Zensah Compression Sleeve for Shin Splints

Yesterday, was the Norman Tamanaha 15K, which is the first in a series of five races geared at getting you up to speed for the Honolulu Marathon, taking place in December. I wrote about the readiness series earlier, here in case you’re interested in links and pricing for the individual races remaining.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with a shin splint on my right leg that causes me to feel pain along the bone on the inner-side of my shin. I think running in old shoes brought it on initially, so I changed out my shoes, but by then the damage was done,¬† and because I’m getting closer to the marathon, I had to begin ramping up my training schedule, which probably made things worse. I ran many days in a row instead of having rest days between runs. I did runs of varying distance every week: 4, 5, 6, and 8 mile runs, totaling 23 miles a week. I’ve decided going forward that I should alternate run-days with cycling, or the elliptical instead.

I took a total break from running a week before the race, only using the elliptical for my cardio training, and started wearing a Zensah compression sleeve on my right leg at the advice of a couple people on twitter. I wore the sleeve both during, and between runs. I bought my first pair of sleeves from Runner’s HI, in Aiea, which is my favorite running store here in Hawaii. They measured my calf at its widest point, and from there we could read the sizing on the Zensah packaging to determine my correct size. I bought another pair via Amazon. The fit, is like a tight sock. It shouldn’t be cutting off your circulation, and according to the Zensah faq site, even if it feels like nothing is happening, something is.

I can’t say for sure whether or not the compression sleeve has helped my healing, but it does make me feel like I’m wearing an extra layer of protection. There are so many testimonials online saying compression socks and sleeves have helped people with shin splints. Also, icing the area, and taking anti-inflamatory drugs like Ibuprofen or Aleeve.. And, of course, seeing a physician is highly recommended.

Instead of doing the 15K this weekend, I did a 6-miler on flat, paved terrain, while wearing the sleeve on my right leg. My shin splint pain was very faint, but still detectable, so I’m taking it easy with the leg. My next race is a 20K, and I don’t want to miss that. The tricky part is gonna be trying to ramp back up to running a distance like 12 miles. I’m gonna take it slower this time, and see how it goes.


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