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SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/09 10:53 A

70% of all runners are heel strikers...there is a big push to get people to change how they run (your strike should be what comes natural to you) that in trying too hard to change the natural way you run, you can develop bigger issues down the kinetic chain.

The muscles, connective tissue and bones take time to develop and adapt. This is why one should not run every day as a new runner and allow for good recovery and repair time. The more you run, the quicker you will recover. This is why seasoned runners can run more frequently...their body has adapted to the demands of the sport.

I will add though, that since I took myself out of a cushioned shoe (Ascis) and into a more minimal shoe, I seem to have fewer issues even with an increase in mileage with my marathon training. Haven't quite decided if I will go into the Vibram as they were not designed for running but more for a shoe to wear for kayaking and such.

Let me know how they work if you decide to go that route.


SMITSAR SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/09 10:46 A

Nancy - I actually do have a shoe store appointment where they not only properly fit me for them, but will also look at my stride. I have heard good things about the Vibram shoes and Nike Free, and wanted to hear 'user' feedback before I went in. If they don't think they'll help, then I'll go with what they recommend. I'm really hoping new shoes will help reduce my shin issues. As I speak, I'm doing the alphabet with my feet!! Thanks for the tips. :)

I tried running last night without striking my heel, but it just feels wrong! Yet the lady running by me looked like she never even landed or used her heels!! Then another guy was completely landing on his heels and was running forever. I suppose each person is different, and how their body handles it.

9/29/09 9:37 A

I was getting shin splints until I bought my Vibram FiveFingers (barefoot) shoes. It changed the way my foot strikes the ground which cleared up any shin pain I was having. HTH.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/09 10:42 P


PLEASE get fitted for your running shoes. Shin splints can be caused from wearing the wrong shoes but they can also be caused from doing too much, too soon, running hills, etc.

This is one reason why we need time for our body to adapt to the demands of running. The last system to develop fully in a runner is their musculo-skeletal system (bones, muscles, connective tissue, etc).

I would suggest you get fitted at a running specialty store, ice your shins, do some nice exercise to strengthen and develop your anterior and posterior tibialis muscles.

Alphabet stretch

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.

Marble Pick-ups

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.

Towel Scrunch

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.

Sock drape

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.

I hope this helps!


9/28/09 7:16 P

In my experience as a runner and as a running coach the majority of shin splints are caused by bad running mechanics. If you check my team sites you will find a piece entitled "The Art of Running" which may give you some clues as to how to run with less impact and potential injury.

With regard to Nike Free and other forms of "barefoot" running shoes the following article address them and shoes in general.

HARSHBSK Posts: 43
9/28/09 6:28 P

I haven't tried the Nikes but I did go to a running store and get fitted for shoes...I think I got aesics (sp). Anyway, I thought that might help me with my shinsplints, but no dice! Let us know if the Nikes work...

SMITSAR SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/09 4:51 P

I am a heel runner, something I'm trying to get out of, as I've heard this is one of the possible causes of shin splints! I'm also a BEGINNER, so I figure now's the best time to make the change while I'm still learning.

RUNNER1976 Posts: 537
9/28/09 4:13 P

I wear the frees. you gotta take awhile to break them in. they advise not to wear them on any runs longer than 20 minutes.

Don't know where you are at right now, but they do mess with your gait a bit. So if you currently aren't a toe striker, you're gonna have to break them in with your other running shoes.

Good luck. I love mine!

SMITSAR SparkPoints: (0)
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9/28/09 4:10 P

I get shin splints and am tempted to try the shoes Nike Free. Has anyone used these, and seen any benefit from using them?

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