RUNNING TIPS BY JOHN STANTON QUESTION: I took a break from running over the winter and as I tried to get back into it this spring, I began getting a stitch in my right side, in the same place at the same time during each run. I’ve found that if I stop and stretch during this time, the stitch works itself out but then it returns. I’ve tried breathing differently, holding my arm above my head when I feel it coming on, massaging the area that hurts and nothing seems to be working. Any suggestions? ANSWER: You are doing some of the things that will usually help alleviate what’s commonly called “runner ’s stitch.” The truth of the matter is, sports medicine professionals do not agree about what causes this discomfort. Here’s what I’ve learned while working with runners; start very slowly and gradually build up the intensity of the run. Many runners have found that the sudden start of a run and their laboured breathing during the first 10 minutes causes the discomfort. Another thing to concentrate on is “belly breathing.” Concentrate on breathing deep in your diaphragm, versus high in your chest. Pursing your lips as you breathe out also helps in fully exhaling and relaxing the diaphragm. Try to really focus on staying as calm as possible. And keep your breathing relaxed and controlled. All of us have a tendency to start our runs with too much intensity, rather than gradually building up the intensity. MOTIVATIONAL RUNNING TIPS: 1. Plan and schedule your daily workouts. 2. Be flexible within your schedule. Just commit to completing the workout. 3. Be creative when planning your workouts. Use normal down/ waiting time to get in that run, stretch session, or cross-training session. 4. Read, listen to or watch something humourous. A good laugh gets rid of most stress. The thought of my good friend Nick Lees running a marathon in a tutu usually does the trick for me. RUNNING 5. Vary your workouts. Running the same distance or course every day can soon lead to boredom. A little speed or some hill repeats will put spring back into your stride. 6. Run with a friend. You can motivate each other. 7. Imagine yourself in a race leading the pack that is 25 metres behind you. Push just a little. 8. In a safe area, put on headphones and listen to some music, a motivational tape or a comedy tape. 9. Mix it up. Change the time of day you normally run; run in a different direction; run a new workout; or read a great new running book like Running Start To Finish. 10. Best yet, run past a hospital to remind yourself how fortunate you are to have your good health. It’s a fragile gift you must look after. 11. Savour each run as it is special in its own way. LE MOYEN LE PLUS RENTABLE D’AMÉLIORER L’ATTRAIT EXTÉRIEUR DE VOTRE MAISON. THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE WAY TO IMPROVE CURB APPEAL. AVANT MAINTENANT SPÉCIALISTE EN PEINTURE AU SPRAY THE SPRAY-APPLIED PAINTING SPECIALIST REVÊTEMENTS EXTÉRIEURS • PORTES & FENÊTRES EXTERIOR SIDING • DOORS • WINDOWS GARANTIE GARANTIE ALUMINIUM · VINYLE · STUC · AGRÉGAT · BRIQUE · PVC ALUMINUM · VINYL · STUCCO · BRICK GARANTIE GARANTIE ANS ANS GARANTIE GARANTIE WWW.OTTAWAOUTDOORS.CA | 29