It is finally getting there, after eight weeks off and another eight weeks easing back into running regularly.
The two reasons it was so important to ease back into running post-stress fracture were 1) to make sure my stress fracture was completely healed and 2) to prevent a new injury. Just because I was running 40+ mile weeks before I had to stop running doesn't mean my body was ready to jump right back into that mileage. While my body has some memory muscle and knows what it's like to undergo that kind of stress, it wasn't ready for it. Pool running kept me in pretty good running shape, but it isn't the same without the impact you experience with actual running. Even cardiovascularly, it is different. Your body has to do different things to maintain its temperature while you are in the pool than when you are running in different temperatures.
When I started running again, this is the plan I followed:
There is a lot of helpful information with the plan that talks about the purpose for the plan and how far, how hard and how often to run, so you can change the plan according to your injury and recovery needs.
Another great article I found talks about phantom pains, which was really helpful on those runs when I had little panic attacks because my shin started to hurt:
It also talks about diet and stress fractures, calcium buildup that can cause numbness and tingling, and has this sample return to running plan:
Some of these things I've mentioned before, but in addition to gradually increasing my running, the things I have done to ensure a healthy return to running are:
|This is called the Marathon Stick.|
There are several lengths and options,
but I really love this one!
- Taking a calcium supplement every day
- Strength training and cross training to maintain muscle balance, because running uses certain muscles more than others
- Foam rolling several times per week (I also use my Stick a lot because I feel like I can get a little deeper in some areas)
- Listening to my body and cutting my runs short or easing back my pace when necessary
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles in my lower leg; I try to write the alphabet in the air with my toes at least once every day, which is a great shin strengthener!
- Icing my shin(s) after almost every run and icing any other trouble spots
What is the longest break you have taken from running?
What is your favorite way to cross train?