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The Worst Running Stomach Cramps Ever (And How I Overcame Them)

by Daniel Johnston

I was running, but barely.

Doubled over in pain, people speeding by me, the race that was supposed to be so glorious for me smashed to smithereens.

But I didn’t really care about that. The race was of very little concern of mine at that point.

Instead, more important things filled that void, like life and death: I wanted to die. Anything to escape the horrible pain.

The Most Painful Race Ever

You may think I’m being melodramatic, but this actually happened at a 5k I ran. I cannot begin to describe how awful it was. I fully believed that I would never run again, it was just so terrible.

After the race I didn’t recover, either. At least not for a while. I went and sat on a bench far away from everyone, and just lay down there for several minutes, almost throwing up. It was terrible.

Although I’d never felt quite that bad before, it was merely the worst of a long series of painful stomach cramps I had when running. It seemed that I felt stomach cramps nearly every time I went running. I had been trying to solve it and had not been successful, but now I was determined to fix it. There was no way I was going through that level of pain again.

The Solution

The solution for me has been rather simple; don’t put anything into my body before I run in the morning, and wait at least three hours before running after a meal.

So if I’m running in the morning I won’t drink anything that morning, won’t eat breakfast until after I run.

That particular morning I hadn’t done either of those, but I had taken some vitamins. My nurse told me that indeed was very likely to have been responsible for my pain during the race. She advised me to not take any medicine until after I run in the morning.

So now when I get up to run in the morning, I don’t take my vitamins, I don’t drink, I don’t eat. I just go and run and do all of that later.

And I don’t have stomach cramps.

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