How to avoid shin splints and other running injuries
Shin splints are one of the most common injuries for beginning runners.
While ice and Tylenol can help mitigate pain, they won't change the fundamental issue: running form.
The shin bone absorbs and redistributes impact from each footfall. The greater the impact, the more the bone endures. For beginning runners, too much impact too fast leads to shin splints (and other maladies).
Greater impact results from over-striding. Over-striding causes you to land on your heels and lock your knees, sending shockwaves through your legs. Nothing increases the likelihood of running injury more.
Even small increases in your cadence (steps per minute) can soften the impact on your joints. Also, by increasing your cadence, you decrease the time you spend in the air, lessening impact. Increasing your cadence doesn't just increase how often your foot lands - it changes where your foot lands.
Take smaller strides, and your feet will strike directly beneath your center of gravity. By doing so, you waste less energy hauling your legs up and out, and can focus instead on moving forward.
Think gliding, not grinding.
This is all to say that cadence is the key to mitigating running injuries - especially for beginners.
How can you improve your cadence? Read the related articles below!