September 2007 calendar Wow, this morning’s fitness walk has got to be the most intense on the program yet!

I’ve never had a big problem with shin splints — wasn’t even sure what a shin splint felt like, in fact — but I think I’m feeling it firsthand today.

Wikipedia says that shin splints have a couple of possible causes. As I understand it, one cause is a tendency to overstride so the foot slaps down on the ground too hard, stressing the muscle that serves to flex the large toe.

Yes, yes, I know that it’s important not to lengthen your stride when you pick up the pace — but it’s hard to remember to take short quick steps. And it feels like taking short fast steps would look like a speed-walking duck…

So, I’m definitely guilty of overstriding.

Day 25:
5 minute warm-up
1 minute walk at level 8 – 9
3 minute walk at level 5 – 6
(repeat fast/slow cycle x 3)
5 minute cool-down

Another cause is when the lower leg muscles aren’t as strong as they should be, and the foot sort of rolls in to the inside as you set it down and it takes the weight.

I’m sure that’s probably part of the trouble — especially since I wore a different pair of shoes today, ones that don’t have quite the good arch support and stability of my usual walking shoes.

So there you have it. Longer strides, pronation of the foot, and a more intense workout than usual. Result: pain up the front of the shin.

A cold pack and wrapping with an elastic Ace bandage seem to ease the ache. I’ll know better next time. I’ll watch what I put on for shoes, and watch that I don’t take great long giant steps when I’m trying to pick up my speed.

Read the whole 4-Week Walk series!

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