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Discussion Starter #1
Afternoon all, I haven't posted on here for ages (in fact only have 10 or so posts to my name), but thought I would share something with you lot.

I joined this forum around May time and asked about some new trainers, to be fair 99% of you said get some, I stupidly ignored this advice and kept running with an old pair of assics (7 years and counting). I started running around March time as I realised I was the fattest I've ever been and wanted to lose a bit of weight. So I put in 4 months of hard work and started to see some good results, however, my leg started to hurt. So much so I went and had some tests, well 2 months later I've just been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the upper tibia - bugger.

My old shoes have to take the full blame, I now have to wait another 2 months for the bone to heal, hopefully this will not impact my marathon training schedule which starts in December.

So ladies and gents, always get new shoes!! Doc tells me every 6 months, it's expensive this running lark!!

Thought I'd share my experience so people can avoid having the same troubles as me, not being able to run for 5 months is a bugger I can tell you.

All the best,
Ian
 

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Thanks for sharing Ian.

I am sorry to hear the end result :( Why not stick around and share your recovery. It may sound like a daft suggestion but if someone else has a similar problem you might motivate them. And hopefully we can motivate you to restart once you are recovered.

Don't give up!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don't worry sir, definitely not giving up, desperate to start training again!!

I've had a fair few scans now (thank god for private health cover through my work). Main aim is to rest for 6-8 weeks. Plenty of calcium and Vitamin D3 and K2, so I'm popping 3 pills a day to aid the recovery.

I'm still hitting the gym, but just doing core work and high rep light weight exercises. Hopefully in 4 weeks I'll start cycling and cross training. If so I'll update the thread and see what's what.

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

Ian
 

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The same thing happened to me last year. I had just completed a 10 mile race in the February and literally limped away from it knowing something was very wrong. I had an MRI (through health insurance so got in pretty swiftly) and they confirmed that I actually had a stress fracture in each tibia which was a complete surprise to me. It took 14 weeks of lots of swimming and upper body work only at the gym - it was very, very hard but I did get fixed and then managed to train for a marathon which I completed in the September. So . . . there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's a mistake that I won't make again. It wasn't so much shoes with me but just over-training, I'm now really careful and any little niggle I stop and rest.

Good luck with your recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The same thing happened to me last year. I had just completed a 10 mile race in the February and literally limped away from it knowing something was very wrong. I had an MRI (through health insurance so got in pretty swiftly) and they confirmed that I actually had a stress fracture in each tibia which was a complete surprise to me. It took 14 weeks of lots of swimming and upper body work only at the gym - it was very, very hard but I did get fixed and then managed to train for a marathon which I completed in the September. So . . . there is light at the end of the tunnel and it's a mistake that I won't make again. It wasn't so much shoes with me but just over-training, I'm now really careful and any little niggle I stop and rest.

Good luck with your recovery.
Cheryl, thanks a lot for the post, much appreciated. My stress fracture is at the back of the tibia, but up high, towards the knee, supposed to be an unusual spot. I can walk fine but am taking it very slowly, doing plenty of stretches and upper body stuff. In a few weeks I will start some gentle cycling and just gradually take my time.

I have an 18 week marathon training plan which I hope to start at the beginning of December, but I'm going to take it slowly!

Thanks,
Ian
 

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Ritchie, really sorry to hear this news.

I would advise to give the full 8 weeks before impact exercises. If the doc allows, then you should be able to do some bike exercise in a few weeks when the bone has started some healing. If you use the bike to maintain fitness I would recommend setting a low gear and use quick turnover; it is more beneficial to your running and also less stress on the shin.

After 8 weeks and green light from the doc, take it very easy and slowly. Start with at least 2 days between each run and start very slowly and with a mix of walk and run. Before each run check there is no excessive soreness directly over the bone. If you know the spot (there may be a bony lump), then you can lightly tap the area, when you first start back you may find some pain that will ease a day or two after you run, do not run until that pain has eased. This will give you a guide to your recovery. Treat your first 6 weeks back as re-habilitation not training. I suggest jogging pace to start and increase mileage not speed, add speed phases later.


With regard to the how and why:

Stress fractures occur due to bad interaction with the ground. You shoes will offer some protection but good mechanics will offer you a long term solution.

There are 3 things involved: Your landing, gravity, the ground. You cannot change gravity or the ground (okay to an extent you can choose softer surfaces and get a little cushioning with shoes), so you are left with how you land and interact with the ground. You can learn to run avoiding landing on your heels - shorten your stride, lift your cadence and land underneath you rather than out in front.

Here are some websites you may want to research to help you achieve this:

PoseTech
StrideMechanics
ChiRunning

I personally coach Pose Method of running, but the others will help you in the same way.

Take your time, don't rush a stress fracture or rush your recovery.

All my best and keep positive; you WILL get better. :)
 

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Forgot to mention, I don't recommend static stretching but instead flexibility exercises.
With a stretch (that you hold) you are attempting to apply tension to a tightly held muscle - this will cause micro tears and minute amounts of scar tissue, it may give you a feeling of "goodness" at that moment, but not necessarily long term fixes.

Flexibility is about joint mobility - focussing on relaxing muscles and enabling full natural motion of your joints. It's one of the reasons kids don't get muscle injury even though they bound around all over the place - kids are basically very flexible.

An example might be the traditional leg on bench - touch toes. With stretching you will be focussing on holding tension in the hamstring and or calf. With flexibility your only though is on relaxing your muscles and just doing the action of touching your toes.

Let me know if you want more information, it's a great way of recovering after running and helps tremendously with injury prevention.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JonP, thanks a lot, that's a really helpful couple of replies.

Will let you know how I get on, and will check out those websites at lunch.

Cheers,
Ian
 

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Just to add another slant on Jons point of view... I fully agree that having a good and efficient running style will help reduce injuries - but personally I wouldn't advise making any radical revisions to your technique.

Some people swear by forefoot striking (which I think relates to the POSE technique) whereas some people cringe at the thought of people changing their style to run like it. All I'd suggest is that you read both sides of the story before making any decisions of potentially changing style.

It's definately useful to have the information in your mind though as to what makes an efficient running style... and I think you'll find you're running style will become more efficient as you run more - clever thing this 'body' we have, it seems to adapt remarkably well ;) I've always been a heel striker, and as I've improved I've naturally moved onto striking more with the midfoot than the heel.
 

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Richard, Yes I agree you must read and decide yourself. If it makes sense to you then that's fine. If not then don't change.

Just to pick up on one common misconception:

Pose running is not about forefoot striking. A forefoot strike implies that you actively swing the foot to the ground, this *will* cause similar problems to heel strike. With Pose Method you working on lifting your foot from the ground quicklly - once the foot is off the ground our body will take care of the landing for you (if you let it - which is the hard bit). This will occur naturally on the forefoot and gives a feeling of lightness when you run.

For a little test, if you currently run on your heels, take off your shoes, find a grass surface and just run - I bet you land in a different way.

But like I say read up and see if it makes sense to you or not. It might not be for everyone - but keep an open mind ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well it's been about 6 weeks since my last post so thought I would just update you all with my recovery programme, exciting stuff let me tell you!!

I've had 4 sessions with the physio, 2 have involved deep tissue massage, quite painful but bearable. 2 sessions have been with the rehab guy, who did a very interesting hour long evaluation of how walk, run and generally exercise. Apparently I am very tight on the right hand side of my body, ankle, knee, ITB (?), apparently along the thigh?? Gluts and also my right shoulder.

Probably sitting at a desk reading exciting Insurance claim reports isn't helping.

So, I've now got quite a strict stretching and strength workout plan. A lot of core workout, which is great, ITB release and quad release (basically rolling along one of the foam tubes - bloody agony I tell you, one of the most painful things I've ever done). Loads of hamstring, gluts and quad stretches. I'm back into my RPM classes, but trying to fit everything in means I'm currently going twice a day.

I have a horrible feeling I won't be running till the New Year, not exactly great preperation for a marathon, still as long as I keep my carido workouts up I should be ok (hopefully).

Not overally exciting post, but thought I would share.

Thanks,
Ian
 
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