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  1. #1
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    Help! Cramp(stitch) in my side

    I am a newbie and last week I raced my first race, I went out to hard and blew up like a bomb. After this I did some research to correct my obvious mistakes and my next race went much better. I raced the sport class and finished 4th. YOOOHOOO!
    OK, here is my question. During my second race everything went great except on the second lap when I experienced a cramp in my side that kept getting worse untill it forced me to stop. It was pretty bad and caused alot of pain.(lost alot of time as well)

    Can anyone tell me what this is and what causes it. Oh ya, and how to stop it



    Thanks,

    Jason.

  2. #2
    Riding a Rig.
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    Well, I would say its probably the way you are breathing. I tend to get a cramp in my side if I don't pace my breathing. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Also, I try to further pace my breathing based on my leg movements. So, breath in through your nose when your pushing down with your right leg, and then breath out through your mouth when pushing down with your left leg. You might have to modify that for riding a bike, but its always worked for me while running.

  3. #3
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Some people think that side cramps are from a spasm in the diaphragm, in which case Vulcan's advice is very useful.

    For me personally, I will get cramps if I eat too much or too soon before riding hard, or even from drinking too much water. Similar to when mom used to warn you not to go swimming for 30 minutes after lunch - when blood is diverted to your legs and not to your stomach to help in digestion it can cramp. I avoid this by either eating easily digestible things far enough before exercising to not cramp, or using gels and drinks around and during exercise.

    Still occasionally push it and forget - I got a really nasty side stitch on Wednesday because i ate some raisin bran about an hour or so before doing a ride involving a lot of hill climbing. It really hurt. I had to stop and massage the area and stretch out - after a little while, it released and I enjoyed the rest of my climb.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys,

    I think Vulcan may have my answer. I did notice some pretty crazy breathing going on. I am going to work on my breathing technique and try and get it under some kind of control.

    Impy: I didn't have anything to eat 3.5hrs before the race so that is why I am leaning towards Vulcan's advice.

    Much appreciated,

    Jason Everaert

  5. #5
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    congrats on 4th btw!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    If your legs cramp you can often just ride through it but getting a stitch is a real nightmare.

    I take it as being a sign that I'm trying too hard and will just have to back off a bit. As soon as I start getting a stitch I'll try and rev a bit faster and keep telling myself to relax over and over. It works for me anyway.

    The main things to reduce this problem are to ride on an empty stomach, pace yourself better and make sure you wear bib shorts rather than anything with a waistband which will restrict your breathing.

    Using a Powerbreathe www.powerbreathe.com will help your breathing too.

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