1. Paul NL

    Paul NL
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    Yesterday I ran slowly, in heart rate zone 2, up a mountain during my vacation. Slowly I noticed that my left food started to hurt. A little later I decide to turn around. With some pain, I ran back. I still needed to go 6 km back but the pain was not to bad so I just run.

    Back at the campground I could see that probably a proximale falangen is broken. Last year I broke one of the metatarsalia in my other foot, so I know how it feels

    Normally I run in flat terain, so I was happy I could run in the mountains. I do not understand why it happened though. I only climbed about 330 meters (1000 feet) in 6 km which took about 1 hour (climb only). And 2 days before I did about 460 meters climb in about 5km which I mostly walked as it was a steep and difficult trail. I was wearing vifo five finger Vtrails in both cases.

    Could these 2 climbs cause so much stress to break one of my bones in my foot? I am running on vifo five fingers since 2 years. And zero drop shoes at work. The last 3 months I am running about 100 km per month, mostly really flat (on vff). I did a 23km with 600 m meters climbing a month ago. So I do not feel it was something extreme that I was doing yesterday.

    Anyone an idea why my bone could break? My partner thinks I should throw away my vff and buy some shoes with more protection...
     
  2. Gordon

    Gordon
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    Usually, stress fractures are caused by cumulative stress, not a specific event. The three big hills could have done it or it could just be too much mileage too soon. Or some combination of the two. The minimal shoes are a concern. They provide enough underfoot that you can run with poor form. At the same time, they give you no real protection. It's the worst of both worlds. Remember the lawsuit against Vibram? They lost. And for a good reason. I think that unless you are an accomplished barefoot runner, you shouldn't be running in minimal shoes. And if you are an accomplished barefoot runner, you don't need shoes very often. It's quite the paradox. Running barefoot does not force you to have great form, but it does limit how bad your form can be. Even so, it's still possible to overdo it and get a stress fracture fully barefoot if you don't pay attention to what your body is telling you. You can run like stinking dog crap in VFFs. But not for long ... you'll break something.
     
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  3. Janne

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    Shod runners get stress fractures too for the same reasons, so you may not get what you want :(

    Bones adapt to new conditions as well as tendons but at a lower pace. Could it be that you build up distance too soon? There is also the frequency of your runs. Maybe accommodating more runs during the week with shorter distances will provide you with better feedback and less stress on your bones.

    Strength training helps build stronger bones. Something I like a lot is farmer's walks
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    Have you had an x-ray? A break will show right away, but a stress fracture can take 6 weeks before it shows on an x-ray.
     
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  5. Paul NL

    Paul NL
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    Thanks all for the feedback. No I have not had an x-ray yet. I am still enjoying my vacation, while minimising pressure on my foot. I can still walk very slowly. Also driving is no problem.

    I normally run 3 times a week, 2x a short run of about 6km each and one longer run of 12 to 18km. And one trail running 23km. My distance went up slowly over the last 2 years. Started with 3km runs when I started. I have plotted the distances over time and there was a nice straight line through the highest points, meaning that the max distance went up linearly and not with a steep curvevor so. Still this linear increase could maybe still be too much.

    I really wonder how you can tell what is enough? Too much is an injury, but that is too late. I did not feel anything coming. So how to prevent a too much too soon injury?

    Janne, what is a farmers walk?
     
  6. Janne

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    I mentioned strength training as a prevention measure more than a correction treatment, sorry if it came otherwise. I'd visit a health professional ASAP just to avoid the bone to heal incorrectly and minimize recovery time.

    Farmer's walks are done by carrying "heavy" objects by the side of your body with extended arms for a distance. Done like carrying a milk can :D. The benefits are that you will need to activate plenty of muscles and put extra weight into your feet in a dynamic way. Of course done barefoot ;) Found this link but there internet knows way more. https://www.stack.com/a/farmers-walks

    Re the progression, one pointer is that most of the training programs use a curve where after a period of time the training load diminishes noticeably (period varies but I have seen from 3 to 8 weeks). After the "rest" period a new harder curve starts. The rest period allows the body to reset and recover. It looks more like a climbing roller coaster than a line. One key point is to listen to the body and take breaks when needed even when not planned.
     
  7. Gordon

    Gordon
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    Unless you jump off the couch and run far enough in one go to break yourself, TMTS always results in soreness, odd twinges, and perhaps some minor swelling or tenderness. The discomfort is mild enough that if you're used to pushing through pain, it's easy to ignore. From your OP: "...but the pain was not to bad so I just run..." This was a mistake. And you probably ran too long before you turned around. It's likely that you shouldn't even have started. Stress fractures usually happen overnight after weeks or months of warning signs being ignored. Sore bones and tendons are a whole different thing than sore muscles. Confusing the two can lead to stress fractures ... Big changes in training, be they speed, distance, grade, or surface, are best approached cautiously. Being able to run a particular distance on flat easy ground does not mean that you're ready for the same distance on a steep rocky mountain trail. You did a big hill two days before the injury. Did you have any soreness at all from that? Any twinges? Any discomfort at all? My guess is that you were not ready for two big hills back to back. Even if you live in a flat area, you can usually find an overpass to train on to get ready for hills. Go there maybe once every week or ten days and gradually increase the number of laps you run.
     
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  8. Paul NL

    Paul NL
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    Don't worry, it is clear it is not treatment, but prevention. So in the next 2 months I will not do this ;-) and wait until completely recovered.

    The strange thing is that there was no soreness at all, no odd twinges, and I have not noticed any swellings or tenderness. The first time I started to feel something, was when I was already many km on my way. Before I did not noticed anything, no pain or soreness at all. So no indication not to start running.
     

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