I went for my first run in over 8 weeks yesterday! YAY!
In reality, it was more of a walk than a run. Per my doctor’s recommendation, I did 1 minute running/2 minutes walking repeats for the first 10 minutes. Since that felt good, I did 2 minutes running/2 minutes walking for the rest of the 30 minutes. I kept my pace super slow, too- even a little slower than my typical easy pace. I wanted so bad to run further and faster, but I made sure to hold back.
I was really thankful that I kept up with a bit of swimming and spinning throughout the last 8+ weeks, because I felt pretty strong throughout the workout. That said, I did neglect my stretching since my injury which means my muscles are really tight at the moment:/ If I had it to do over, I’d stretch daily!!
As I mentioned in my previous post, my doctor recommended that I use pain as my gage as I ease back into running. I did a little research, and found this flowchart, which offers a simple way to monitor and moderate your progress after a bone injury. I didn’t notice any pain while I was running yesterday, and no soreness popped up today either. I’m looking forward to getting some more running in tomorrow:)
I really didn’t know much about stress fractures before I got a stress fracture. I knew about sprains and strains, but I never worried about my bones for some reason. I grew up drinking milk, and I never broke any bones as a kid. I thought my bones were all good. I didn’t think about my bone health when I gave up most dairy products last fall in an effort to alleviate some acne I’d been struggling with. I didn’t think about my bone health when I went into amenorrhea for 4 months in the spring. And I didn’t think about my bone health when I was running 25ish miles a week, mostly at my fastest possible pace, on an almost all veggie and lean protein diet (which isn’t necessarily a bad diet… but it certainly wasn’t supporting my body’s individual needs!)
One of the things my doctor told me when he diagnosed me was that the biggest risk factor for developing a stress fracture is having a previous stress fracture. Which is why it’s so important to figure out and treat the underlying causes of stress fractures.
So, clearly my bone health needs to be on my priority list now! It took a big obstacle for me to really prioritize my bone health and overall health over, like, speed and looking like a runner. But now that I’m back to running, I really want to be mindful of the messages my body is sending me!
I’ve learned so much from this process that I created a little infographic for anyone who might be recovering from a stress fracture and working towards returning to running. I hope you all enjoy:)
Now you tell me…
- Favorite dairy product? I am so psyched to eat yogurt again.
- Any tips for returning to running after an injury?
- What are your favorite stretching routines for before/after a workout?