Over the years, shin splints have been a recurring injury which has hampered my progress. Often, I can work round the problem and keep running, but sometimes it stops me in my tracks. Experience has taught me how to work round the problem. I find the following points useful for keeping the running injuries at bay.
Flexibility has always been an issue for me, even before taking up running. A general stretching routine kept me ticking along for years. However, I now have to include specific stretches on a regular basis. These stretches focus on the areas that I know can tighten up due to the running. For me, this means calves, glutes and hips.
Fortunately, I have been given stretches by a sports therapist that work for me and can keep me running for the majority of the time. I definitely notice the difference in my movement after doing theses stretches, and wouldn’t be running anywhere near as often without them.
Occasionally, the shin splints strike with a vengeance and I seek the help of a professional to sort me out. As mentioned in my last blog post, I seek the help of the team at the Treatment Hub to sort me out. A sports therapy sessions works wonders for me, and despite having tender muscles immediately after, I know how positive the impact is on my running.
Despite having a foam roller for a few months, I have only recently started using it. I can’t believe I have left it this long! I am able to tackle tightness that stretching alone can’t relieve. After grinding to a painful halt during a long run a fortnight ago, a quick session on the foam roller sorted me out in time for my next run. This will now be a permanent fixture in my injury prevention arsenal!
I have always been a keen gym goer, and cross training is a good way to maintain your fitness when injured. I am a big fan for the cross trainer when not running, with occasional cycling for variety. My preference is definitely for doing cardio in the fresh air though.
Altering my Training Plan
I have noticed that certain workouts can trigger my injuries. Tempo runs, hilly routes and racing too often are the main culprits. I have swapped tempo runs for progression runs, and race less often than in the past. Hills normally only trigger an injury when I have upped the mileage too much, so I switch to flatter routes and reduce my weekly volume.
Injuries are frustrating, but I do all I can to keep moving. Taking the above steps will keep me running for years to come.
I’m always open to new suggestion for rehabbing injuries. Feel free to let me know your tips and tricks for keeping injuries at bay in the comments.