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.