Stomach cramp

In an attempt to combat my inability to get out of bed in the morning, I have just tried the "lunch time run". However, I have come back with horrific stomach cramp.

I got this pain in exactly the same place when running last week and thought it was just because I'd started out too fast but I got it again today after about 2 miles, tried running through it but eventually had to stop and walk as it hurt too much.

I don't think its stitch as its too low (pelvic area). Has anyone else suffered from this? If so, how do you either get rid of it (still hurts slightly 40 mins after I've got back!) or prevent it in the first place.

All suggestions very gratefully recieved as I'm supposed to be doing my first 5k tomorrow night.


  • Clare, Yep...I had this a couple of weeks ago, rushed in from work, quick change, drink of water and out....but not for very far and like you I thought I could run through it until I ground to a halt. In my case it was starting out too fast.
  • Hmmm - you may well be right. Thought I was doing well today but maybe I was just going too fast...I find very difficult to pace myself when I'm on my own - guess it's one of those things that comes with practice...
  • Hi Clare, do you feel bloated when you run, like you have to go to the toilet? Also, how long do you leave between eating and going running? Avoid having a really heavy breakfast - light cereal, banana, yoghurt will probably suffice (try and take in about 350 calories for energy), and a snack before lunch (depends on when you start work and when your lunch is so play this by ear) BUT try to avoid eating an hour or so before run.
    Also drink plenty of water. Let me know if this works. A lot of things about running as we are finding out is trial and error!
  • Hi Clare

    I sometimes get stomach cramps as well, particularly if I have been doing some hill work, but they are more of a 'womanly' nature than digestive related! Is this what you meant you did say pelvic area. Mine are like really intense period pains, which can leave me completely doubled up. Does anyone else experience this.
  • Have had the same: felt like whole pelvic area turned to stone, also v dizzy at same time. V nasty. Talking to other ladies have found is not uncommon. Is not period pain so could it be ovulation?

    Are we guaranteed to get no male replies to thios or what?
  • You would have thought so until I dropped by.

    My mate suffers with a bad stomach if he runs after consuming dairy products, even things like milk in his coffee. Perhaps this is the same with you, ie when you run in the morning you haven't consumed whatever it is that upsets your stomach but you have eaten/drunk it by the time you go out later on.

    Anyway, I'll let you girlies get back to your mysterious girly things now.
  • i'll second the dairy theory - it gets me too - not nice!!
  • It is definitely not dairy product or any other food related!! Believe me we can tell the difference.
  • I had the same period type pain on a 30 min run this week for the first time since beginning running in May. Don't think it was linked to any food/drink. Weird.
  • Now thoroughly confused!!

    I don't wish to completely disregard the boys' suggestions so will give dairy abstinence a go pre-training.

    It did feel like period pain but worse and not in the same area I get it (sorry boys!).

    I tried sticking to a certain pace when I ran last night and pain only threatened when I sped up towards the end...

    May end up writing to the magazine about this one!
  • I suffer from cramps but only when i race and after about 3 miles it goes decided to go through all possibilities 1 by 1 food before a race, warm drinks, strengthning stomach muscles, pace, got shut of the first 2 and no results but a learned friend has now advised me that it will probably be pace. He has told me to warm up well before a race and to set markers in the first 2 miles if its possble and try to reach them at around a certain time so that you dont set off too fast. racing on the 29th let you know how i go on
  • If I start off running slower than feels naturally comfortable, I never get this period style pain.
    I only get it if I go off too quick (I am not always aware of this) and my muscles have not had achance to warm up.
    When I have experienced it whilst out on a run, it stops me in my tracks for approx 15-20 minutes then goes.
    After the attack I can run for England........weird thing, I thought I was the only one who suffered with this, as no one in my running club have ever experienced this.
  • I get these pains too. They feel exactly like period pains in the very low pelvic region. As it's been two weeks in a row, I know it's nothing to do with periods. They are quite bad - I have to stop and walk for a while. I would love to hear any suggestions for avoiding them.
  • Hi I get this sometimes too, and last week for the first time ever, I had some bleeding after the run, the pain had been there but not so severe I had to stop. It was about my ovulation time so not sure if that had anything to do with it.

  • I can relate to what you girls were writing two and a half years ago! I ran a women's 5km on Sunday and I felt cramp in my stomach/pelvic area which was very similiar to the type of period pains I get.
    I did nearly stop and walk because of the intensity of the pain in my stomach and the thought of running up a hill. However, I managed to continue running/jogging and the cramp I had in my stomach started to go about 40 minutes after I had finished. What a relief.
  • Here is another weird cramp issue. I don't cramp up during a run. I cramp up about an hour after. It seems to be in both the upper abdomen and intestinal area. And it is terrible! It drains my energy. The only thing to do is curl up in the fetal position and try to go to sleep. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it IS memorable. I’ve taken note of what I have eaten and drank prior to running and can not find any correlation. I’m always well hydrated so I am perplexed about it. My husband is a runner too and has never experienced this. Any ideas?
  • Interesting to read about the stomach cramp issues. I get intense period type pain when running the week after I've been on. Usually, if I stop as soon as the first twinges occur then the pain will intensify for a while but cease after about 5 or ten mins. On occassion, however, the pain is excruciating, comes on without warning and makes me feel very faint, clammy and extremely sick - this then lasts for 20 mins or so. All very weird and makes running on your own a bit scary sometimes - hence, I now take may mobile with me on longer excursions. Any remedies or explanations would be gratefully received.
  • Oh I am so relieved its not just me!! For years I have been put off running due to the intense period type pain I get usually two weeks before I am due which again like S Calvert I get exactly the same sick, faint feeling which doubles me up!! I have just started running again recently and yep, the pain is back! The only thing I can do at the moment is take pain killers 1 hour before I go for a run and I can just about put up with the pain then. Not a good long term solution so hopefully someone out there has found something else that works. I have had the scans, examinations etc and physcially there does not appear to be anything wrong including endometreosis so what is it??!!! Any ideas??? :-)
  • I've had the exact same thing ladies. I ran the British 10k recently and between 5k and 7k I had really bad stomach cramps. Felt exactly like period pain, I had to try and walk it off. It was extremely painful and lasted for a good 15 minutes, then it just disappeared and I practically sprinted the last 3k before it came back! Helped me get a new PB but not really the point. I was in agony at the time!
  • I get the period-pain kind of cramps but never during running - I get them a couple of hours or sometimes later after running, they come and go sometimes for hours and sometimes I get spotting too. It seems to be totally random in that it doesn't seem to coincide with my periods at all. Noone else at my running club seems to have encountered this so I thought I had something wrong with me! Glad (in a strange way!) that I'm not the only one. They should have a dscussion on this in the mag, get a medical professional to give their opinion!
  • I've noticed an increase in period style cramps since I've upped my running this year. It usually happens mid cycle or after endurance events and is always on my left side. Last week I competed in a 26km mountain race on the day my period was hour after the event I experienced excruciating cramps which lasted 2 hours. The pain would flare up every 30 seconds or so and then subside, and I was doubled over in bed because it was too difficult to to move...pain killers didn't work! I was at the point of heading to a medical centre when they mysteriously disappeared. I have since been to my doctor who says it was probably due to "trauma"caused by the running. She ordered a pelvic ultrasound just in case, but she feels the strenuous exercise and hormone levels have something to do with it.
  • Ive just read, yet this is unconvirmed... it is because when you run, runners tend to exhale on their right foot, but when they breath on the left foot their diaphram hits your internal organs. You can stop this by stop running, put your hands on your right side of your belly, and push up.

    Marcel Bergler
    March 28th 2008.
    Member since 2 minutes ago so I can help you people!

    Editing 4 minutes after becoming member.
    Found another idea if it helps.
    heres the link to the source

  • I too have experienced what others describe here. I am a 31 year old women with excellent general health.  Approximately 10 days before my period I experience very painful bowel/abdominal cramps about 15 minutes 2-3km into a run and I have a real need to go to the toilet.  Clearing my bowels is the only thing that will make these cramps go away and then it's fine.  No other symptoms but I just hope it's nothing serious.  I don't have kids but my husband and I are looking at trying soon and I just hope that it's not related to endo or any fertility issues.  Good to know I'm not alone...
  • I have also experienced exactly the same thing - I ran the London Mar a few years ago and during training after 20mins or so I'd have to make sure a pub was en-route to use their "facilities"!!!! Now I am in South Africa attempting to get back into running again and lo and behold after 20mins I am doubled up and in pain (much like period pain) with all the usual symptoms - extreme pain, nausea, needing to empty the bowels....etc. If I stop running (either walk or stop entirely) after about 10-15mins or so I am ok/back to "normal" - and can continue running again - often as if nothing happened!!! I am sure my running partner must think I am exaggerating the pain as I go from extreme agony to "ok, now that we've stopped and the pain is gone, we can get going again"......very relieved I am not the only one to suffer from this. I was worried it was endo-related. Anyone have any ideas on what causes this and what can be done about it???? Would love any advice....
  • i have the same problem!  im 17 and trying really hard to stay in shape for soccer/lacrosse, but i dread the cramps. i always get them right after i stop running, and they go on for 15+ min until they suddenly stop. my dad doesn't believe how much they hurt me.  i've tried warming up and cooling down for at least four minutes, slowing my pace, everything!  could it possibly be lack of electrolytes or calcium? sometimes when i drink powerade before/after i feel better, sometimes i dont.  im so glad someone else understands...
  • same for me.. i'm new to running and i've been getting cramps straight after i come in. it's like period pain - maybe with a little bit more of a burning sensation..which makes me wonder if it is actually muscle burn.
    one thing i've noticed, is that heat helps. a hot shower really calms it. or a hot water bottle.
    i'm actually going to try some of those heat pads for injury and stick them on (over the ovary areas) while running - to see if it helps keep the pain from starting.. i will let you know how this goes.
    sometimes i wonder if it's just the lower abs getting such a long and repetitive workout that they've just had enough! - again, over working the muscle..?
    also, i'm wondering if there's any link to street running as opposed to grass - maybe the impact is jolting our (sensitive) internal organs around??
  • Hi - I went on the Pill (recommended by gynae) and since then, have had no problem with cramps during running. It's made a tremendous difference. From having dehibilitating cramps during running, now I can run freely - it's just the fitness that's the problem now!!!
  • I experience these period type cramps as well. I got the Mirena (IUD) about 7 months ago. Before this I did not experience these cramps. I don't know if there is any connection there or not, but these cramps are brutal!
  • I've just come back from the doctors to discuss this same problem.  Wasn't convinced with her suggestion of IBS as I have no other symptoms.

    I started getting debilitating pelvic cramps a couple of months ago.  It starts 20 mins into a run, lasts for few minutes and then slowly eases off.  I also get it if I push my heart rate on the bike at the gym (the same 20 mins in) so I don't think it's necessarily the movement of running that's doing it.

    It's interesting that there have been a couple of references to endo on here in relation to this.  I was diagnosed some years ago and wonder if there's a connection.

    The doctor has suggested I take pain killers before I go running.  I would rather figure out what's going on and stop it from happening in the first place.

    Glad (in a purely selfish way) that I'm not the only one experiencing this.

  • Hi, I've experienced the excruciating stomach cramps too, after a strenuous cycle uphill. Felt very faint and had to sit down with my head between my legs so figured I'd wobble back down the hill to Sainsburys and have a hot chocolate thinking it might be low blood sugar. While I was waiting to pay the stomach cramps kicked in and I broke into a proper cold sweat, thought I was going to faint and had to go and sit at a table. Very embarrassing. I think people probably assumed I had a wicked hangover as it was a Sunday morning. Then I had to go and use the facilities quite quickly. Then I felt better. Then the whole cycle repeated itself, twice. After that I was absolutely fine. Very weird.

    The only other time I've experienced something similar was years ago when I was still living at home. Apparently I went green and slid down the wall onto the floor, and Mum was so worried she called the doctor out but by the time she arrived I was fine. The doc said it may have been a twisted bowel, kind of like colic in horses, where things get twisted then have to right themselves. Excruciating though. I've only experienced it twice, thank goodness, but it's very interesting to find out that there are a few of us, and it seems to be triggered by strenuous exercise...
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