I have the calves of a Springbok prop. They are neither particularly feminine nor exactly suited to long distance running. Really, they are more of a curse than a blessing. And yes, I’m talking about shin splints. It’s an injury that plagues many runners, especially those who are new to the sport and looking to build up their mileage.
I realised early on that only intense strengthening of the stabilisers around my hip joint would help to protect it and prevent me constantly re-injuring it. Contrary to my suspicions it turns out my butt is, in fact, a muscle - what a relief! And getting it working again was going to be the key to overcoming this injury.
By adding pre-determined walking intervals I was running faster during my run splits and walking faster during my “breaks” as well. I feel that this strategy is a safe and effective way to start running when you are starting from the couch. It allows you to build up mileage slowly while decreasing your risk of injury.
Starting to run after giving birth to two kids- although gratefully not at the same time, as my sister-in-law did with her twin boys- is a strange experience. It’s like finding yourself suddenly driving a very different vehicle. You feel like saying, “There’s been a mix up, I didn’t order a station wagon, where can I upgrade to a sports model?”