Getting back into running after stress fracture

Hello all,

Last year I was diagnosed via MRI with a stress fracture in my shin.  The specialist I saw told me to rest until all pain had gone for at least three weeks and then get in touch with him and he would advise me on how best to get back to running.

He said when you walk you put your body's weight on each foot, but when you run you put eight times your body's weight on each foot, so said I would have to build back up gradually.

I emailed him to ask for the advice and basically he has gone awol.  I am chasing him, but in the meantime I thought RW might help as everyone here is so knowledgeable!

How should I start?  Apart from slowly, obviously!  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to start again - ie what would be too much?  Don't want to do too much too soon - that's how I got the damn fracture in the first place.



  • The first question is are you healed enough to resume running? It may be an old wive's tale (if old wive's suffer sports injuries) but the basic test is if you can walk briskly for an hour without pain. If you can then you can start reincorporating running.

    This is a goodarticle with suggested training plan, but be prepared to adapt this to your needs. I found that my CV fitness held up pretty well after a break, but I had lost a lot of strength and this brought on problems. The extent to which you've been mobile or not during the recovery will likely impact on your ability to start training again. If you were completely non-weight bearing on the affected leg then be prepared for it to be quite weak. Also depending on the severity of your SF you might just find that it takes longer than you would like to build up again.

    I would definitely incorporate some low impact, high intensity x-training to increase your fitness without putting too much stress on the injury site.


  • Thank you so much Weeble.  I shall read that now.  I assume it's healed enough as it hasn't hurt for ages - since Christmas I think - but haven't walked anywhere for an hour.  Maybe that would be a good place to start.

    Thnaks v much for all the advice - I really appreciate it.

  • Not an old wives tale Weeble!! Doc told me that as soon as I could walk a brisk mile without a limp then I was good to start again
  • You might try pool running (aquajogging), with or without a flotation belt. I have had 5 foot fractures and used pool running each time to keep up my fitness. A club mate with a knee injury is currently aquajogging too.

  • Thanks guys.  I will do the aqua jogging and try the long walk. 

    Much appreciated

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