Recovering From Shin Splints


Shin Splints are essentially every runners nightmare. And, for this runner, it was a nightmare that I forgot existed until it landed straight on my doorstep. Shin Splints effect the lower half of the leg, by your calf. 

So how does a runner get shin splints?
Shin splints happen when you increase your mileage too quickly - basically if you only run 1 mile a week, running 8 miles the next week is how shin splints will waltz their way into your life.

Shin splints can also pop right in your life if you are wearing worn out sneakers - as in if you've already run 200 miles in your sneakers, it may be time for a switch!

What was my case of Shin Splints?

SNEAKERS or MILEAGE INCREASE TOO SOON

I fit in the second category. I was really excited to get back into running after Ramadan ended and I went from running 0 miles per week to running 8 miles in one week. Towards the second week of running, I felt pain on the lower part of my leg and hello shin splints that I forgot actually existed. I've tucked shin splints pretty far into my memory - I haven't had shin splints since my high school track days! - and right after I googled 'pain in lower leg running' shin splints was the first thing to come up.

Now, as I think back to what I did wrong in my training, it's also something that should have been obvious. You can't go from 0 to 8 miles and expect not to get some sort of injury. The reason why I found myself taking a two week break was because my shins weren't strong enough to handle that type of mileage just yet.

I'm still getting used to having a tripod on the track - so! enjoy me trying to figure out what to do in photos


This is why shin problems are more common in less-experienced runners: their bone has not yet adapted to the stresses of a high-impact activity like running.

Now, I myself have been running since middle school (12-13 years old) so I wouldn't really classify myself anywhere near the term 'less experienced runner'. Here's the thing, I am an experienced runner. I know I am. However, my body after Ramadan - a full month with no running & no mileage increase - was the shape of that of a beginner runner. In my mind I somehow managed to not process that my body, my shins, and my calf muscles were not the same strength they were before Ramadan started.

During the two weeks off of running, it was hard to be believe in the dream I had of making the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Team in the 5000M. I keep finding myself making mistakes and sometimes it gets hard to believe in my ability to make it there. For a recent video I made on my youtube channel I discussed the importance of not giving up on yourself even though you don't get something right the first time  ~ granted I was discussing baking banana bread HOWEVER ~ it's the advice I've been telling myself for the past two weeks.


The easiest thing in the world is to quit. However, as easy as quitting would be, I won't give up on myself or this dream of mine. These mistakes I make as a runner - although annoying and make me have REALLY deep dives of motivation - they're all building blocks and lessons to learn from. Although increasing mileage too quickly should have been a no brainer, my excitement got the better of me and I burned out before even getting the chance to speed up.

I've overtrained before, and since then I've always ensured that I didn't push myself off a literal cliff with my training to the point of exhaustion. Now, I've had shin splints and I've relearned the importance of having a gradual build up in mileage and not increasing up my mileage as if I were on a pogo stick and someone asked me to jump high.

Mistakes are building blocks & lessons to learn from - although it's been a tough two weeks motivation wise, I've gotten back up and I'm going to keep showing up at the track/road to run. (I'm still icing, I'm hoping next week I'll be back to running.)  As a religious person, I have faith that God will guide me the path I am meant to go. Sure, these pauses in my running training schedule get me down, but I choose to get back up and I will continue to get back up. 

Are you a runner? Have you ever gotten Shin Splints? LET YA GIRL KNOW!

p.s. I'm really proud of this video I made on Youtube, it's just less that 3 minutes, and if you have the time I'd love for some feedback!

I upload every Sunday now!

22 comments:

  1. Aww sorry to hear about your injury Sahara! I’ve heard of shin splints but never knew much about them so this post was really interesting. I’m glad you are staying positive and I hope you recover soon so you can get back to training & following your dreams xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. It was hard in the beginning to stay positive while recovering but I'm really excited to get back into running and - this time - running smartly and learning from my past mistakes. It's always better to think positively than negatively :)

      I'm hoping to at least be out running by midweek, but that all depends on how my legs feel, if not midweek then I think I should be fine by next Monday! Thank you so much for reading and commenting Bexa! ❤️

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  2. Oooh that doesn't sound pleasant! I hope you recover soon and I'm glad you're managing to stay positive! I'm not a runner so have no chance of getting this myself and hadn't heard of it!
    Soph - https://sophhearts.com x

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    1. I am thankfully very nearly recovered, I'm hoping to be out next week running, but that all depends on if my legs feel like they're ready for it! The good thing is that I didn't continue with the pain (as I read some people do) as that could of made it worse, so I caught myself google searching right in time.

      If you ever decide to take up running, definitely would recommend taking it nice and slow and not to rush to increase your mileage! Thank you so much for reading and commenting :)

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  3. Mistakes really are building blocks! So don't worry, you'll be absolutely fine, keep doing your thing girl you're doing amazing. I have never had shin splints because i'm a lazy fuck! But you look great as per, and the captions on your pictures always make me laugh!Love checking your blog every now and then for a new post xxx https://lifeofshar.co.uk/

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    1. In the beginning it was hard to think positively about it but! I found myself always pointing back that if I didn't make mistakes, I wouldn't learn! HAHAHA girl wait I saw on instagram you dance so I wouldn't say you're lazy hahaha.

      And thank you so much, I like to leave little captions of what was going through my mind while taking a photo haha - thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love reading your blog too, your outfit posts from Center Parcs are amazing, love your style!

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  4. I'm lucky that I've never had shin splints and I know I usually crank the mileage up too quickly after time off so I'm really grateful my body is quite resilient. I have just recovered from a stress fracture in my hip that stopped me running for just over two months which SUCKED. I hope you have a smooth recovery!!! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. That's amazing you've never had shin splints!! I only remember vaguely having them in high school briefly and then never again until this time! We're both similar with increasing out mileage too quickly, I can definitely say I've learned my lesson - nice and steady wins the race so I'll be slowly diving back into running after I recover!

      Oh no! I'm glad to hear you've just recovered from a stress fracture in your hip, I'm hoping you don't feel any pain now! I feel like time away from running has really made me question what do I do now with this extra time in the morning/evening that I would be running.

      I hope you're out running when you feel ready to - be sure to take it slow!!

      And thank you so much!! I'm hoping to be out running next week, fingers crossed my legs are ready for a short run!

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  5. I hope you're feeling better now. I love your positivity and to see how self-motivated you're. True, these mistakes are only the building blocks and that's how you become a professional from an amateur.

    http://capturesunshine.com

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    1. I'm feeling better than I felt the first week that's for sure - thank you so much for asking! I feel like with running, it's taught me a lot of how to be my own number one fan/cheerleader. From my mistake, I'm going to ensure that I don't increase my mileage too quickly, they're building blocks to learn from and just as you said - it's how you become a professional from an amateur :)

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  6. That's really tough. Especially since running means so much to you. I love how determined you are to not let shin splints get in the way of you and your dream. I think that's really admirable. Great post!

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    1. It's been a tough few weeks mentally believing in myself and having faith that I'll get back up from shin splints and I'll run stronger and smarter but! Here I am ready to get back to running when my legs feel 100%.

      Thank you so much!! So happy to hear you enjoyed my post, thank you for reading and commenting!

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  7. Ah sorry to hear about your injury, but it's great that you haven't given up! I'm by no means an experienced runner, but I got myself a shin splint a couple of months ago after I tried racing up a hill 😭 it was really painful, and I found it hard to exercise for a few weeks. But, I couldn't agree more that it's important not to quit! Good luck with your professional dreams, loved this post x

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    1. Oh no!! I haven't done hill sprints recently, but I've been looking at videos to figure out what the best way to go up them would be so I don't end up injuring myself, if you plan on heading out for a hill sprint:

      Here's a video that I thought described it well in terms of running up form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBEdWdonQdc

      Here's another video to help with both running up/down a hill! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcBlGb0qgS8

      I hope those videos help you out if you decide to run up a hill again!

      Shin Splints are a difficult pain to go through, all you can do is rest/ice it till it feels 100% to run on again which can get really frustrating, but once you're back to 100% it's the best feeling - I'm at the end of recovering (I didn't ice as much the first week so it ended up staying longer for me sadly) and I can't wait to get back into running smarty this time around.

      Thank you so much!! Thank you for reading and commenting, glad to see you enjoyed reading!

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  8. I love your dream of being able to go to the Olympics! That would be so cool (and supper, super scary) to run in front of millions of people. I bet you will conquer your shin splints and be back on the track in no time. Have a great time running!

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    1. Thank you so much!! It's been my dream to race at the Olympics, as someone who always makes sure to watch the Games (both Summer/Winter Olympics) it would definitely feel surreal to actually be a 5000M Runner for Team USA and be the one that everyone is watching.

      I'm hoping to get back to running next week, shin splints are taking their time with me sadly but! I'm really excited to get back into running when my legs feel strong enough :)

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read and comment!

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  9. Eeeek this sounds painful! I'm not a runner so wouldn't know about these but it's great you've identified how you got them and can work around it - and hopefully prevent it from happening again in the future!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Definitely a pain I really wish didn't resurface back into my life! The most important thing is that I've identified what caused my injury so I can learn what not to do in the future, just a bit more icing on my legs and I should be out running soon!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! :)

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  10. I'm not a runner but I have had shin splints before and I find them to be so painful!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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    1. I can definitely agree with you there- they are painful ! When I first started to feel the pain on my leg I almost shrugged it off thinking it was nothing but after the first day or so I couldn't run because of the pain - thankfully I'm not in any pain now, but wow! I can 110% say I would love for shin splints to never reappear in my life again!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  11. When I was training for the great north run I suffered with shin splints - it was nightmare. You just have to take time to rest and not give up! Hope you are feeling better!

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

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    1. I can definitely agree, shin splints are a nightmare for anyone who likes to keep active! It's been hard motivation wise but thankfully after resting and icing constantly for a few weeks, my legs finally feel like their normal selves again!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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