If you’ve ever wondered if you have what it takes to finish a triathlon, you might want to take a look at the upcoming iTRYathlon at Crown Valley Community Park in Laguna Niguel. This February 8th event gives competitors of all fitness levels a taste of the three-part competition, with a 3-mile run, 11-mile bike trek, and 175-yard pool swim. If you want to give this or other athletic activities a try, you’ll also want to prevent shin splints from hobbling your best efforts. Luckily, a little work can help strengthen you against this painful condition.
Avoiding shin splints is a matter of reducing excessive force on the shinbone and surrounding connective tissue. Conditioning the feet and Achilles tendon can help reduce their strain on these areas. Try making these exercises part of a routine:
Stand on an incline with your toes above your heels. Hold for about 30 seconds for two or three repetitions. Perform three or four times daily.
Place a towel on the floor. Place your bare foot on the floor and squeeze your toes inward to try and scrunch the towel beneath your foot. Gather the towel beneath your foot and hold for two or three seconds, then release. Perform up to three sets of 10 repetitions.
Stand against a wall and lift your toes off the ground. Walk up to 10 steps forward on your heels. Turn, then walk back to your starting position, remaining on your heels.
A little effort to prevent shin splints can help you keep your best foot forward when taking on bigger challenges. But remember: one of the best defenses against shin splints and other overuse injuries is to gradually build up your levels when taking on new sports and activities.
If you want more advice on preventing foot and ankle injuries, or have had the misfortune to suffer one, the doctors at California Foot and Ankle Institute can help. Contact our Irvine office at (949) 833-3406 or our Victorville office at (760) 951-2000. You can also reach us toll-free at (888) 796-6631.