Episode Guide

Here's a quick rundown of all the episodes of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone. Click on a link to go to that episode!

Ask Julia: What to do when running is a pain in the side

Today's running question comes from RunningStart. She asks:

When running, what do you do about the awful side stitch? You know. Where you get that pain in your side that won't go away until you stop running? When I'm running, my legs, my breath, and my head are all saying, "Keep running!" but my side says, "Oh! No! You'd better stop and stretch that out again." Please help!

Our running guru Julia Jones says:

In order to cure yourself of a side stitch, you have to first understand what is happening to your body. The pain you feel is actually caused by a spasm of your diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm muscle separates your lung cavity from your abdominal cavity and moves up and down while your inhale and exhale. So when you inhale (try this while you’re reading!) your lungs fill up with air and pushes your diaphragm down (see how your stomach pushes slightly out?). As you exhale your lungs contract and your diaphragm rises back into place. Now try that a few times: breath in and vision your diaphragm pushing down, breath out and see it returning back up.

While we run the rising and falling of the diaphragm is happening at a faster speed than normal with this added catch: most runners exhale when their left foot strikes the ground, while about 30% exhale when their right foot hits the ground. Why is this important? Most stitches occur on the right side, which is why a lot of people attribute a side stitch to a liver problem! As your right foot hits the ground, gravity forces your internal organs down also which in turn are attached to the diaphragm pulling that down too. So if you’re exhaling at the same time as your right foot hits the ground, your diaphragm is being pulled DOWN on one end just as you are exhaling and having it pulled UP by contracting your lungs. I know, you’ll have to read that over again to really understand what is happening. It’s like the diaphragm is being pulled in two directions at the same time and then… SIDE STITCH!

Also, please note that side stitches are exacerbated with downhill running, there's a lot more jostling happening with the diaphragm and those internal organs while you scoot downhill!

Now that you understand what is going on, here’s how to take care of a side stitch so you can start running normally again:

  • Stop or slow down. Stop for a few seconds while you get your breathing under control. You can keep walking while you get your breathing in sync. If you have more running experience and the stitch occurs while running at a faster speed you can also try just slowing down.
  • Push up on the right side of the diaphragm. Take your fingers and push right up underneath the right hand side of your rib cage. Just a gentle nudge will be enough to alleviate some of the pain.
  • Take full, deep breaths. Avoid any shallow breathing, take nice deep, controlled breaths for a few minutes.
  • Get your running and breathing in sync. Try exhaling when your left foot hits the ground. Once you have everything under control and you beginning running again, concentrate on exhaling every four counts when your left foot hits the ground. This should avoid any reoccurances for the rest of your run.

Two Fit Chicks – now loud and clear in Two Ears!

Oh people, never edit a podcast after midnight. Some eagle-eared listeners noticed that Carla's voice was only coming through one of their headphones. Turns out that I had accidentally turned the balance on Carla's track to the left. Whoops.

The podcast has now been corrected re-uploaded:


Happy Festivus

We've had a cracking Christmas Day here at Crooked House. Champagne with brekkie followed by a huge snowball fight and building our very first snowman. Then we cooked the mother of all Christmas lunches and now we're flopped on the couch like seals on a beach.

Hope you're having a good Friday, wherever you and whatever you're up to! Thank you for stopping by this year 🙂

The snow started to melt this arvo so the poor lad's arms fell off.


2fc-small I started a podcast called Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone – a healthy living podcast for the people!

My co-host is the lovely supreme buffness that is Carla Birnberg of MizFit.

We’re currenly on hiatus, but hot topics we’ve tackled include running for beginners, goal setting, coping with the holiday season, weight training and much much more. We’ve answered listener questions and had some spectacular special guests too.

The aim of the show is to entertain and inform and be real. We don’t claim to be health and fitness experts – we simply want to share what we’ve learned about health and fitness, and learn from others too.

We also love the kickarse blogger community spirit, so in each episode we share news from bloggers and readers just like you. From 5Ks to non-scale victories, we want to hear it!

Find out more and download all the episodes at www.twofitchicks.org.

Ready to relaunch

When we move to Crooked House* next week, I'll have a room of my own. There'll be a desk in one corner and bookshelf in another and a pile of dumbells in another. There'll be a proper place for my Swiss ball so it won't fall on top of Dr G's head. I've got a giant 2010 planner with 365 hopeful blank squares, ready to whack up on the wall.

I'm so bloody burned out, comrades! I'll drag my arse through the next 19 days until the Christmas break begins, then I'll snooze and read and write and drink port and watch Roman Holiday.

I'm ready to get my shit together. You know when you know you need to get your shit together but you don't have the oomph to actually do it? I'm just about ready for the doing now. Yeah!

* so named because the house has so many crooked cupboards, walls, tiles, etc from ye olde slapdash renovations. That will all change under my watch, dammit!

Problems listening to 2FC Episode 5? Try this link…

A huge thanks to Jen and Gretchen for letting us know they've had problems accessing Episode 5 of the podcast. The issue seems to be with Podbean, our podcast host, whose servers are down a helluva lot more often than I'd prefer for a bloody paid hosting account. I will look into a new host for 2010, methinks.

(Anyone out there know of a reliable podcast host or had experience using Typepad for podcasting?)

If you're having problems with the podcast, please give us a shout and let us know how you were trying to listen (iTunes, browser, RSS feed, etc) and we'll help. We're both very new to this podcast medium so your feedback will help us to make things better!

I've uploaded the file to this blog so you can click here to download the MP3 (33MB) or use the wee player below. Our apologies for the convenience.

Episode 05 – Help for the Holidays

– Shauna