Do you know what are the main stress fracture risk factors for runners? Many will experience a stress fracture during their running career–are you at risk? Link up with Running Coaches Corner and enter to win Rx Bars!!
Stress Fracture Risk Factors
Let’s face it, some people can do everything wrong and never get hurt, while others can do everything right and still end up on the sidelines. If you are a runner pushing yourself, chances are that you might encounter the dreaded stress fracture or stress reaction that plagues so many of us. So the question is: What are some of the red flags that increase your likelihood of having a stress fracture? What are the stress fracture risk factors to avoid?
- Sudden Changes in Training
Many have heard of the 10% rule for runners: basically, don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% of the previous week’s mileage. What it all comes down to isn’t a hard and fast numbers rule, but rather don’t make sudden changes in your training. Don’t go bananas with mileage, don’t suddenly increase you intensity (like going from no speed workouts to all speed workouts). Give your body a chance to adjust and make the appropriate adjustments!
- Improper Training
If you are a runner but all you do is spin class, you are going to get hurt when you try to do that long run, dontcha think? Specificity of training is a huge indicator of injury risk! But that said, you can’t JUST run! You need to incorporate unilateral exercises, work on hip and ankle strength (don’t forget that you get a free hip and ankle strength printable when you sign up for the Coach Suz Letter!), and you must balance your high impact training with low impact training, and high intensity with low intensity.
- Diet and Nutrition
Are you eating enough? Are you eating enough of the RIGHT things? Check out my posts on marathon training nutrition for useful tidbits regardless of your race distance. Even factors like having adequate healthy fats in your diet with the same number of calories can make a difference!
- Life Stresses
Your mind is a very powerful instrument in your physical health. Going through a stressful time can absolutely affect your ability to recover and thus increase your likelihood for injury and thus for stress fracture. A healthy mind is a critical component in encouraging a healthy body!
Sorry, ladies, but we are more prone to stress fractures than men, particularly if we fall victim to what is known as the Female Athlete Triad, which can result in decreased bone density and malabsorption. The triad (low bone density, amenorrhea, energy deficiency with or without disordered eating) occurs when there is an imbalance between energy expended and energy consumed. Also, women tend to have tighter hip muscles and lower muscle mass than men, which can lead to imbalances that can put pressure on your hips and other critical bones.
- Poorly Fitting Equipment
Rarely do professionals say that it is okay to blame the equipment, but in this case, it very well might be acceptable. Shoes that are incorrectly fitted, too hard, or totally worn out can increase your stress fracture risk. GET PROPERLY FITTED, PEOPLE! But even if you have great shoes, if you are wearing something that changes your gait for a length of time, you are at risk!Stress Fracture Free Running--is it possible? Who is at risk for injury? #runchat #fitfluential Click To Tweet
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to say!
Stress Fracture Free Running Program from Coach Suz Training
I hate to say it, but I am way too familiar with the trials of dealing with stress fractures and stress reactions. Dealing with a stress reaction in my tibia and then a sacral stress fracture 6 months later will do that. As a running coach, I work with runners who have suffered and will suffer from a stress related injury, and even some who are currently recovering from stress related injury when they come to me.
I know when I was dealing with my stress fracture, all I wanted was for someone to help me: to tell me what to expect, what to look for, what I could do in the mean time. But other than the fora that alternatively scared the crap out of me or told me that “I would be fine,” there really wasn’t much in the way of support, practical information, and proactive help out there.
I have decided to change that with my new Stress Fracture Free Running Program.
This is a comprehensive program designed not only to get you through the recovery process but to help you return to running better than ever, whether you are aiming for a race or just to run. You will get:
- A customized recovery and training plan from me that will take you from diagnosis to your goal of pain free running and even a race!
- Informational resources that will help you better understand your injury, cope with your injury and recovery, and exercises to keep you fit and strong during your recovery and beyond.
- Community Forum where you can share your story, ask questions, and gain invaluable support from others dealing with or who have dealt with stress fracture themselves.
- That Signature Coach Suz-ness. I’ll help you keep perspective, find the joy, and move forward as only I know how.
Not dealing with a stress fracture (and want to keep it that way)? Sounds like you could use my traditional coaching. It may seem earlier to be thinking about winter and spring races, but if you found yourself nodding at any of these stress fracture risk factors, we should start talking NOW. Email me or fill out the contact form below!
RX Bar Giveaway!
To celebrate the launch of my Stress Fracture Free Running Program, I am giving away a sampler pack of one of my favorite post workout snacks, Rx Bar! These no nonsense bars bring you healthy fats, protein, carbs, and fiber in a delicious bar that is perfect for fueling up or refueling from a run or workout (helping you to prevent a stress fracture)! Gluten and Dairy Free! US Only, Giveaway Ends Wednesday Sept 28 at Midnight.
Neither I nor Rx Bar guarantee to keep runners 100% stress fracture free. My goal, like that of Rx Bar, is to help each athlete have the best chance of success via smart training and supportive lifestyle. Rx Bar provided me with bars for the review and giveaway, but all opinions are my own!
I am linking up with myself, Rachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches Corner, Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday, and Ilka and Angela for Food and Fitness Sunday.