Bye bye shin splints, just run my 500th kilometre of 2015

I thought it time for an update for fellow runners. Early last year I wrote that I had switched my running target from speed to endurance. I started the MSE run club.

Unfortunately it was rather short-lived due to a bout of shin splints that lasted on and off pretty much the whole year.  My graph for last year shows a total km of 538 – far short of my stated aim.

This year it’s all been rather different. While I can’t say I never have shin splints, it has been much improved. I’ve worked hard to reduce the impact and the pain. As I know fellow shin splint sufferers always like to discuss "what worked for you", here’s my list…

  • Compression socks for running.
  • Hip strengthening exercises before each run and at other times (a couple of Pilates-type moves learnt from Mrs MSE) after a physio I was seeing noted my hips weren’t engaged when running, which meant bad form.
  • Using (arrrggghhh) a foam roller on the IT bands of each leg (can I say arrrrgghh again?).
  • No ‘final sprint’ at the end of each run like I used to do – even just powering it for the last 100m would cause so much pain.
  • Special insoles fitted inside each ‘supportive’ trainer to combat over-pronation.

So it’s with joy that I look at my graph for this year and see a 12km run has just pushed me over the 500km threshold for the year already.  I’m aware that for some of you this will seem a huge amount, while others will think it’s a trivial distance.  Yet of course that’s irrelevant – what matters is performance compared with your own norms – and for me, this is massively ahead of any previous year.

My running spreadsheet:
  Total by June 20 End-of -year total
2011 292km 672km
2012 270km 622km
2013 327km 694km
2014 180km 532km
2015 506km N/A

The increase in distance so far isn’t just due to fewer injuries. I also ran far more in January and February than before, braving the dark, cold winter nights having bought some good cold-weather running gear.

Plus in recent months I’ve been doing much longer distances than before. In previous years my standard short run was 6k and long 10k.  This year my short has been 7.5k and my long 12k with a few 15-17k thrown in when I’ve time and am feeling good – part of being able to go longer is not being afraid to take a minute’s break halfway through a run (in the past I was fixated on never stopping).

How’s your running going?

PS: For the uninitiated, I do of course have a table (and newly added graph) of every single run I do, and not just that – see my I love spreadsheets blog.