I always thought that stitches were caused by eating or drinking too closely to running. Due to that mindset, I have always made sure that I don't eat or drink anything two hours before I run. Therefore, at work I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after 3.30pm. That would also mean that if I had a Fun Run at 7.30am I would get up at 5am to eat my breakfast. Not much fun at all!
But lately I have found that I am getting stitches all the time, even though the last time I might have consumed some food or drink was so 3-4 hours beforehand. I tried eating and drinking at all different times before running, however I couldn't work it out.
I started researching this topic on Google (I always self-diagnose myself on Google). One website mentioned that stitches are caused when the foot that is on the same side as your liver hits the ground at the same time as breathing in, so in order to prevent stitches you must make sure that you don't inhale at the same time the foot on the same side as you liver hits the ground This made no sense to me as my foot strikes the ground more often than I inhale and exhale, so I would have to either breath really fast or start running slower than walking pace.
I also read that it was caused by poor posture when you run. I have had a lot of people comment about how good my posture is when I run as I don't hunch over and I keep my upper body up right. This didn't seem like the answer to my question.
But then I came across something interesting. One website, which I cannot remember, mentioned that stitches can be caused by carbonated drinks. A light bulb went off in my head.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Coke Zero. I love it because it tastes good and it has 1 calorie, so it won't affect my daily calorie allowance.
|Coke Zero! And it's my birthday year!|
I can also honestly say that I can tell the difference between Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, along with Pepsi and Pepsi Max. Coke Zero tastes the best of all. But I do have a soft spot for Diet Vanilla Coke too.
|Mmmmm... Diet Vanilla Coke!|
I have a 600ml bottle of Coke Zero every day at work. I have it because when I go out with my friends at lunch time, I don't get anything to eat as I have normally eaten my lunch prior, which I have brought from home. Instead of sitting there doing nothing with my friends, I drink my Coke Zero. And I love it. Even the lady at Nandos knows my order of by heart - one 600ml bottle of Coke Zero!
I even managed to switch B from Coke to Coke Zero. Even he likes the taste! We have cans of the stuff in our drinks fridge....
|Coke Zero with more carbonated diet drinks...|
...and a couple of slabs of it sitting next to our drinks fridge.
|Yup, these are all sitting next to the fridge|
I also get frustrated when I go out and they only have Diet Coke on offer as I'm not a big fan of it. My parents also have Coke Zero at their place (which they call Zero when they ask for it when they go out and people (mainly me) look at them strangely). When I go to things like dinners or drinks or something similar with Brendan's side of the family I have to bring my own bottle of Coke Zero as none of them drink diet drinks. If I don't bring my own drink I'm either stuck with wine or Coke.
I did a test run a few days ago. I didn't have any Coke Zero at lunch time and then I went for a run after work. It was a beautiful run as I didn't get a stitch.
So, if I want to remain stitch free and progress positively in my running, I have to give up Coke Zero, Pepsi Max and all other carbonated drinks. But not completely. I could never do that. I will just have to give it up on week days. I will also have to make sure that on weekends I only drink it after I have been running.
|Oh Pepsi Max! How I am going to miss you when I need a drink at work!|
This means that I will have to find something else to drink at lunch time. I don't drink coffee and I only drink peppermint tea first thing in the morning (its part of my morning ritual at work). I've had a few Vitamin Water drinks at lunch time lately. They are around 90 calories each, which isn't too bad considering when I run I burn between 700-1000 calories, so I can afford to go slightly over my 1200 calorie limit each day.
If you are on the 12WBT what do you drink at lunch time?
Anyone got any suggestions of what I have have to drink at lunch time?