Shin splints- How do I avoid it?
Updated: Apr 17
In the first part of the 'shin splint' series, I discussed the different forms of shin splints that can occur to you. In this blog, I will explain the main causes of Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) and how to stop it from happening to you.
People who suffer from shin splints tend to be involved in repetitive impact sports such as distance running and hiking. When muscles are fatigued they become weak, which leaves the body with the task of finding new ways to move in order to alleviate the stresses on the affected areas, but it doesn't always work out for the best. In this case, weak hips and ankles can place additional stress on the calf muscles which in turn places greater stresses on the tibia, this is because the calf muscles and foot arch support muscles all have attachments on the medial (inside) border of the tibia, so a higher demand on the calf muscles= a greater stress on the tibia. So how can you avoid this?
6 steps to avoid MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome)
1. For every 3 hours you run, spend at least 1 hour dedicating the time to build the strength in your hips, down to your feet via a structured strength training programme that is tailored to your needs. This way, you can address any muscular imbalances that you may have whilst improving your performance simultaneously. 2. Increase your running duration by no more than 10% weekly.
3. Invest in your body by having regular sports massage to address any sore spots and alleviate muscular tension. 4. Eat well, by consuming a well balanced diet that consists of good levels of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals for good recovery.
5. Wear shoes that complement your running style.
6. Have your running style analysed by a run coach or via gait analysis. This will be particularly important if you are training for a long distance event such as a 1/2 marathon and beyond.
Keep an eye out for part 3- I've got shin splints! Now what?
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