Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Have Shin Splints

Wow, has it really been THAT long since I've posted a blog? I apologise, its work, they make me blog every.single.day. Needless to say that when I don't have to, I don't, and when I do it's on my work blog.

Not only are shin splints probably the worst running injury but they are totally preventable! Today I saw a physical therapist from Accelerated Rehabilitation Center in Peoria for some lower leg pain I’ve been having lately aka shin splints. I’ve know of ARC as the work very closely with Running Central who I’m not only a shopper but an endorser too.

Shin splints are known among runners, dancers and other fitness enthusiasts as the injury from bad shoes and over use. Today I learned that for me it’s more an injury based on my form, I’m a heel striker. When I run I’m comfortable, I feel at ease and no way do I “feel like” I’m hitting the ground with my heel, how I run feels natural and comfortable. The way my PT Sherri explained it, is stretch out your leg and plant your heel on the ground, it looks/feels like a “stop”, but if you plant you mid-foot on the ground it feels like a spring board. It’s called natural running-which leads to less injury, more effective running and faster running, and who doesn’t want to be a faster runner?

This video explains it all and it makes so much sense, it’s from Newton and they are a shoe company but they really like to promote the “natural running” form.

Luckily my injury isn’t bad, this time I didn’t ignore the pain and saw someone early on. Funny thing was Saturday during my long run (I’m training for the St. Louis and San Antonio half marathons this fall) I was in massive amounts of pain, I’d rate it an eight on the 1-10 scale, yet today, the day I meet with my PT I’m having nearly no pain! The one thing I did differently was I made sure to stretch my calf muscles out before running today.

So now what? I was encouraged to continue to stretch before my runs (because I do have tight soleus/calf muscles) along with some dynamic stretches before and then after to work on form drills to help me correct my form. Then at each mile point of my run, I’m also to stop and do some skipping, yes skipping- like we did as a kid, which helps to train me to run more naturally. Also, I need to spend more time on my foam roller and continue to work on hip strength. Next week I’ll also be having the “full run-analysis” done, which I’m totally excited about! And the best news is I can still keep running and training for half marathon’s numbers six and seven!