Today's question has to do with shin splits, a common problem that can be easily avoided! If you have questions about the below, let me know!
#1) Shoes! I am going to write a whole article on this alone, but footwear is VERY important in helping prevent shin splits & other issues. (Yes, I know that there have been recent article's on running barefoot or with a "barely there shoe". While barefoot is good, I don't recommend running that way). I first suggest that you get fitted at a running store (email me for places). Please don't go to a chain store & buy a running/workout shoe. You need to be fitted properly to see what kind of shoe you need. It will be one of 3: neutral, mid stability, high stability. Please don't pick a shoe for color or looks, it won't get ya anyway but pain, doctor visit and frustration:) For brands, I don't usually recommend "brands" but would say that Brooks, New Balance & Asics are great! Again, pick the shoe that fits your needs!
#2) Super Feet! I highly recommend "Super Feet". They are over the counter orthotics. They basically are the platform which will align your body to be straight....how cool is that? They will help to prevent a variety of problems or correct the ones you might have already. They come in different colors, I use the green ones. You have to break them in...wear them for about 1-2 hours the first day and build up to 100% of the time by the end of 2 weeks. DON'T wear them if you have a long run and you just got them!
#3) Get outside! Get off the treadmill and hit the pavement, trails, a soft surface! DON'T run on concrete!! This will harm you! (Run beside the sidewalks towards oncoming traffic). Try to find trails if at all possible. This will save your whole body in the long run & you will have less impact as well!
#4) Avoid hills! This might be a little hard if you are doing trails, so walk up the hills. But try to avoid hills in the first few weeks when coming back from or going through shin splits. Hills put a lot of stress on your shins (and other areas as well.
#5) Get a "running" look over. Running stores should offer a treadmill or see how you run & they will tell you what shoe to get to prevent these issues. You may be running differently or favoring a side, or flat footed, a number of things.
#6) Too much to soon! You may have gotten a new pair shoes, new clothes (woohoo!!) and new music to your iPod, but your feet haven't had time to get ready!! They are in shock most likely, so take it slow...try a walk/run combo at first and work up to running 100%.
To your healthy, fit AND happy life!
Photo by Mikebaird