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.
The impact of running can shock your system, so supplement miles logged with exercises that are less jarring on the joints, like cycling, rowing, and swimming. “Do cross-training instead of running every day with a 3+2 program,” says Bill Pierce, Ed.D., M.S., a veteran running coach, professor and chair of the health sciences department at Furman University, and the lead author of Run Less, Run Faster. “Three runs and two cross training sessions gives you five cardiovascular workouts a week.”