Toss the confetti, I am three weeks into the new year’s 1000 miles! Alright, I agree there is no need for the confetti. I am excited that I am still going strong. Three weeks in and I feel like I am getting a little tired of the good ol’ treadmill. I am also starting to feel a little wear and tear on my legs by running on it. I guess this is the biggest downfall of living in a cold climate and being a runner that is not a fan of the cold. Either way the miles are not going to run themselves but this week I paid attention to injury prevention and also injury recovery.
I am still not used to the treadmill. Even though I pay close attention to the tips that I wrote about last week in my post Treadmill Tips, my legs are still starting hurt a little. Also, I am concentrated on my miles so doing cross-training becomes a little more difficult when I can’t track or compare miles. I started to notice that my shins started to hurt quite a lot when I ran, so I started to follow these tips that I have picked up on through my years of running.
First, if you feel pain when you run, then you shouldn’t run or dramatically cut down on your power and distance. For me, I had to cut down on the speed that I was running at. I realized that when I ran faster I was putting more pressure on my stomp down which caused me to feel pain in the shin.
Second, have longer warm-ups and cool-downs. When you take your time to warm-up and cool-down, you are allowing your body to wake up and get ready for the run/workout. I added about 1 min – 2 min of a warm-up before I ran.
Third, monitor your pain as you run. If my body was telling me to slow down/walk then I listened and in the end felt better. One hard workout is not worth an injury that will keep you from running.
Fourth, is stretching, a lot of stretching. It is always the easiest thing to skip when you are in a hurry, lazy or tired. For injury prevention, and best practices in general, stretching should never be skipped. Here are some good stretches after running.
Fifth, icing and wrapping is also very important. I iced my shins every day which allowed the swelling to go down and the pain to release. Also, I started to wrap my shin when I ran so that the pressure would keep the muscles tight.