Running man illustration

Advice on Shin Splints from Parkview Clinic


Run Reigate are delighted that Parkview Clinic in Reigate are joining us at this year’s event.  Check out their blog on Shin Splints and how their clinic can help if you’re suffering…

Parview

Shin Splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is a condition commonly suffered by long distance runners and affects the front of the lower leg. It will often begin as a dull ache along the shin bone, but can build up to be quite an acute pain that will stop you exercising.

There are a number of reasons Shin Splints can happen, however, you are most at risk due to the following factors:

  • You’ve recently taken up running or increased your distance
  • You run on hard surfaces
  • You’re carrying too much weight
  • Poor fitting running shoes
  • Your feet roll inwards
  • The muscles of your lower leg are too tight

The pain is caused by inflammation to the connective tissue that joins your muscles to the bone. If you feel these symptoms it is vital that you do not run through the pain as this will only make it worse and keep you of sport for a longer time. A minimum of 2 weeks rest, ice and anti-inflammatory work is advised. However, if you have not addressed the reason it has come on then it may repeat once you start running again.

A quick accurate diagnosis is important to confirm that it is Shin Splints and not other conditions such as Compartment Syndrome, Radiculopathy, Stress Fractures or Muscle tear.

An early visit to a physiotherapist is the best solution  to confirm this and assess the reasons behind the pain. Physios will look at the angles of your feet, the integrity of the foot arch, the bio-mechanical chains between your feet, knees and hips and examine your stride pattern during running.

As mentioned, rest is vital, but calming down the inflammation and muscle tension can be sped up by using treatment techniques such as Ultrasound, Acupuncture, Facia release, Massage and exercise rehab. You may also be advised on changing footwear or using Orthotics and importantly making sure your running technique is correct.

Often through a desire for speed and exhaustion runners will over-reach in their stride pattern creating a more acute impact angle when the foot hits the ground, usually with the knee locked out in extension, thus reducing shock absorbance. This exaggerated impact that sends a force through the shin bone is a common reason for Shin Splints to begin. Don’t worry though, changing your running pattern doesn’t mean slower times as your “Cadence” or strides per minute can easily be maintained!

If you are concerned about such pain and it is affecting your training routine for the forthcoming Run Reigate event then please do give the team at Parkview Clinic Reigate a call and come down for an expert assessment. You’ll be pleased to know they are currently offering all entrants 10% off treatments up to the 18th September!

Visit: www.parkviewclinic.co.uk 01737 247555

 

Glass of milk

Give Your Recovery a Natural Boost


There are times when we all need some kind of recovery drink.  Whether it be a strong cup of tea after a tough morning meeting or, a drink (or two) in the pub with your mates after a testing week at work.  However, as essential as these beverages may be, these are not the kind of recovery drinks I’m talking about.  Sports drinks after a long run play an important role in restoring fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, replacing muscle fuel and providing protein to help repair damaged muscles. That said, they don’t agree with everyone and are not the only options to aid your recovery.  Here’s a few natural options that you may want to incorporate.

For shorter runs, iced green tea can work wonders.  It has catechins (I promise I’ve not made this word up), a type of flavonoid and antioxidant that, as well as fighting disease, can also reduce muscle damage and speed recovery.  The key is in the steeping – the longer, the better.  If you drink 5 cups a day it becomes like a liquid superpower, but I’m not sure many of our bladders could contain that.

If you’re planning to run for 60 minutes, coconut water might be just what you need.  It provides a similar level of re-hydration as a sports drink, except it’s up to 10 times higher in potassium, an electrolyte that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and muscle contractions (also found in bananas).  The best kind of water is straight from the nut, with a straw and umbrella.  This may pose a problem for those of you who don’t yet have coconut trees in garden, so perhaps best to stock up the next time you are holidaying along the Equator.  If not, the shops have some pretty good varieties.

Tart cherry juice drunk either before, the day of, or a couple of days after a really tough run, has been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and muscle damage.  Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit and are a good source of melatonin – happy days!  

Another favourite is vegetable juice, with some combinations containing 3-5 times the amount of sodium and 10 times the potassium of a sports drink.  If it includes tomato, but not vodka (I’m not sure if there have been any studies on the recovery benefits of a Bloody Mary), you’re on to a winner.  Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects muscles from oxidative stress.  Other helpful veggies include beetroot, spinach and carrots.  Beware of the side effects of beets though – many an unsuspecting person has almost called for an ambulance after a trip to the toilet.  Just like these people: 

911 Beets

Last but not least is … milk.  Our lovely friends at the British Red Cross told us this last year.  The best drink you can have after a half-marathon is a drink of the pearly white stuff.  Studies have shown that milk is better than both water and sports drinks at restoring fluid levels after running in extreme heat – a common problem in Reigate.  If drunk regularly it also increases the time it takes to reach exhaustion during subsequent exercise sessions.  Couple that with the vitamin D and calcium it provides and you can see why it comes highly recommended.  Yes, this includes chocolate milk too.  What better way to treat the kids after their Run Reigate Kids Race miles!

As I said at the beginning, there are many benefits to sports drinks and it’s definitely worth incorporating these into your running regime.  These alternative recovery drinks are purely suggested as a means of complementing them, plus now you’ll get to use that new juicer you got for Christmas too.

 

Jared Green

Minimise your risk of injury


“Believe it or not, it is not the tendonitis, the strained ligament or the stress fracture that is commonplace but the seasoned athlete making those rookie mistakes, who keeps knocking on my door…” says Jared Green, a Musculoskeletal Podiatrist at North Downs Hospital in Caterham, Surrey.

Jared Green

With 14 years of experience under his belt, Green claims in his blog post ‘Running and The Rookie Mistakes’ that it’s a good thing that we actually have the power to avoid some common mistakes and limit our risk of injury.

From advice about blisters and chafing to tips on buying new shoes and knowing when it’s time to cast out old ones, he offers some useful insights such as:

‘As a guide, shoes should average 500-600 miles, after which a new pair should be sought. Judge the wear by the midsole NOT the upper or outer sole. If the midsole looks compressed or you start to get shin or joint pain, more than likely it’s time for a new pair. A quick test is to fold your shoe in half, if you can do it easily with one hand it’s time to let go and bid adieu.’

And points out the curious fact that your feet sweat about a cup of water each day – even without exercise!

He also discusses the latest advice on pre- and post-stretching and warm-ups and offers his take on the ‘no-pain, no-gain’ saying, plus what you should do if you truly must race with an injury…

You can read the full blog post here

Jared Green will be available at Run Reigate’s Half Marathon & 10K on 20 September to offer advice on injuries and complimentary gait analysis.

Ultrasun

Be fully protected on race day!


You’ve slept well, are carbo-loaded and dressed for success. But are you protected from the sun? It’s just as important to keep your skin protected on a long distance run as it is when you are spending time on a sunny beach.
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