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Hi, I am just getting back into running myself, I used to run all the time and run a 6 min mile and all the fun stuff, but then I had 4 kids in 5 years and to be honest this is my 3rd time trying to get back into it. The main reason I stopped the last 2 were due to shin splints. So now I am doing the C25K challenge, that is helping, but also I have learned a few really easy stretches that really help.
before and after I run I do these stretches in this order the times are before and after my run;
quad stretch (right foot up behind butt) 15 sec/ 30 sec
swing right foot through to the front so it is on the heal toes up leg straight left knee bent, reach down and hold toes if possible 15/30
plant right foot where it is and push left foot back into a runners stretch push heal down, concentrate on pushing left heal down and feeling it in your calf (when you concentrate on a muscle you body knows to work it harder). 15/30
switch and do the same to other side
then I put my feet shoulder width apart and bend at the waist, I fold my arms and just hang there with all my weight on my heals, for 15/30 and then shift all the weight to the balls of my feet (you really feel it in you calves here) hold for 15/30
at the end of my run I add a deep runners stretch, right knee over right ankle (don't push knee past ankle) left leg stretched out behind you, rib cage on you right thigh hands by your ankle. hold here for 10 seconds then shift back so left foot is flat right leg is straight, toes up (you will feel it in your hamstrings) hold for 10 seconds. I do this 3 times on each side.
I also do the same stretch routine as my ending one on my off days. This has really helped with my shin splints, and I used to get them to where I could hardly walk. I hope this made some sense and it helps you out some. And remember you need to rest and go easy until you are totally healed.
Make sure you stretch your calf muscles really good...even on days you aren't running. I also do one where I sit at the edge of my couch with legs a little wider than hip width apart, feet flat on floor. Then, straighten one leg out with foot flexed and the back of your heel on the floor. Lean forward slightly. You'll feel it in your hamstring. Then, point your toes and lean forward again. This time, you'll feel it in the front of your shin.
Another one to try is to sit on the floor with your back against a wall and your feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your toes up toward your shins a few times. If you keep the rest of your foot on the floor, you'll really feel it in your shins. Lift your whole foot, except the heel, and you'll feel it in your shins and calves.
Don't forget to ice after a run and several times throughout the day, if you can. It also helps to ice a few times on days when you aren't running. And ibuprofen can help...but don't rely on it long-term.
It's not uncommon to experience shin splints when you up your mileage. I've had them off and on since I first started C25k. They went away for awhile in the middle, but not that I'm toward the end of the program, they're coming back.
You may be taking too long of strides when your running. Check out the chi running videos on you tube to find out proper form to avoid shin splints. Hope this helps.
I have been fitted for proper running shoes, which have been working beautifully. I'm on c25k week 8 now and I'm having some shin pain on my right leg. I realize this is probably because I'm not stretching beforehand like I'm supposed to. What stretches have worked for you guys to prevent/heal shin splints? Mine aren't bad yet, but I don't want them to get worse.
Tammy (West Virginia)