Shin splints are one of the most common ailments a new runner will experience. However, there are many causes, shoes being one of them.
I do suggest new runners get fitted at a running specialty store, but if that is not an option, I do recommend the Shoe Dog at Road Runner Sport (see link below). It is a guide that will allow you to determine the best shoe for you.
I will also add that not allowing for a proper warm-up and running too fast and too frequently are also common causes as well as not stretching the calf muscles after running.
Running on a very hard surface, such as concrete, can be another cause. And lastly, overstriding can lead to this issue. When one overstrides, the lead leg lands too far in front of your center of gravity so that your shins receive the biggest impact when your foot strikes the ground.
So what do you do?
Get fitted for shoes, even if that means using the Shoe Dog at Road Runner Sports.
If you do not have a solid walking program, I recommend that you start there first. Walking briskly 4-5 days a week for a few months helps your body to adapt to aerobic activity as well as helping you build consistency needed to run.
I also recommend doing the following exercises...do not feel the need to do all these exercises every day.
Sit in a chair with your leg extended in front of you. Trace the alphabet in cursive with your toes trying not to break the rhythm. Do this on each leg 3-5 times, 2-3 times a day.
Put marbles on the floor and pick them up with your toes and place in a cup. Do this 1-2 times daily with each foot.
Place a towel flat on a wood/tile floor. Sit in a chair and then use your toes to scrunch the towel in a heap. Do once on each foot daily.
Fill a tube sock with gravel or coins (that you find on your walk/runs....LOL), seal with rubber band. Sit down and drape the sock with the coins or gravel equally distributed over your foot....then lift your foot toward the ceiling. Do this 10 times each foot several times a day.
You do not have to do all these exercises, I just gave several options, but you will want to do these to help strengthen the lower leg.
Lastly, when you do start running, follow your plan but it is OK to repeat a week or two. Do NOT feel the need to run every day. If you can locate a softer surface to run on, that may help and shorten your stride. Also icing your shins after your training.
If you find the pain persists or you cannot bear weight on your legs, than you will want to see your doc. www.roadrunnersports.com/
HAPPY SPARK RUNNING!
Edited by: SP_COACH_NANCY at: 10/26/2010 (17:25)