Shin splints don't always start bad. But you don't treat them fast, shin splints quickly become one of the worst running-related injuries that could ever hinder your workout. If you've ever felt a pain around your shin bone—either on the front of your leg or in the back—then you've likely experienced the tendon and muscle pain that plague runners everywhere. You also know that burning lower-leg pain that can cripple your workouts and keep you from racing.
Unfortunately, shin splints can crop up for myriad reasons. Anything from a step up in training—whether running frequency, intensity, or duration—to improper form or poorly-fitted shoes can cause shin splints to flare up.
Learn how to prevent and treat shin splints, so you don’t suffer when running season starts again.
Instead of running too much too soon (a main cause of shin splints), increase your speed and distance gradually. Avoid the 5-mile itch.
“If you’re a new runner, you’re not going to suddenly run 5 miles,” says Keith Jeffers, D.C., C.C.S.P. “You need a break-in period. Start with 20 minutes of a walking-running combo every other day.” When it comes to building intensity and duration, 10 is the magic number. Increase you walking distance 10% each week while simultaneously amping up your run-to-walk ratio by 10%, says Jeffers.