Saturday, May 27, 2023

Understanding and Preventing Shin Splints


If you're a runner, you're probably familiar with the term shin splints. It's a common injury that affects many runners, especially those who are just starting out or increasing their mileage. Shin splints are caused by the overuse of the muscles in the lower leg, which leads to inflammation and pain along the shin bone.

To prevent shin splints, it's essential to incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your training routine. Here are a few tips:

  • Walk for 5-10 minutes to warm up & then stretch your calves and shins. Stretch them again after your runs. 
  • Gradually increase your mileage and intensity. The rule of thumb is no more than 10% each week. As a running coach, I usually bump up mileage 5-10% per week for three weeks and then back off for a week. I think start increasing again. There are so many variables and every runner is different, hence the range. 
  • Wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. If you follow me, you know I actually run in "barefoot" shoes with no support. This has helped me but everyone is different. The important thing is to find shoes that work for you and stick with them. 
  • Cross-train with low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, to give your lower legs a break. It's also a great way to improve your running in general. 

If you do experience shin splints, the usual course of action is to rest, ice, and elevate your legs. Over-the-counter pain medication is also recommended to reduce inflammation and pain. One thing you won't see too often is switching from ice to heat after the pain subsides in a couple of days. 

If you're struggling with shin splints or any other running-related injuries, I can help. As a running coach, I specialize in helping runners prevent and recover from injuries, so they can continue to enjoy their runs. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my coaching services.



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