Posted by: Andy
I'm currently training to become an army officer and as such I do a lot of jogging. I do a comprehensive stretching warup before begining but on log jogs the muscles on the outside of my shins always strain and cause me alot of pain. Would anyone know of a warmup tailored to these muscles (whatever they may be!), or perhaps something I am doing wrong?
I would appreciate any help on this matter as I cannot really afford to stop training and apart from this my regime is proceding perfectly.
Posted by: Anatomist1
Off hand, I'd say you have one of 3 problems:
1) You are wearing the wrong shoes and/or running with poor form.
2) You are jogging, and not running (i.e., you are running slowly and for long periods, instead of briskly for shorter periods)
3) You have SHINSPLINTS, which is actually a bone injury common to people who first embark on a running regimen, and are usually increasing their training load by more than 10% per week.
If it's (2) you are in luck, because you could always alter your training routine. Running very slowly is almost always done with poor form, and one's center of gravity moves up and down much more than running fast. This translates to more pounding on your bones, which can lead to (3) shinsplints, among other things. The good news about an ordinary case of shinsplints is that if you have been running for less than 3 months, they will likely go away within 4 to 10 weeks without any intervention.
If your problem is poor form and/or improper shoe choice, you have a more complicated dilemma. You have to figure out what's wrong, and then buy appropriate shoes and/or alter your running form. This requires work. You're going to have to due some reading, some self-analysis, and experimentation. The good news about this is that it is a perfectly normal part of running. All serious runners experience minor injuries and use this information to learn and improve, thus alleviating their injuries and increasing their athletic capacity. This is the stuff of life.
Buy this book:
LORE OF RUNNING, by Tim Noakes is a nearly complete resource on running. It will tell you how to diagnose your problems and structure your training, and it will give you coaching advice on proper form. Add a friend to watch you and give you feedback, or to videotape you while you're running, and you're home free.
While warming up (not stretching, but literally warming up) is a good thing, it is unlikely that it has anything to do with your problem. In fact, overflexibility and lack of stability is a leading causes of sports injuries. The best warmup for running is brisk walking for a few blocks before you start each run.