"I sustained a stress fracture 4 months out from the Australian 48 hour Ultra. I trained almost exclusively on the BR with some run training for the last 3 weeks. I ran 413km in 48 hours the longest 48 hour distance in the past 5 years. I always train on the BR. It does what it says. I love it"
Mick Thwaites - Australian Team Ultra Marathon Runner
Running Stress Fractures
What are you going to do
It sucks, and if you totally rest you will detrain, but if you run you make it worse. But read on, there is an answer.
What is it?
The repeated impact that running delivers to your bones is a double edged sword. With prolonged exposure (ie if you’re an experienced runner who’s been at it for years) your bone density is likely better than a novice’s. As a novice, the repeated impact can damage the bone, and with high volume training, even fracture it. If you’re restricting calories to maintain a low body weight, your bone strength can become compromised. Stress fractures can sideline you for 8-16 weeks, and there’s really no option to “push through the pain” and train anyway.
If you rest, you will detrain!
When an injury requires that you stop training suddenly, the effects on your overall fitness and wellbeing are dramatic and rapid. After just 21 days of inactivity, VO2 max declines by 7%. After 56 days, VO2 max declines by 16%. Left ventricular hypertrophy drops by 20% in just a few short weeks. Mature athletes are already fighting an uphill battle, as we lose muscle mass with age. Maintaining strength and muscle fiber are keys to maintaining a long, active, life. By 65 years of age, we are statistically likely to be carrying up to 30% less muscle mass than we did in our twenties. Injury recovery can become not only a setback due to the injury itself, but to our overall wellness by deconditioning the whole body.
Regaining that lost ground while also rehabilitating an injury is an unnecessary waste of time when tools like Bionic Runner are available. By training with a running-specific movement, you don’t have to be sidelined by common injuries.
A Running Specific Alternative to the rescue
Bionic Runner specifically recruits and stresses the same muscles as running. Its unique ability to drive your heart rate into running zones, along with the Bionic Runner’s 60:40 swing vs stance phase timing causes similar physiological adaptations to improve running-specific fitness. Because it is non-impact it is gentle on injuries. Its closed kinetic chain means that you cannot overstride and cause strains. The unique pivoting pedal means that your foot, ankle, knee and hip are always at the correct angles. These features combine to give you a challenging, running specific workout for times when you cannot run.
Depending on the location of the fracture, a Bionic Runner can allow you to continue training as your bone heals. The increase in circulating growth hormone will promote bone synthesis, potentially speeding recovery while improving your athletic capacity.
“I've run over 50 marathons throughout the US, and in Tokyo & Berlin. I had a stress fracture in my foot, & needed to train with less impact. I love the design, quality construction, perfectly engineered cycle for non-impact outdoor running.”
- Stacy Bartlett