Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a long-time is a longtime ultrarunner who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, coaches, directs the non-profit Band of Runners, and drives her kids around in a minivan.

July 2011
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Metatarsal stress fracture reading


I am beginning to feel like a runner again.  Along with having to do more laundry, this means I’m perusing the running blog world during Asa’s naptimes (and ignoring the housework) again.  I stumbled across one yesterday entitled “Metatarsal Stress Fractures in Minimalist Runners: What Are the Causes?” on Runblogger.  It didn’t have the subtitle: “Liza Howard, you should go ahead and read this,” but I did anyway.  Peter Larson presents Dr. Casey Kerrigan’s thoughts (founded the gait labs at Harvard and UVa among many many other accomplishments that make me feel a bit inadequate) on the issue.  My favorite line from the piece is: “I like to say that the only way a cushioned athletic shoe can protect you from injury is if you are in a car accident and happen to have them strapped around your head.”  It’s just such a great mental image.

She concludes:  “I would avoid a minimalist shoe that has any kind of cushioning (as I think that maximally stresses your second metatarsal) especially if you are recovering from a stress fracture or develop any “top of the foot” pain. Finally, while this isn’t a problem when running completely barefoot, as it is when running in minimalist shoes, I think you need to work extra, extra hard to take shorter strides than you normally feel comfortable doing. Of course, this advice goes for traditional shoes as well.”

It’s worth a read — and a second read if you read it the first time while playing Uno with a three year-old.  I’m going to do that right now.

Running log: 20 minutes (you know, a recovery run after my 30 minute run yesterday)

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