The deal: Stress fractures are a common overuse injury when the tissues can no longer absorb the punishment and the bone subsequently breaks. The result can be a tiny crack that usually takes weeks to heal.
First aid: It’s time to take a break from impact exercise, like running. “Endurance athletes hate taking any time off, but they have to with a stress fracture,” Boorman says. She offers her clients a solution: “I have them do their running in a pool and I work them hard. I’ve had clients use pool running while the stress fractures healed and then still be in good racing shape after their rehabilitation is complete.”
Prevention: “The thing I’ve seen over the years is that the athletes who get stress fractures always have terrible nutrition habits,” Boorman says. “They just aren’t eating well. So I’ll first talk to them about their diet and advise them to get enough protein and vitamins. Their bones just can’t handle the stress without them.” Boorman tells endurance athletes to pay special attention to recovery meals following long or difficult workouts. “Chocolate milk and a turkey sandwich will do the trick,” she offers as an example.