How to prevent shin splint?
We talked about shin splints last week and it is critical to prevent shin splints from happening and reoccurring. Here are ways how we can reduce the risk of getting shin splints!
1. Evaluate your running form
You can take a video of you running and analyze the running techniques and movement that can possibly contribute to shin splints. You can check your footstrike patterns. If you land on your heels that can stress the shin, whereas if you land on the toes, it stresses the gastrocnemius muscles. Ideally, you should be able to land on the middle of the foot and roll through to push off through your toes. If you are not sure whether your form is correct, you might benefit to work with professionals to evaluate your form and provide suggestions.
2. Make sure to have the right shoes
Wearing the wrong shoes can possibly lead to shin splints. You should ensure that the shoes are not worn out with enough stability and cushioning from time to time. You can also consider insoles with more shock absorption for more prevention. If you have a flat fleet/ overpronation, you can consider arch support or book an orthotics consultation.
3. Try cross-training
Try to avoid overusing the muscles from running and take some days off from running. You can consider cross-training with sports that cause less impact on the shins, including biking and swimming. That can help you stay in shape while your shins get sufficient time to rest. Remember to gradually increase time and intensity whenever you start new activities.
4. Add strengthening training
Lower body exercise can help correct muscle imbalance. We can focus on strengthening the calf and glute muscles to take some pressure off your shins when running or other high-impact sports: Toe and Heel raises, monster walks with resistance bands, and donkey kicks.
5. Remember to stretch
Don't forget to stretch the calves and shins after working out. If you are feeling tightness over the calves and other muscles, you can massage them with a foam roller or other massage tools. If you feel mild pain over the shins while running, you can also stop and do a quick calf stretch, but if it gets worse you should stop and rest for a few days.