If you’re a runner, then you’ve experienced shin splints a time or two. Caused by inflammation to the outer and front part of the leg, shin splints arise due to ‘overuse’ and cause injury to the tissue. Common with walkers and runners, shin splints can cramp your style—so here’s how to minimize the risk of them from arising altogether.
Got Shin Splints Again?
If you run, then you may have accepted the fact that shin splints are part of the deal. Halfway through a five mile run, you’ve making awesome time and you’re in ‘the zone’. With each stride you take, you’re a world away from your stress, responsibilities and pressure. It’s just you and the wide, open air. That is, until shin splints once again rear its ugly head and you are forced to stop because of the pain.
Have you recently increased your intensity while running? If so, you may also increase your chance of getting shin splints. To reduce the frequency of shin splints (especially if you get them regularly during a run), apply this rule of thumb to your workout: stretch before and after you exercise, and alternate between running and lower impact exercise, such as swimming or cycling. Keep reading to learn more tips to keep those shin splints off of the grid!
Invest in a Good Pair of Running Shoes
Believe it or not, but your shoes can effect the frequency in which you experience shin splints. Are your shoes worn and ragged looking? If so, it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in a pair of properly fitted shoes that are specifically designed for long runs.
Increase Your Warm-Up Time Before Running
Sometimes, shin splints can occur when one leg is weaker than the other. If you have an imbalance in your stance or stride (applying more weight to the inside versus the outside of your foot, etc.) then it may be helpful to spend more time warming up before your run. Use a foam roller to work out your calf muscles, and spend a few minutes stretching your lower body out with calf raises.
You love running, and why shouldn’t you? It’s the perfect stress reliever, and is great for your heart. But when it’s not so great for your shins, minimize the pain by rotating your workout. If you’re used to running five times a week, switch out a few of those by taking a spin class or trying aquatic fitness. When you give your body a break from the hard impact of running, you’ll notice the frequency of your shin splints decreasing—which allows for a more pleasant run.