running fasted. Then you don't have to worry about food in your belly. I run in the morning and then don't eat until 1 or 2pm.
  • thelastnightingale
    thelastnightingale Posts: 711 Member
    Do you mean a stitch?

    If you're running less than 10K, no need to fuel beforehand - not eating might help. If you are doing a longer run, look at what you're eating and when. You might leave to eat a bit less and/or leave a longer gap between eating and going for the run.

    Slow down - you're probably going slightly too fast for your current level of fitness.

    If the dreaded stitch comes anyway, put your hands on your hips and hold your sides until the cramp subsides.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,121 Member
    This is interesting. When I was in seventh grade, and we had to run laps around the playground, or do the President’s test, I’d get horrible stitches in my side. The kind where I’d want to lay down on the gravel and writhe in pain. No one ever believed me. Teachers always thought I was shamming. I never ran again til last year, but haven’t experienced them.

    I was thinking about them just this morning, and thanking heaven they were a thing of the past.

    If you are suffering with them, you have my utmost sympathy. It’s nigh on 46 years now, and I can still remember the pain.
  • cokezerolime
    cokezerolime Posts: 14 Member
    Thanks everyone for your input! From what I experienced, I think it is mostly a diaphragm thing because I am pretty new to running and still trying learn how to pace myself.