Q: "I have been having shin splints. My doctor recommended that I take it slow and cut out the speed work. By warming up slowly and stretching, I'm finally able to run again in zones 1-2 and even some in zone 3. I'm in the base phase right now and am wondering what to do for the form workouts instead of the speed work. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks."
A: Coach Patrick: Shin splints is the name for a painful condition that can develop along the inside and on the front of the shins. It usually occurs along the lower half of the shin, anywhere from a few inches above the ankle to about halfway up towards the knee.
In the early stages of shin splints you may feel a pain that is present at the beginning of a run but which disappears as running continues. The pain will often return after exercise or the following morning. As the injury progresses, you will experience more time with the pain and less time without it. Eventually, if ignored and training continues, the pain may become quite sharp and may focus on a very small area of the bone, which could indicate a stress fracture(!).
The good news is that shin splints can be easily overcome with the proper approach. Read on for full details on how to manage your condition, improve your strength, and how to prevent a return of the problem!
Posted: January 19, 2007