How to Runners Can Avoid Suffering from Shin Splints

by Jim Richardson | Last Updated: July 12, 2020

Shin splints can be a painful nightmare to a runner. It’s fairly easy to injure the muscles surrounding your shins which makes shin splints a common injury. But just because shin splints are common for runners doesn’t mean the injury is unavoidable.

You can absolutely lessen your risk of suffering from shin splints by taking certain precautions.  

Use the following tips to limit your risk of getting shin splints:

1. Wear Proper Shoes

One of the quickest ways to get shin splints is to use non-athletic shoes to run in. Don’t go running in your converse. The flat sole of your shoe will put pressure on your shin and result in muscle tears. If you want to go running, you need to buy running shoes that fit you properly and that minimize impact with the ground. Make sure your shoes support you well. If you’re not sure which running shoe is right for you, seek out a store that specializes in athletic footwear and ask a sales person to help guide you to the right shoe. 

2. Avoid Rough Terrain 

Running on concrete or hard dirt can increase the impact you experience while running and result in shin splints. Running on a treadmill or a track will be a lot less hard on your body and shins. Get a gym membership or find a local public track that you can run on regularly. Absolutely avoid running on concrete or slanted terrain at all costs. 

3. Strengthen Calf Muscles 

Strengthening the muscles in your calves can reduce the strain on your shins and help you avoid shin splints. Search for exercises online that will make your calf muscles stronger. Engage your calf muscles on a regular basis. 

4. Stretch Properly

The muscles in your shin are more likely to tear if you don’t stretch properly before going running. Starting a run without stretching at all will strain the muscles in your body, which will cause the muscle around your shin to tear and cause intense pain. Find a stretching routine you can utilize before you go out on a run. It’s also important to warm up before running so start with a slow jog before you speed up. 

5. Start Running Slowly

If you’re a beginner to high-impact exercise, it’s more likely that you are going to suffer from shin splints than an experienced runner. Don’t try to run several miles on the first run you take. It will be important that you start your new exercise routine slowly, gradually increasing the intensity of your run. The slower you start out, the less likely you are to injure your shins due to overuse. 

Getting shin splints will completely change your exercise routine. Once you’re injured, you will have to stop high impact exercise until you can recover. It takes weeks to months for shin splints to fully heal. Insure you won’t need a break from running by taking the proper steps to avoid a shin injury.