Our expert says:
No one knows with 100% certainty what the cause is. A few years ago, I saw some research that suggested that the stitch was caused by spasms in the major breathing muscles - the external intercostals, the internal intercostals and the diaphragm. If you breathe too shallowly, then you worsen the problem, and so the answer is to take deep, steady breaths, getting the air right down to the base of the lungs, if you can visualize that. So you must slow down the breathing, because presumably this helps to stretch out the muscles, particularly the diaphragm, and relieve the cramp.
To answer the second question, you need to rest for as long as it takes to allow recovery to occur. If you're doing a session that is supposed to be high-intensity, or anaerobic, the key is the quality of the repeats. Therefore, the recovery must be lengthened in order to allow that quality to remain high. The danger is shortening the recovery, which causes you to drop the intensity of the runs, and then it starts becoming a mixed session. So rather focus on the intensity of the run, which is the main factor determining whether you're using oxygen-independent or dependent pathways.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.