Shin splints are a beginning runner’s worst nightmare. You make the commitment to
do exercise, and then “bam” your shins are throbbing with every step. Shin splint pain
commonly happens when runners are new to an exercise program. Shin splints are
due to an imbalance between the muscles that lift the foot and those that pull it down.
Over-striding can be the cause of shin splints, running too far too soon, as can wearing
improper running shoes. Given you get the right shoes and cut back on distance the shin
splint pain should eventually go away as you develop your shin muscles and adjust to
your new exercise program. Here are a few tips to get you through the pain-
1. Strengthen your calf muscles with exercises: Toe Raises can help build the
shin muscles and improve their flexibility so you can overcome shin splints. Try
writing the entire alphabet with one foot lifted in the air. Repeat with other foot.
2. Replace old shoes: Shoe cushioning is exhausted every 400-500 miles, often
long before the soles or uppers show wear. But these old, dead shoes can
contribute to shin splints, as well as foot and leg fatigue. You may consider a
more supportive foot bed as well, the staff at Fleet Feet can discuss this option
3. Alternate running days: Run only every other day until the pain disappears. Try
walking if running is too painful.
4. Ice: Ice your shins every night for 20 minutes and always ice after your workout.
5. Warm-up before going fast: Warm up walking at an easy pace for ten minutes
before you begin any running.
6. Stretch after warming up: Stop and do your stretch routine, especially the legs,
after your warm-up.
7. Slow or stop if you feel shin splint pain: If the pain does not go away quickly
at a lower speed, end your run.
Hopefully the pain of shin splints will never enter your running career, but if they do,
you now have the best tips to relieve them! Next week- more on injuries and the best