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Stress fractures!!!

Show of hands!!! Who else has been training for a long distance race and ended up with a stress fracture that knocked them out of their race? I believe mine was not replacing my shoes early enough and trying to cram in training. Does anyone have any advice on how to prevent? What do you do to take care of your feet? Mine hate me.

3 Replies

I had these several years ago. Very painful! I've done the following to address mine:

  • Minimize running on concrete/asphalt.
  • Make an effort to run on dirt, grass, gravel, etc (natural ground) - trail running
  • Replace shoes often - especially when running on concrete/asphalt (yes, every sport is expensive...this is how running gets
  • When ground is wet, I'll run on a track at a high school or middle school. These are rubberized/squishy.
  • Mix it up - biking, swimming, yoga, weights, BeachBody videos (workout in my living room)
  • I've fixed my food intake so that I've lost weight. Less weight = less pressure/force/stress on my joints and bones

Ugh, I had a tibial stress fracture last winter that really took a toll on me. Agreed on the “trying to cram in training” thing. Running is such a long-game kind of sport, your legs will really let you know it if you’re trying to do too much too soon. For me, I was going from running 3 times a week to 5 with both added days being speedwork. I made this transition pretty foolishly and didn’t do anything to step-up to this new regimen and ended up sidelining myself in the process. I think the biggest thing for me is remembering that when practiced consciously, running can be a lifelong sport in a way most traditional sports aren’t. 


My stress fracture experience happened when I attempted a marathon a few years ago. I believe it was caused by training up my mileage too hard too fast combined with simultaneously transitioning to minimalist shoes is why I did not make it to the start line of that marathon. I have since learned to listen to my body and take rest additional rest days as needed. I also spend a lot more time running on trails. I have completed a road marathon since then and toward the end of my training for that started to feel some pain where the stress fracture once was. I just took it easy with a day or two off once it reached a certain (pretty low) pain threshold. I now plan to complete any further events of that length or more on the trails.