Cramps when I run on treadmill

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24fps
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Cramps when I run on treadmill

Post by 24fps » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Hi all,

About a month and a half ago I woke up thinking to myself that I should run before I workout. Well, being one who tries to follow his intuition I went along with it and so I've been running ever since and I love it. I am losing my bad fat at a steady pace and it makes for an amazing warmup before training. I workout 3 times a week and I run 2 times as I prefer not to run on my "leg" day as to not fatigue my leg muscles.

My running routine is set to a manual and I gradually increase the speed. For the particular machines present at my gym a setting of 4 represents the point where you can't walk anymore and I have to jog and around 5.4-5.8 that is when I run and finally a setting of 6.2 and upward is when sprinting is required.

As I said I gradually increase the speed so that a 1/4 of the routine is for warming up, 2/4 is for running and the last 1/4 is for sprinting.

Now about 85-90% of the time when I go from the warm up phase to the running phase a cramp will appear. It is not in the leg though but in the torso, like the one you get from exercising too quickly after eating. The cramp is always located at the point right underneath the rib cage on the right hand side.

At first when the cramp appeared it was pretty bad, almost to a point where I would almost have to stop. Now it is more manageable and when I focus on something else I won't be bothered by it. Of course as I intensify the running the cramp gets worse but still stays doesn't stray into a discomfort zone.

A strange thing will happen about 50% of the time that the cramp appear and it is that it will move. At first it is located below the rib cage on the right hand side of my torso, then it will move down and to the left as if it were following the digestive tract.

Now I don't eat before I workout but I do drink a lot of fluid about 1/2 hour before working out. I tried not to drink but I become too dehydrated. I tried drinking the fluids (mostly water and some fortified soy milk) an hour before working out but the cramp would still occur.

As I said the cramp is present 85-90% of the time. Sometimes it will appear when I go from jogging to running, other times it will appear as I go from jogging to sprinting and of course other times it won't be present at all which completely baffles as to why it doesn't.

Any ideas why does this cramp occurs in the first place?

Thanks,

Phil


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Stephen Johnson
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Re: Cramps when I run on treadmill

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:53 pm

24fps wrote: The cramp is always located at the point right underneath the rib cage on the right hand side.
What you're experiencing sounds like a stitch:
Q: What causes "side stitches," how do I get rid of them, and how do I prevent them from occurring in the first place?

A: Great question! In the May-June 1992 issue of Running Research News, Dr. Gordon Quick discussed this very topic. A "side stitch" is a sharp, intense pain under the lower edge of the ribcage caused by a muscle spasm of the diaphragm. Such pain can occur during vigorous exercise, such as running, and seems to occur more commonly in novice exercisers who have not yet established proper pacing and who tend to breathe more quickly and shallow. However, about 30% of all runners will experience stitches at some point. What exactly causes them? On inhalation, we take air into the lungs, pressing the diaphragm downward. When we exhale, the diaphragm moves up. If the body has some trapped air/gas below the diaphragm, if we've eaten too close to exercise, or if we start exercising too vigorously, the diaphragm may cramp, causing pain under the rib cage on the right side.

The most effective way to prevent a side stitch is to take deep, full "belly breaths" while running. This will allow the diaphragm to fully lower and reduces the stress on it. If you take a lot of shallow breaths when running, the diaphragm remains in a consistently high position and never lowers enough to allow the connective ligaments of the liver to relax. The diaphragm becomes stressed and a "stitch" may result. Another way to prevent stitches is to make sure you include a warm-up that helps you gradually increase your running speed. If you head out in an all-out dash from the front door, you're more likely to take quick, short, shallow breaths, inducing a cramp.

24fps
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Post by 24fps » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:05 pm

Well I've just read the full article and it couldn't be more spot on than this!!!

Thanks Stephen :)

Phil

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Re: Cramps when I run on treadmill

Post by A. moss » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:32 pm

24fps wrote:
As I said the cramp is present 85-90% of the time. Sometimes it will appear when I go from jogging to running, other times it will appear as I go from jogging to sprinting and of course other times it won't be present at all which completely baffles as to why it doesn't.

My fist advice would be to drink more water. When I first started running I had cramps just like what you sed. I thought that I drank enough water, but my friend (A Cross Country Runner) told me to just TRY drinking more. Within a week I noticed that I stopped have cramps. I told her, and she sed that she new that that was the problem, but if she would have SED that she new that that was the problem, I would have sed "I know I drink enough water". haha, she was probably right.

Is there anything different that you do on the day that it is/isn't present? I would watch very carefully to your routine (BEFORE and during) and if there is a difference then that could be what is triggering it.

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Re: Cramps when I run on treadmill

Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:58 am

24fps wrote:Well I've just read the full article and it couldn't be more spot on than this!!!

Thanks Stephen :)
No problem. When I jogged a lot during the 1980s, stitches were a constant thorn in my side.
A. moss wrote:My fist advice would be to drink more water.
While staying hydrated when running is good advice, many people gulp rather than sip their water, swallowing a lot of air in the process. Having air in the gut hurts rather than helps against stitches.


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