Exhale On Your Left Foot To Avoid Side Stitches While Running

Exhale on Your Left Foot to Avoid Side Stitches While Running

A side stitch (where you feel a sharp stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage) is a common ailment while running. Yight be able to avoid that simply by changing your running gait to always breathe in and out on your left foot.

Photo by Mike Baird

That's the suggestion of Dr Tim Noakes in his book The Lore Of Running. Drawing on Dr. Noakes' advice, the authors of 100 Questions and Answers about your Sports Injury further explain what you need to do and why:

Change your gait such that you are beginning inhalation and exhalation as your left foot strikes the ground. Many runners begin and end their breathing cycle on the same foot, such that runners may be described as right-footed or left-footed with regards to breathing. Practising this altered gait may decrease the frequency that the liver, the heaviest abdominal organ, is displaced downwards while the diaphragm is in its highest position.

This advice goes against the 3:2 inhale-exhale ratio for improved runs, but preventing a side stitch might be worth it. If you still do suffer from that pain, there's a three-minute fix to get rid of it.

100 Questions & Answers About Your Sports Injury [Google Books]


    Y'ight, DAWGGGGG.

    Other than that, interesting stuffs.

    Life just gets curioser and .....
    Why a biologically fairly normal female would WANT to run is beyond me (coming from the last century). However, from many years experience watching females - a habit picked up very young and maintained ever since -
    That advice - to anyone experienced in *advanced* Martial Art is mind-boggling.
    The first requirement -if you are going SUPER-stress your metabolic system by doing something as life-damaging as running, is learn to breathe. It's called Tun Tien or stomach breath to the Chinese Masters - who learned it from the Indians, who know that life is all about breath.
    Running is the Fear/Flight reaction of the human system. Produces bad, bad, vibes and lots of Cortisol. (Extremely bad for human females) and not much easier for males. Cuts the testosterone production from the fear reaction switched on by the act of running(away).
    Very skinny, very tall people of either sex can get away with doing it, sometimes for years before their bodies break down, but it is still a highly negative thing to do to one's body.
    And of course, puts paid to the fun side of life. But runners don't want sex, do they?

      Unsure if troll or just a man whose neckbeard is big enough to be worn as a cape.

        Logged in purely to upvote this comment. Glorious.

      I sure am glad my human female isn't into running.

    Prof Noakes knows what he's on about. He's a top consultant for elite sports teams. He's also ran plenty of ultra marathons, if it's good for him I'll give it a go.

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