Shin Splints With Race Coming Up

by Julie
(CA)

I have my first 5K race in 2 weeks and I have been having some shin splint problems, in particular in the right leg in the inner lower leg.

I have been training for this race for a while, however the last few weeks I have had to take several rest periods due to the shin splints.


Any suggestions of how I should handle these next 2 weeks leading up to the race?
I believe that normally before a race you are supposed to decrease your amount of running however, I really want to be sure my endurance is up to par to be able to complete the entire race. What should I do?


Answer by Dominique:


Hi Julie,
Thanks for your question about shin splints.
How unfortunate that you are experiencing them so close to your race!

Shin splints are caused by excessive stress on the lower legs. You might be wearing the wrong shoes for your foot type, doing too much too soon, or not doing enough stretching and strengthening.

When you are experiencing shin splints the only right thing to do is to stop running. You do not want it to become a chronic, long lasting injury.

Treatment consists of icing your legs regularly and stretching them.
You can try to maintain and even increase your fitness by cross-training, e.g. bike riding, swimming, maybe some gym work.

More about shin splints here.

When you are still in pain in two weeks time, I would not run the race. In the end that is your decision. However, consider that there are plenty of 5k races around, but you only have one pair of lower legs, so be careful with them.


Hope this helps. Best of luck with treating your shin splints and with your running.

Cheers,
Dominique

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