I am currently training for a half marathon and have come down with shin splints. I have been a distance runner for about four years and have run half marathons and a full marathon so I am not new to long distances. I think I came down with them from over training a couple weeks back and upping my miles too fast. I ran with the pain once and then decided it would be better to rest. I stopped running for a week, I foam roll, ice, use ibuprofen, and kinesiology tape. After resting a week they felt better so I ran 3 miles yesterday (on a treadmill and at a slower pace) with my leg wrapped for extra support. I didn't have pain like I did last week but it did feel slightly uncomfortable and I am experiencing pain again today. I know I should probably rest again but my half is in six weeks and am worried about missing training. I am looking for advice about running through the pain or resting and if I rest another week how I could go about getting back to my half training without upping my miles too quick and risk getting the shin splint back. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I am feeling very discouraged right now. Any advice on shin splints would be great!!
Start with a self-analysis of the manner in which you run. There is large amount of evidence that running with a long stride and running with high impact loading contributes to tidial stress syndrome. The closer your foot strike is to your center of mass the less impact. Striking the ground with the heel first has been relatred to increased tibial stress. If you sound loud when you run it is likely there is a high rate of impact loading. Do browser search on "run softly". Be very careful running down hills, it is very easy to take too long a stride. Run up hills more, it is difficult to take too long a stride running up hill. Consider having a slow motion video analysis of your running form, have the whole body in the frame. Changing the way you run is a powerful intervention.
Damien Howell PT, DPT, OCS
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