Day 23 – The Lower Legs

When your body starts hurting, it makes it hard to get out running.  One way to keep yourself motivated to run is to take care of yourself before any pains start.  Keep yourself healthy and your body feeling good and it will be so much easier to lace up the shoes and run!

1.  Ankles/feet:  Lots of stuff here.  Achilles tendonitis, plantar fascitis, fallen arches etc.  Tendonitis hurts, especially up hills.  I have tendonitis in my right achilles that occurs usually just as I am pushing myself to get in shape. But if I take care of it and continue to run it eases over time. There are degrees of each of these problems from able to run on it to stay off of it for 6 weeks, so anything persistent you should still see a trainer/doctor.  The best thing for issues in your feet is stretching and icing.  There are special stretches for each problem and you have to be diligent about doing them. 

2.  Shins/Calves:  Connected to the knee and upper leg is the lower leg and a lot of problems in the lower leg can sometimes come from the upper.  Other times it just happens on their own.  Either way it is so important you keep your legs stretched and muscles loose by warming up properly and cooling down and stretching. 

Shins are a delicate problem.  Shin splints are a sharp pain or sometimes a dull aching pain that comes with landing on your foot.  Typically, you aren’t stretching well and your calf muscles have become so tight they too taut against the bone.  Sounds like it hurts huh?  You have to stretch and ice.  Second, you are overtraining.  It doesn’t necessarily mean too many miles but can also mean you picked up the intensity of your training too quick.  At the onset of shin splints, you don’t have to stop running but back off the intensity and mileage.  Once again, these can get very bad and evolve into stress fractures, if you don’t take care of yourself, and then you won’t be running at all.  Typically shin splints take a couple of weeks to get over.  To help combat the pain run on soft surfaces – not roads, use compression sleeves for your legs, and most of all cut back the intensity and length of your runs.  To cure, it takes time, stretching, icing and more stretching.  Seriously, stretching is The Most Important Thing you can do!

Take care your body, and keep yourself running.  Keep your body feeling great and you will be more willing to get out there and run!

Day 1:  Introduction
Day 2:  Start Small, Build Slow
Day 3:  It Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Day 4:  Stitches
Day 5:  Keep a Diary
Day 6:  Dangerous Thoughts
Day 7:  Week 1 Done – Some Suggestions
Day 8:  Treadmill Training – Baby it’s cold (or raining) outside
Day 9:  A Motivational Quote for You
Day 10:  Distractions
Day 11:  Partner Up!
Day 12:  Another Motivational Quote to Ponder
Day 13:  A Word on Dehydration and Motivation
Day 14:  Week 2 Flew!  Check in
Day 15:  Mornings
Day 16:  Visual Motivators
Day 17:  Knees
Day 18:  Another Motivational Quote
Day 19:  Don’t Forget
Day 20:  The Coach
Day 21:  Week 3 – Almost There!
Day 22:  Give Yourself a Break
Day 23:  Lower Legs and Feet
Day 24:  Control

Also, if you want more motivation, you might want to follow my Pin Board ‘Run’!

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