Wednesday Resources: Reader Question on Stress Fractures and Giving Blood While Training
Ok. How are we at Wednesday? It has felt like a short week because it was Snowmageddon on Monday which had me working from home which meant a lot of catch up on Tuesday at the office.
This week has been monumental for me! I did a speed work out on Monday followed by an easy run on Tuesday with no pain. This is my first back to back run since the summer and I feel like a rockstar!
Today I wanted to cover off two things: one is a reader question and the other is something I just learned that apparently is common sense. Which evidently isn’t that common for me…
Let’s start with that one.
So, on Monday, I announced that I was going to donate blood in a heroic effort of kindness. Reason #456 why I love you guys is that you warned me in the comments that this may not be the best idea. I texted my coach to see what his thoughts were on the matter.
I love having my coach for the same reason why he probably hates being my coach. I have gone from WebMD to Coach Q&A. No question is off the table to be asked and trust me, if I wonder it, I will ask him because it all comes back to running for me. It is invaluable to me to have a resource that I can trust for information. I am not downplaying the importance of giving blood, but I am saying that it is probably not wise to do during training and racing season for endurance athletes. I will be crossing this off my goal list for February. I have more reading in the resources below.
Secondly, I received this reader question and thought I would take the time to answer it.
Well, firstly. I know how you feel. I wrote about the discovery of my stress fractures here. I discovered my fractures on Sept 5, 2014 and I am still working my way back. If I would have known then what I know now, I probably would have reacted more but I assumed it would be a simple 6 weeks of healing and I would be back to training in no time at all.
I am going to be totally honest with you. For most, it is 6 weeks MINIMUM for the bone to heal, but then you need to slowly rebuild with a program that feels a lot like a ‘Learn to Run’ program. My fracture healing was delayed because I went ahead and did this…
But other than that, I took the injury seriously. A fracture is very different from a muscular injury – you cannot train over it. You simply need to wait it out.
Injury was discovered Sept 5, 2014.
The first 8 weeks: I went into injury mode. I essentially went a week with no working out at all. I was exhausted from a season of racing hard and needed the break. (No pun intended). After a week, I added in pool running. After that week, I added in gentle cycling (low resistance and no standing in the saddle) and pool lane swimming (with no push off). I did this for another couple months before I started to feel normal again.
December: I began a simple run/walk program that was outlined by my coach and physiotherapist. I ran for 1 minute, walked for a minute and slowly built my way up to a half hour of solid running. I still experienced a mild ache.
January: I began working in earnest with my coach to build for Boston. We tested my limits and discovered that longer intervals made the ache return so we slowly and steadily ramped up my training. The focus remained more on keeping me healthy and less on Boston base and speed.
Now: I am still taking it steady. I did my first successful consecutive run day this week and we are able (knock on wood) to keep moving ahead and base building. I say we because it takes a village for me. I am an accident prone human that is occasionally lacking common sense.
Tips I have learned from going through a stress fracture:
- The elliptical shouldn’t be added right away. It is actually a fair amount of stress to the bone and hurt me.
- Eventually, you DO want to start loading the bone with the elliptical because bones heal faster with proper blood flow. Use pain as your guide.
- It sucks to not run. I had no idea what a damper not having it in my life was until I added it in again. Someone recently asked if I was in love. I replied that I was just running again. So sort of. 🙂
- You are going to smell like chlorine. Embrace it. And get a sexy pool belt.
- Don’t do weight bearing, lower body exercises until the bone is healed.
- Add liquid vitamin D and calcium to your diet. I also drink home made chicken bone broth 3 X a week for bone health. Watch the amount of caffeine you consume as it leaches calcium from your bones.
That is it is a nutshell! If you have any more questions about my experience, feel free to email me at lacesandlattes[a]gmail.com.
Pool Running – Canadian Running
Stress Fracture Primer – Runners World
Donating Blood and Running Performance – Runners Connect
Any tips to share on coming back from a stress fracture?
Have you ever given blood while training?