Calling all runners! What’s one of the greatest “pains” involved in running? If you guessed shin splints, you’re correct! Unfortunately, these common runner pains can occur not only in an experienced runner but also in a beginner as well. No matter what level you are in your running experience, here are some ways to prevent shin splints.
- Don’t overdo it. While practice makes perfect, it’s best to not push your body past certain limits. Sure, you want to build stamina. However, know when enough is enough. Running longer distances and running a lot harder than your body is used to can cause a serious amount of stress to your feet and shins. What does this lead to, you ask? Inflammation of the shin. It’s a vicious cycle!
- Don’t switch up your routine too quickly. If you’ve been practicing at home or in the gym on a treadmill then suddenly decide to hit the pavement, or you randomly decide to run hills rather than the usual level path, your body may not be ready for such a quick adjustment. Your feet must be conditioned to new terrains; otherwise, your shins will become exhausted.
- Don’t wear shoes that are in poor condition. If your running shoes don’t fit, are old and torn, and/or don’t provide proper support, your feet won’t receive the cushioning it needs to endure hard impact. Thus, resulting in stress and tissue damage.
- Don’t ignore any present medical conditions. If you have flat feet, rigid arches, or your feet have over-pronation, chances are that your feet will not be able to absorb hard impacts in a proper manner. Instead, the excess shock goes straight to your shins. Contact your podiatrist so you can learn how to run pain-free, despite your current condition.