Spirit Grooves

Running and Reading Long #4

By on May 30, 2012

I’m participating in the Running and Reading Long program created and led by Laura at Laura Lives Life.

This weeks  prompt was to “choose something relating to the “mechanics” of running, like pacing, fartleks, injury-prevention, stretching, etc and do some simple reading, then create a post around what you’ve discovered!”

So, I chose to look at how to prevent and repair Shin Splints.

I’ve always had muscular calves and a very pronounced Tibialis Anterior muscle. And I’ve never been good about stretching them. So, I believe that it’s an issue of over-tightness coupled with being a life long over-pronater.

I found what I needed to get started working on this at RunnersWorld.com, here, and at this site which I think is a high school track and field website. Go figure. I like the high school site because it has good information and stretches to do. It’s so clear, I suggest anyone go there to see the treatment and prevention stretches. I can’t see a better way and don’t like to cut and paste someone else’s content here.

There are things I learned and plan to implement. One is to Stretch the calf muscle properly. From Runners World I learned that stretching the calf with a locked knee stretches the Gastrocnemius, or more superficial calf muscle. And stretching with a bent knee affects the deeper Soleus muscle.

I learned that a balance in strength and flexibility among all the muscles of the lower leg also is hugely important in preventing injuries. Things I’ve never thought about. I have always avoided working my lower legs because of the aforementioned muscle-y calves. Now I also see how maybe the Soleus muscle has been affecting my other problem which is in my Achilles Tendon and Calcaneus/heel bone.

I will ICE my shins after working out, especially after walking. I’m pretty strong and can do a good long and strenuous workout on the elliptical machine, but walking for 20 minutes kills my shins. So I will take the advice for preventing Shin Splints and ice regularly after working out.

Once again, I thank Laura and know that I’ve already gotten the greatest lesson from allowing myself to think like a runner, and that is to take responsibility for my body in a whole new way… to think in terms not of avoiding injury by avoiding physical challenges, but by learning how to train and stretch and improve the body I have. Runners don’t seem to ask IF they can do something, they ask HOW they can get it done, because come what may they are Going To Run.

And now for my Big News…… I Got My Shoes!!!!!!!!!! Wooo hooooo…. Finally. It was great. I went to a place here called Road Runner Sports. They have all the good stuff… the mat you step on that shows exactly where you put pressure on your feet and the treadmill/camera that watches you walk and then the educated salesperson to watch it and figure out the best shoe for you. Me.

So my story is mostly what I expected… over-pronating and toes pointed out-ward (“like a ballerina” is how I see it.) I didn’t realize how hard I strike my heels and how much of my weight I keep on my heels.

And the new shoes totally help with all of that. Amazing. I can’t wait to walk tomorrow, and to finally start charting some real progress in my training.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Karen@WaistingTime
    May 31, 2012

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    I didn’t know they had “real” stores! My husband has been ordering his shoes from their catalog for years.

  2. Stacy
    May 31, 2012

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    Yeah for new shoes! I love the feel of new shoes, always motivates me to get out and walk/run.

  3. Nikki
    May 31, 2012

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    Yayy for getting your shoes!! And I did my post on shin splints as well, considering i have posterior splints right now!

    • treepeters
      June 1, 2012

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      I have to go read yours now too. I look forward to seeing how you heal yourself.

  4. Jan
    May 31, 2012

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    This is such thorough info and I love the graphics! Thanks!

    • treepeters
      June 1, 2012

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      Oh thanks Jan. I swiped that leg graphic, I must admit.

  5. Hinata
    June 1, 2012

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    Congrats on the shoes! A good pair of shoes can keep you really moving through a run. Glad you are moving! I am running more myself because, frankly, I hate it, so I am trying to discipline myself to be better at it. Can’t always do what we like right? If so, I’d just be all about the weights. Hey! Speaking of which, did I show you my tire flip? XD Love my trainer and his unique fitness equipment!

    http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu282/Sunagakurexx/tireflip-1.jpg

    • treepeters
      June 1, 2012

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      I can’t believe that tire photo!!! I don’t know what I’d think if I saw that thing at my gym.
      xo

      • Hinata
        June 2, 2012

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        Haha! You’d think “Dang, that is one giant tire – I want to flip it!” It’s actually very cathartic, especially if you are having a grumpy day. Just lift and flip, lift and flip – the slamming sound it makes is wonderful. Like the biggest slap across the face of whatever is bothering you! XD

        Also, I have an amazing running tip from my friend Kev who is a marathon runner and fitness instructor in the Air Force – purse your lips when you run. This gets air into the lungs more quickly so you always feel more oxygenated. It’s made a world of difference in my running and I hope it is helpful for you! :)

  6. munchberry
    June 1, 2012

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    My hoozamawatsit muscle is also prominent. I wonder if it is because I also over pronate, heel stomp and walk like a duck – er ballerina. What shoes did you get?

    I had to look up fartlek. How could I NOT look it up? My mind’s version was much more interesting.

    When I hike my lungs always bark before my feet. Or legs. Or my hoozamawhatsit.

  7. Laura @ LauraLivesLife
    June 2, 2012

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    I’m so glad you figured both of these things out – it sounds like you are on the right steps towards walking and even running!

  8. Chassie (ballerinamama)
    June 5, 2012

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    Congrats on getting new shoes! I’m so excited for you! Thanks for the great info about shin splints. I especially like the piece about stretching your calves with a bent vs. straight knee. I am going to try both and see how deep a stretch I can get. I agree that “thinking like a runner” gives one a whole new perspective about his/her body. Well said.

  9. Stephen
    July 14, 2012

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    :)

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