Episode 3: Too Far Too Fast

Hey, this is Andrew from The Any Day Happenings of a Physical Therapist, and today we’re starting a new section about…we’re going to call it “Why, Andrew?” And this is when I get questions from my readers and clients about injuries that they have, and they would like to know why these injuries occurred.

So, I had a woman that came to me. She’s 32, mother of two kids, loves to exercise, had just taken up running maybe two, three months ago, and she came to me four weeks after receiving a stress fracture in her left tibia, and she’s been in a boot. Her first question is, “When can I start running again and why did this happen?”

Well, I asked her some more questions about what kind of distances she was doing, and the first thing she said was, well, she was running five miles a week, broken up over three days. And then, she got invited to go running with a friend who’s a lot more experienced and encouraged her to sign up for a half-marathon. And what happened was, she started running with her friend and started going from 5 miles a week to 15 miles a week at a 5-mile clip at a time. So, she started experiencing pain in her leg and kept pushing through it, just thinking this is just her getting used to the distance, and then the pain just got so unbearable that she could no longer run anymore.

So, my response to her is that she had too quick of a growth spurt in her running, so to speak, that there should only be a 10% increase in your mileage on a weekly basis. And the other suggestion was, is that you can’t go running with a more experienced runner and try and run at their pace. Everyone needs to have a strategy when they’re running and running a race, and they need to run their own strategy. They can’t try and pace off of someone else. It’s just not going to work out for you.

And so, one of the things we said is that, you know, why can’t she start running in her half-marathon at the end of September. I said, well… I asked her what she’d done over the last four weeks and she said, “Nothing.” One of the suggestions that we have out there is to try a deep-water running or running on an AlterG type treadmill which will not place any stress on the lower leg while running. This will allow them to keep their endurance up. But she didn’t do any of that, so I suggested that we start riding a bike and get rid of her pain, and we will work on getting up to that half-marathon distance, but nowhere in the time of the end of September.

So, keep your questions coming in. Feel free to call us at 703-723-6758, and myself or one of my physical therapists are going to answer your questions, or you can email me at adombek, D-O-M-B-E-K-@aidperformancept.com, and I answer all my emails and I will answer your questions.

So, that’s the end of this week’s episode of The Any Day Happenings of a Physical Therapist. I look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you. Goodbye. Boom!

Andrew Dombek, PT, MSPT, CMTPT, CGFI
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