As high school track season is beginning and coaches are starting to workout the runners, its time to discuss injury prevention. One of the most nagging injuries runners can suffer is shin splints. The painful injury can cost athletes significant training time as they recover. The high school track season is so short that any loss of training time is going to have a significant impact on your results this season. Thus preventing injuries like shin splints is just as important to your success as any of the workouts that you design
In the video clip below 2012 US women’s Olympic distance coach, Rose Monday, demonstrates three very simple exercises that she has her athletes do every day to help prevent this annoying injury. The clip is from DVD on developing middle distance runners. For more information about that DVD click the link Becoming a Champion: 800/1500M for Girls’ Track & Field
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These drills could easily be incorporated into you daily dynamic warm-up. They are simple yet effective methods for strengthening the muscles of the lower leg and foot and have been recommended as methods to reduce shin splints.
The first drill is simply walking on your heels. The athlete walks on their heels in a straight line for about 10 yards, then turns around and come back. Do 3-6 sets. The second drill is walking on the balls of your toes. Again, walk 10 yards, come back, and do 3-6 sets. The final drill is the toe grab. The athlete takes a step forward, then reaches down and touches the toes of their front foot with their opposite hand. 10 yards, come back, 3-6 sets.