Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tips for Shin Splints

Most distance runners land on their heels or midfoot and roll forward to the toe. Running up on the toes, by contrast, tends to be the form of sprinters. You'll find that if you try to run on your toes for too far that your shins will probably start hurting and your calves will get tight. (link)
Many new runners are preoccupied with their breathing as they run their first few miles. We get questions about whether it's best to breathe in through the mouth or through the nose ...
Don't worry about it ... You've been breathing all your life, and your body will figure out the best way to get the air it needs. Just breathe as naturally as possible and put it out of your mind. (link)
Do your best to stay off the pavement, or you may find your legs punishing you with shin splints. (link) [I can't wait for the jogging trail behind our house to be finished!]
For shin splints, there are a number of steps you can take to speed recovery.
first, to reduce the pain, ice your lower legs after you run. Use a commercial freeze-pack that you can wrap around your leg (or just put a wet towel in the freezer before you go out for a run). Keep the ice wrap on for ten to fifteen minutes, keeping your foot elevated. To help reduce the inflammation further, take aspirin or ibuprofen with food. Never take it on an empty stomach or before running. In the evening or at bedtime wrap a heating pad around your leg and put it on a low setting.
Cut back on your running. If you can stand it, you might consider taking a few days off altogether. The important thing is not to run through the pain. You'll only make it worse. (link)
Do wall pushups, and be particularly careful not to overstretch; ease into your stretches gradually. Do these several times a day, and especially before and after you run. To strengthen your front leg muscles, try the foot press and the furniture lift. (link)

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