“How’s your leg?”

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…a good friend recently asked me, in regards to my bum shin and running.  The fact is, knock on wood, my shin has been great!!!  YAY!  So here are a few things I have been doing in order to get my shin healthy and to maintain its health:

1.  Buy new shoes…I know hard hard, but someone’s gotta do it. For real though, my orthopedist said that to rating running shoes daily is the best option as the cushioning built into the sneakers are meant to “bounce back” only after 24 plus hours. SO, I was able to buy a new pair (or two, one that I searched long and hard for and ended up buying on ebay-never done this before- because they don’t make them- my beloved Asics Gel Cumulus 13; I had bought the 15s and they just aren’t the same) and have been rotating.

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Ha, I kid. But seriously, look at these. I DIE!

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Another benefit to this is that my foot is hitting different surface each day so the repetition is not there to cause injury.  Caitlin  has talked about this before as well.

2.  Wear compression socks for.every.run.  No exceptions.  I have three pair of Zensah ones and rotate them.  LOVE these. I am looking into getting some others as well, perhaps Procompression but I’m waiting for some funds to come in 😉

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3.  Vary run intensities and elevation.  Before, I was pretty much running the same speed and elevation (flat) for every run.  Now that I am training for the More Fitness Half thru central park in NY.  A typical run schedule will look like this:

Day 1- Long run (9 miles currently)

Day 2- off

Day 3- speed (6 miles)

Day 4- tempo (at race pace 5 or 6)

Day 5- easy run (5 0r 6 @ easy pace)

Day 6- hills (6, max out at 5% incline, 1/2 mile repeats)

SAMPLE:  1.5 miles @ flat

0.5 @ 3%

0.5 flat

0.5 @ 4%

0.5 flat

0.5 @ 5%

0.5 flat

0.5 @ 4%

1.0 @ flat

Day 7- Cross Train (Elliptical or swim)

4. Icing- I will ice my shin after a long or intense run and I find this helps to ward off inflammation, essentially a cause of the stress fracture (weak muscles can lead to this).  I use frozen peas and corn and reuse…until I can’t anymore 😉  Cute mental picture, huh?

5.  Rest when needed.  During Run-a-Day-Cember I did not take one rest day for 31 days.  It was an awesome challenge and so cool to know I ran over 130 miles in one month, but I think it did not do good things to my body.  Working out that much that hard with no rest in between is a recipe for disaster and injury.  Let’s not forget long term damage as well.  So now, in the heart of my half training, I aim for one to two days off a week, depending on both my real-life and running schedule.  Although I tend to not love rest days emotionally, It really is essential to the physically demanding training plan for a half marathon.  I’ve come to realize that.

So, tell me, how do you recover from injury!?  How are you otherwise?!  Do tell!

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