Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about how you should audit your stress level to avoid re injury when you start running after you’re recovering from an overtraining injury.
I was just on a webcam call with a runner who signed up for an initial consultation and then decided to get a few weeks of additional coaching where we just check in every week to make sure that he’s not making any big mistakes that are going to cause a re-injury.
He’s been doing really well. He’s back to running. He’s running in an Alter-G treadmill and last session that he did, he actually increased his pace at the end of his run, which was a deviation from the plan, and he had a little bit of pain. But the pain went away and he’s really doing okay overall. We were talking about that pain that he had while he was running and how it actually changed later in the day and what all of those changes really meant to him and the state of healing in the fracture in his foot.
We were talking about how the whole goal is to really keep running without slowing down the healing. The way you do that is that you stay below your threshold for re-injury or re-fracture of the bone. While we were talking about that, we’re talking about all the little pieces that fit into this puzzle and he said something that I’ve never heard, but I really thought it was gold and so I thought that I would share it with you. And what he said specifically was. “So, the best thing I can do is audit my level of stress to avoid a re-injury to the fracture.”
Yes, that is exactly right. All overtraining injuries are stress induced injuries. This is one reason we call stress fractures, stress fractures because you’ve applied too much stress to the bone. When you’re returning after an overtraining age when you start running, the whole goal is to really reduce the level of stress sufficient that you can keep running without crossing over your threshold for re-injury.
Less stress equals more running before you exceed the tissue stress level that can actually cause it to break or tear or rip again. So that’s what you really have to think about when you’ve got an overtraining injury like a fracture or a sprain or a strain that needs to be addressed.
If you just sit around and wait forever, yeah, that’ll work too but you’re going to lose all your fitness. So, the whole name of the game when you’re a runner is trying to find that perfect balance to actually regain in strength, regain in fitness while still allowing the tissue to heal. That can be achieved if you really audit your stress level and pay real close attention to what’s going on.
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