How to Avoid Shin Splints While Running

How to Avoid Shin Splints While Running
Shin splints are a common running ailment, one that has put many runners on the sidelines. Characterized by a sharp pain in the front or side of the lower leg, shin splints usually affect people who are new to running or who are starting again after a long layoff. Shin splints commonly are caused by an irritation of the muscles of the lower leg because of stress on the connective tissues on the shinbone.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Prevention

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rest Ice Proper footwear
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Proper footwear
 
Step 1
Avoid pushing yourself too hard too soon. One of the most common causes of shin splints is overuse. If you're new to running or returning to running after a long layoff, don't start training too aggressively. Start running short distances at a slower pace, then gradually increase your mileage and speed. A good rule of thumb is to increase your distance by 10 percent every week.
Step 2
Wear proper footwear. Shoes with inadequate cushioning can cause excessive pounding on the leg, which can result in shin splints. Also, an overpronating or underpronating stride can cause undue stress on the shinbone and the muscles surrounding it. To find the right shoe, buy your shoes at a running specialty store where sales clerks can analyze your stride and fit you with the proper shoe.
Step 3
Warm up before you run. Warming up with a slow jog will loosen your muscles and better prepare them for your run. When you go running, start out with five or 10 minutes of slow jogging before picking up the pace.
Step 4
Stretch before and after running. Stretching will keep your muscles pliable and reduce the chances of irritation as you run. Be sure to include shin-specific stretches in your routine.
Step 5
Treat shin splints as soon as the signs start. If you start to feel pain in your shins as you run, work on reducing the inflammation by icing the affected area and resting. Taking a few days off will allow your muscles to recover and strengthen.
 

Article Written By Billy Brown

Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California. An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.

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