Help with Running
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  1. #1

    Help with Running

    I know it says im only a friend. The truth is i have been to MEPS and the docs are being... well MEPS docs (anyone who has had trouble with them knows what i mean). Hopefully it all gets cleared up soon so i can be sworn in. Anyway, this past year i took a strength class at my high school. When you start the class you start doing the exercises you will do for the rest of the semester. Because i didnt work myself up to the standard required i developed shin splints. I need to get started running, how do i start running and work up to the requirements of the Corps, and not develop shin splints?

  2. #2
    i didnt know about the "Ask a Marine" Section. Could anyone who has the privileges move it please?

  3. #3
    DISCLAIMER: I'm not a medical professional by any means. The following is simply advice from personal experience.

    You first need to determine whether the source of the 'shin splints' are stressed and tightened lower leg muscles or if they're actually tiny hairline fractures in the bone. It sucks to say but a good number of shin splints are the latter. Best way to determine (without seeing a doc) is if, when you apply pressure to the affected area, the pain feels like a sore muscle or like a deep bruise.

    The latter indicates possible hairline fractures. Also, with fractures, the pain will extend more along the bone line rather than the relatively local pain of tightened, stressed muscle. If you think it might be stress fractures then quit running and stop any exercise that impacts the legs. You can't 'run off' that kind of shin splint. Go see a doc.

    If you feel that its just over-stressed muscle, there are several things you need to change. First is your shoes (aka go-fasters). If you've used them for everyday wear as well as running you need to buy a new pair and use the new ones ONLY for running/workouts. The mechanics of walking/day-to-day activities wear on and shape your shoes differently than when you run. Also buy new shoes if your current pair have seen more than 300 miles or so.

    Second thing you need to change is the way in which you run. It takes many miles to get used to any change in method, but with focus and diligence you can teach yourself to run properly and avoid the stress that causes that pain. It's best to research running methods yourself but here are a few pointers.

    -shorten your stride
    -make your foot strike toe/ball first, rather than heel first; this does not mean run on your toes. after your toes/ball strike the ground, about 75% of your foot should then make contact as your foot presses down the subsequent lift-off
    (this one really takes getting used to but trust me, not only will it relieve the pain but it will help your run times as well)
    -DO NOT stretch before you run. do a light warm-up i.e. jumping jacks, squat jumps, anything to get blood flowing, but NO static stretches.
    -DO a light stretch 2-3 mins after your run, enough time to catch your breath and cool down for a moment
    -finally, get a good, slow, intense and focused stretch of ALL of your muscle groups, even ones you didnt necessarily workout that day. do this preferably every night/late afternoon but certainly on days you run or do any kind of impact workout

    I'm no doctor or sports physician, just a lifetime athlete who's seen all of this have tremendous benefit to my run times and health.

    Best course of action is a doc's diagnosis, but the next best thing is a well-informed guess.

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