Shin splints are one of the most common running injuries. Here’s how to prevent them.
- Don’t increase your mileage too fast. No more than 10% per week.
- Don’t suddenly start doing a ton of speed work. Ease into it.
- Don’t suddenly start doing a lot of hills.
- Don’t suddenly switch to running on a much harder surface.
- Don’t suddenly start running in racing flats or other shoes with minimal cushioning.
- Make sure you shoes are right for you and your biomechanics.
- Make sure your shoes aren’t too worn. Replace them after 300 miles or so.
- Avoid overstriding
- Stretch your calves. Shin splints are often caused by an imbalance between your shins and your calves.
- Strengthen your shins by repeated flexing your toes toward your shins and by walking on your heels with your toes flexed upward.
If you do end up getting shin splints, get some rest, ice your shins, take some anti-inflammatories, and re-evaluate your recent training to look for clues as to what caused them. Make some adjustments and when your shins feel better, ease back into running.
Let me know how you prevent shin splints in the comments.