Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ouch! Shin Splints

In the middle of my training for the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon, the dreaded shin split struck. I’ve never encountered a shin split before so it threw me for a loop. A week of rest didn’t solve the problem like I hoped. After a bit of web research (thanks Google), I’ve discovered that there are quite a few factors that can trigger shin splits:

• Running on hard surfaces or uneven ground (yep, that’s me)
• Increasing exercise intensity or duration too quickly (that’s likely a culprit too)
• Excessive uphill or downhill running (hard to avoid in Atlanta)
• Worn out or ill-fitted shoes (hmm, that could be a factor too)
• Biometric issues, like flat feet, over-pronation, landing on the balls of your feet or pointing your toes outward (I’m sure one of those are a contributor)

I’ve decided to continue with my training and learn what I can about treating this type of injury. After the first couple miles, the discomfort subsides and the resulting pain isn’t debilitating. As a mom, I’ve certainly endured worst.

Here are some tips that I’ve found about recovery:
• Apply ice or a cold compression to reduce inflammation
• Use a heating pad and massage the leg muscles
• Wear shock-absorbing insoles
• Apply compression – you can do this by taping the leg or wearing a compression sock

With the big race scheduled for March 20, there are only a few weeks left to spend on long runs. Until then, I’ll just grin and bear it. If you’ve got any good tips, please share – I’m always looking for advice.

This week’s route is the 8.5-mile run from West Stride:

• From West Stride, run through the parking lot towards West Paces Ferry
• Turn left on West Paces Ferry (watch for traffic)
• Turn left on Northside Drive
• Turn right on Valley Road
• Go straight at Tuxedo Road
• Cross Habersham
• Turn right on West Paces Ferry (watch for traffic)
• Turn right at Chatham Road
• Turn left at Habersham
• Turn right at Knollwood Road
• Turn right Tuxedo Road
• Make a U-turn on Valley Road (reverse and stay on Tuxedo)
• Turn left on Tuxedo Road
• Turn right on West Paces Ferry (watch for traffic) and return to store


bailey5 said...

I got a bad case of shin splints last fall before the 13.1 half at Olgethorpe. The more I ran the worse it got. It got so bad that i could not finish the last couple of weeks of my training, but I did go ahead and run the race. Since then I have found the formula that works for me. First try this video from youtube,, I also wear zensah compression sleeves alot even when I run. Third stretch, stretch, stretch. I was just telling hubs how my legs feel great even after long runs. Good luck!

Debbie Curtis-Magley said...

Thanks for the tips! The video is great. I'm going shopping for compression sleeves this week - I hear that they make a huge difference.