How To Prevent Side Aches

One of the worst things that can happen on a run is a side ache!  No matter what your distance, side aches can creep up and attempt to sabotage your run.  With a few strategies, you can prevent side aches and learn how to get rid of them mid run.


  • Proper Breathing- This is key not only for preventing side aches but for more efficient running. Match your breathing to your steps.  I breathe in 3 steps and breathe out 3 steps.  Some runners to 3:2 or 2:2.  Find what works for you- breathe!
  • Strong Abs and Core- Especially the obliques! A well trained core reduces rotational movement while you run putting less stress on the organs and makes you less prone to aches.
  • Pre Run Food- Eat a light meal low in fiber and fat. Experiment to find your perfect pre race food.
  • Warm Up- Warming up primes the muscles and helps you establish optimal breathing.

How To Get Rid Of A Side Ache

  • Rhythmic Breathing- See above for proper breathing technique.
  • Breath in while you step on the side with the ache- seems weird but it works.
  • Slow down
  • Use your hand to press on the ache

As soon as I feel a side ache coming on, I immediately start rhythmic breathing and step while I inhale on the side with the ache.  If the side ache is on the right side, I breathe in while I step with my right foot.  Usually, this gets rid of the side ache.  If it doesn’t, I slow down or even walk while breathing deeply until it is gone.

Do these tricks every time you run and they soon become part of your running routine.  I barely think about side aches any more, and they used to haunt every run!


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