So it’s coming up to that time of year where some of you will be getting the all exciting news that you have been accepted to run the London Marathon in 2018!!! If you are reading this and you are one of those people…Congratulations!! How do you feel about it? Excited? Prepared? Done it before?
For many new marathon runners, i was one of them once, it can be a little daunting. The nights are now getting darker and let’s face it, winter is nearly here. But keeping positive, it’s cooler to run in right?! I wasn’t an experienced runner when i signed up to do the London Marathon, in fact i’d hardly ran at all!! Personally, i just like having something to work towards, a goal in mind you know.
One evening i grabbed my Nikes and set off on a run. I was positive and enjoyed being out in the fresh air after being in an office all day (i had a standard office job at this time). 10minutes into my run i remember getting pain in my shins. I stopped at first and just wiggled my ankles around, thinking that i knew what i was doing, but it was an awful pain! I tried to carry on running, man up as they would say, but the pain just kept coming back!! I had to keep stopping and starting, it was a nightmare. When i got home i put some ice on my shins to help the swelling, i knew it was shin splits as i’d heard of them before and google told me, even though googling symptoms is never a good idea!! Adding ice helped the pain initially but didn’t stop the pain coming back when i went out for a second try a day or so later. Stretching and ice helped to delay the pain, i could get a few extra minutes until it started but i mean i was meant to be running a marathon!!
A few weeks went by and i had also gained some lovely bumps on the back on my heels…sounds grim i know! I went to a specialist and explained all the problems and they gave me some insoles, recommend i buy different trainers and gave me some stretches to relive the tension in my calves. I followed his advice and honestly…huge improvements, he is a specialist after all i guess!
Hopefully with my top tips below you won’t have to get to my stage *fingers crossed*!
- Do NOT run through the pain, stop and walk, no matter how hardcore you are.
- Warm up before a run and stretch afterwards, this is so vital, i know we all forget to stretch!
- Slowly increase your running activity, avoid attempting 5 miles straight away unless you are experienced!
- Invest in a decent pair of running shoes. This is probably the most important one of all. Go to a running shop and they will analyse how you run and suggest the best type of trainer for you.
- Strengthen your leg muscles. As much as you think it’s all about running and cardio, you need to have strong muscles to get you running longer distances. Don’t ignore those weight!
If you are already experiencing shit splits, REST! Look at tip number 1. They aren’t a serious injury but if you keep running with shin splints they are only going to get worse. Have a read through the other tips and don’t worry, you have enough time to recover and then start to slowly build up your runs again. You can do other low impact activity in the mean time to get your heart rate up, like cycling, brisk walking etc. But don’t lose hope, it’s not the end of the world. Running the London Marathon is a HUGE achievement so you should be excited. But take your time, build up your mileage, eat well and rest…it’ll all come together nicely!
Any questions, as always, comment below 🙂