The Attack of the Killer Shin Splints!

Oh No!  It is the attack of the Killer Shin Splints!  Run - or Don't Run - for your lives! Runner Running

It Was The Attack of the Killer Shin Splints!

I’m working with a great group of new runners in my Runaway Moms class. While some are more experienced runners, others are completely new to running, and are getting active after a long period of inactivity. Those novice runners are being attacked – attacked by the Killer Shin Splints!

So, as a running coach who loves research and information, I’ve been hard at work earning my Ph.D. in shin splints! Let’s look take a look at this very common running injury.

Common places shin splints occur.

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are pain in the lower part of the leg, typically in the front of the lower leg, or the shin. They are small tears in the muscles that connect the lower leg muscle to the tibia, the shin bone. In runners, we frequently see shin splints because the calf muscle in the back of the leg becomes stronger than the muscle on the outside of the shin. So, it makes sense that you would see this as a common affliction for new runners.

What Causes Shin Splints?

Shin Splints (refer to it as “tibial stress syndrome” if you want to impress your friends and worry your mother!) are caused by either too much impact on the lower leg (most often heel strike running), or overuse of the lower legs (pushing off too much with the toes to propel yourself when running). Other factors that can cause shin splints are ill-fitting shoes, running downhill, running on uneven surfaces, or any increase in physical activity where the muscles and tendons struggle to keep up with the stress that is placed on them.

Attack of the Killer Shin Splints - Who Gets Shin Splints

Who Gets Shin Splints?

All athletes can suffer from shin splints. However, beginning runners commonly experience this problem because almost all beginning runners push off with their toes (overuse of the lower leg) or they start off running too fast and too far.

Can I Run Through My Shin Splints That Is A Huge Mistake Arrested Development

You Can Just Run Through Shin Splints, Right? (aka “I’ve Made A Huge Mistake.”)

Well, yes and no. If the shin splint pain is relatively mild and occurs at the beginning of a running season, then experienced runners should be able to run through it.

However, if the pain is severe or if it continues beyond a reasonable amount of time, you should NOT just run through the pain. You’ll need to take the appropriate steps to help your body recover. To try to “run through the pain” is always a bad idea. Doing so could lead to more serious injury and a much longer recovery time (worst outcome ever for a runner in training, right?). You might end up saying, “I’ve Made a Huge Mistake.”

Note: I can’t let a post go by without a shout out to my favorite cancelled TV show that just released a new season on Netflix (Arrested Development).

Use the RICE protocol to treat most types of muscle injuries.

How Do I Treat Shin Splints?

The good news is that there are lots of steps you can take to treat this muscle injury. For just about any muscle injury, you can apply the RICE protocol. RICE is an acronym that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

  • Rest: If the pain is severe, you may need to consider stopping running for a short period of time.
  • Ice: Ice the affected areas 3 times a day for 15 minutes. Take ibuprofen as directed to reduce muscle inflamation.
  • Compression: You can tape your shin with athletic tape (and there are some really awesome brands out now), or wrap it with an ACE bandage to compress the affected area. This will feel really good, and it may help you be able to run. Another good idea that I’ve seen work is trying a compression sleeve for the affected leg or legs.
  • Elevation: You’ll want to elevate your leg when you are resting it or icing it. Optimally, you want to position yourself so that the injured area is higher than your heart.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how to prevent an attack of the Killer Shin Splints. Until then, run on!

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Running – Just The Facts, Ma’am


Happy Friday, Runners!

I’m having a great time as a coach with my Runaway Moms (Plus One Dad) Summer Running Camp! I get a lot of joy from helping others begin or continue running. I’m working on several blog posts related to questions they’ve had during our sessions. As you might expect, we’re seeing a few folks with shin splint pain. This is common in new runners because you are putting stress on your lower body when you run. I’m also working on a post regarding running in the heat. With summer very quickly approaching us here in Texas, being smart about running in the heat is essential.

As I was researching for these posts, I came across this great infographic. And you know how I love, love, love infographics!

Running Facts and Figures Infographic

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Catch the Spirit of the Marathon

Spirit of the Marathon Movie Netflix

Ah, the Spirit of the Marathon! Every time I think of this movie, I smile.

I was fortunate to watch this movie in the middle of my training for my half-marathon. This independent film follows the path of five runners (three amateur, two elite) as they train and prepare for the Chicago Marathon. This film, beyond any others, really captures the emotion of the marathon – both for the runners, and for the spectators.

One of the things that makes this film so wonderful is that the film makers understand marathons. And they use that knowledge to convey the ups and downs of the training process, and how it feels to overcome the obstacles to complete the marathon.

Here’s a clip from the 2007 Spirit of the Marathon (It’s 6 minutes long, but definitely worth it. You’ll want to lace up and go out for a run after you watch even the preview!):

I think the quote from Katherine Switzer really sums it up.

“You triumph over adversity. And then, there’s nothing in life that you can’t triumph over after that.”

You can view Spirit of the Marathon on Netflix, or you can watch it on YouTube.com for $1.99. Money well spent, in my opinion!

And, Mark Your Calendars For June 12!

That’s the night that Spirit of the Marathon 2 (Rome Marathon) will be in theaters. I, for one, cannot wait to see it. I’m going to start getting a group of my running buddies together right now!

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Running Is My Favorite Teacher

Lessons Learned From Running Runner Mother Run Mom

Lessons Learned From Running

I’m in a reflective mood today as I prepare for coaching my Runaway Moms (Plus 1 Dad) tonight. I’m feeling so grateful for the things I’ve learned from running, and from being a part of the running community.

  • I’ve learned that I can do things I’ve never thought I could do before.
  • I’ve learned that I’m tougher than I thought I was.
  • I’ve learned that runners – as a whole – are a very inspirational group!
  • I’ve met wonderful new friends through running. I can’t imagine how I would have met them otherwise.
  • I’ve learned about the importance of a solid plan and a consistent effort.
  • I’ve learned that my kids are watching me very closely – and that they are becoming runners, too.
  • I’ve learned how to manage the mechanics of my body. This is so empowering.
  • I’ve been surprised to learn that friends notice that I’m a runner now, and they seek me out for advice. I love to help them!
  • Through becoming a running coach, I’ve learned that there is great joy in helping others become runners.

I continue to learn. Every day. Running is a great teacher. I hope to never graduate!

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If You’re Looking For A Sign …

If You’re Looking For A Funny Race Sign, Keep Reading!

A little Friday humor for us to close out a busy week for the One Tough Mother Runner. I love race signs. The humor, the enthusiasm, the motivation – everything about a race sign is awesome.
running race signs funny motivation runners mothers runner mother

run now beer later race running run sign

marathon race sign encouragement support motivation runner run running

funny wine race sign encouragement motivation runner running run mother

run quietly I have a hangover running sign funny run runner running

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Infographic: 12 Mental Benefits of Exercise

Mental Emotional Health Benefits of Exercise Running Runner Run Mother

http://www.treadmillreviews.com/blog/mental-benefits-exercise/

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With Love, From One Tough Mother Runner

Mother Runners Runner Tough Race Sign Mom Mama

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today’s version of Sunday Shorts is mother-themed for your amusement! Let’s begin!

funny mother's day image mother runner runners

Funny, …. but true.

mother runner runners coach insane salinger quote

I’d have to agree. What is it they say, “I lost my mind – I think my kids took it.”

runner runners mother mothers Crappy Pictures

Crappy Pictures tells it like it is – never fails to make me laugh!

mother runner runners day mother's mothers shirt mom awesome

I’m buying these for all my children.

mother mothers runner runners day sign bottle wine mother's

I’ll take two, please!

world's 43rd best mom mothers mother's day what not to do

File under “What Not To Buy Your Mother For Mother’s Day!”

mother's day mom mothers runner runners sleep

Yes, my number one gift request for Mother’s Day is a nap. I wish you all a wonderful day!

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The Road Runners Inspire Me

We’re very fortunate to have our children attend an excellent elementary school that is less than 1/2 a mile from our home. We can often walk to school, with or without our dog Jimbo. When we drive to school, Jimbo prefers to sit in the front seat and sniff out the window.

In addition to the caring teachers at this school, we have a wonderful PE teacher who has been teaching PE since 1964. Her name is Carole Weldon. She’s an incredible woman who has phenomenal stories to share.

Road Runners

In 1994, Coach Weldon started a running program at our elementary school. She named it Road Runners. The kids run at school for 30 days out of the academic year. The program is such an institution at our school that the playground track is named after Coach Weldon.

At the end of the year, Coach Weldon holds an awards ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of her students. Coach Weldon tells us, “This program is not about physical fitness – it’s about setting goals and working hard to achieve your goals.” So, through running, Coach Weldon is imparting valuable life lessons to our kids.

At this year’s awards ceremony, she shared the following poem with the parents and the kids. It’s great stuff – and worthy of motivating any runner.


Today we celebrate 30 long weeks of learning about “setting goals.”
It is hard work. Sometimes it hurts.
Sometimes I want to give up.
Sometimes I am way too hot.
And other times, I am way too cold.
Sometimes the wind blows me forward, but mostly backwards.
Sometimes it rains. Sometimes I fall and scrape my knees.
But, soon I learn to “stay focused.”
I remember the goal I have set.
I endure the pain. I finish strong.
I learn to do my best each running day.
I know I will be stronger in character because I never gave up.
I am learning to be true to myself.
I am learning to forgive myself when I “blow it,” and forgive others when they offend me.
I am learning to be HONEST on the inside.
I am building Character that will last my entire lifetime.
I am proud of my accomplishments.
I am going to be SOMEBODY SPECIAL when I grow up. Just wait and see!
Today, I am a Road Runner. Tomorrow, I’ll be a successful leader.
Thank you for never giving up on me!

by Coach Carole Weldon


More on Coach Weldon and the Road Runners on Friday!

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Saturday Shorts: Treadmill Treats

I wonder what he does for carb loading?

Was the workout part where she lifted the thing up on top of the treadmill?

I have a bad feeling about this.

Treadmill Humor

This just makes me smile.

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Want to run longer and faster? Just breathe ….

Breathe properly Belley Breathing For Better Running

Today’s post is a continuation of Wednesday’s blog post about breathing while running.

Keep Calm and Belly Breathe

Step 1: Practice belly breathing

In the last post, we discussed that runners rarely think about training their lungs to increase capacity. By increasing your breathing to more fully use your lungs, and thus deliver more oxygen to your body, you’ll find that you can run longer distances because you are more efficiently delivering oxygen to your muscles. So, the first step is to practice belly breathing.

Belly Breathing Examples

In addition to belly breathing at night before bed, here’s a way to practice that you can include in your pre-running warm-ups. Stand with your arms at your sides. As you inhale, slowly raise your arms up and out until they are at shoulder height. This helps your rib cage move out and up, making space for the lungs to expand. As you exhale, slowly lower your arms back down.

Train yourself to breathe properly


Step 2: Incorporate Belly Breathing Into Walking

Shallow breathing is a habit. It will take time and conscious effort to change this habit. Start by incorporating belly breathing into a walk. Walk at a pace where you can concentrate on your breathing. Put your hand on your stomach so you can monitor yourself. Breathe in for 2 strides and breathe out for 3 strides. At first, this will feel like an exaggerated exercise, but stay with it until it feels normal. The main objective is to fill up your lungs when you breathe in, and to push all of the air out of your lungs when you exhale.

Diagram of benefits of Belly Breathing

Step 3: Increase Your Speed

Once you’ve got the hang of the walking with belly breathing, then simply increase your speed – still being mindful of your breathing. While running, use a mantra to help you stay focused on this: “Breath in, breathe out.” You may need to adjust your ratio of strides to breaths as you run and vary your speed. It just takes practice. Now, get out there and go for a run!

Tomorrow: Be On the Lookout For “Saturday Shorts!”

Dr. Weil's thoughts about proper breathing

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