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Runner's Stitches

Answered By Sean Coster


My daughter is a HS Sophmore and has been running XC for 4yrs. now. 4000 meters She has problems with developing a runner's stitch also with burnout (I think). Her 7th grade year she finished 32nd at the state level, 8th grade year 34th and and last year 90th. The 8th and 9th grade years she put on alot of mileage during the summer too.(She should have been in the top 25 at the state level but developed a runners stitch again) Even though she was the top runner for her team most of the year she continues not to perform well at the State competitions. Also she developed these at the State track meet and did not perform to her potential one year too. is she peaking too early and how can she perform better at the State level? She is also plagued with Restrictive Airway Disease and uses an inhaler before the race and we think has an acid reflux disease and wears custom orthotics. Their team has won the combined team championship the last 3 years but she cannot run her races to her fullest potential. Help!


Hi- well there are a few issues you have brought up and i will be happy to speak to what i know. The side stitches typically don't occur when runners are as fit as i suspect your daughter is. Breathing patterns can be changed and the athlete can 'force' air out on an exhale constricting the area cramping to help it loosen up. i have an article on this which i will email you if you email me at sean@crpusa.com with the subject side stitches. More over it sounds like your daughter has some pretty high expectations on her that aren't being met, and this may be an added stress that can aggravate some of these physical issues. Guided imagery is a great way to work through some of these blocks in competition. best of luck Sean Coster Head Coach/Founder Complete Running Programs sean@crpusa.com

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