The thought of not running for a week is painful for an avid runner, and the thought of being sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks, which is the time it typically takes a stress fracture to heal, will drive any runner insane. Rather than pushing yourself to injury prevent it by listening to your body when it says no more, and taking precautions to keep your muscles prepared to run by stretching.
Discomfort and pain are two very different things. Anytime you move your body out its comfort zone you will feel discomfort. Running up a hill or running as fast as possible for 200 meters or running for an hour or more will cause the body discomfort, if not during then surely afterwards. Discomfort is natural, pain, however, is not ok, ever. If your muscle in your calf feels like it is pulling away or your Achilles tendon feels stretched too far as you get to miles 16 stop. If you are in pain you need to address it immediately.
The best treatment for any injury is prevention; stretching overworked muscles will prevent injury (and will help build the muscle as well). Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, so begin your run by warming up and not going 100 percent of the blocks, increase intensity gradually, and when you have cooled down it is critical that you stretch. Yoga classes can teach you how to stretch, help keep weight off, and help you learn to listen to what your body is telling you. Basic yoga stretches address the muscles that are used during running. The hamstring, quadriceps, calves, and hip flexors, are all used when you run. Downward facing dog stretches the hamstrings as well as the calves, warrior one and two addresses the quadriceps, and forward bend works your hip flexors.
Yogaworks, with 8 locations throughout Los Angeles, will help you improve your fitness level by teaching you the basics of stretching, breathing, and focusing on what your body is saying to you. Yogawork offers classes for all levels from beginner to advance and encourages participants to learn at their own pace. Seeing how yoga clearly benefits runners, yogis can also be excited to know that running will help you find the motivation to stretch deeper as running instills the discipline to go just a little further.