11 Ways to Prevent and Cope with Shin Splints

With the cross country season in full swing (we just had our first meet last week!), the athletes have put in their fair amount of miles after a period of doing nothing much over the summer. As a result of the new demands on their bodies, and lower legs in particular, many of them are suffering from shin splints.

The team waiting out the rain

Oh shin splints. How familiar I am with that dull ache, all the way to sharp pain, that plagues the lower legs. My senior year of college, I ran through shin splints and ended up with stress fractures, which I also ran through because I would be damned if I was going to miss my senior year of collegiate cross country. I do not recommend doing that.

Young and foolish running Brooke

What are shin splints? When the muscles and tendons in the lower leg are inflamed to the point of pain from overuse. In the more extreme cases and cringe-worthy definition: when your tibia and calf muscles are being jarred so much from high-impact sports that your tibia starts to break (i.e. stress fractures).

Instead of running through the pain, like yours truly, try these 11 ways to prevent and cope with shin splints.

1. Ice. After you get home from a run, grab an ice pack (bag of peas, french fries, whatever), elevate your legs and ice for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, then 15 minutes back on. The cold will help decrease inflammation and soothe the pain.

2. Run on the grass and trails. Avoid pavement and concrete running whenever you can. Stick to grassy areas and trails. The softer surfaces will not be so shocking to your legs, therefore preventing your shin splints from worsening.

Preventing Shin Splints - soft surfaces

3. Walk funny. Either before or after your run (I have my team do it before), spend 3 minutes doing the following walks for about 20 yards each. These walks will help strengthen and stretch your lowers legs while also providing ankle stability.

A. Walk forward and backward on your toes.

Preventing Shin Splints - walk on your toes

B. Walk forward and backward on your heels.

Preventing shin splints - walk on your heels

C. Walk on the inside and outside of your feet.
Preventing shin splints - walk on the inside and outside

4. Fidget. While you’re sitting at your desk at work, place both feet on the floor and raise your toes up one at a time while keeping your heel on the floor. Continue doing this until you can barely lift your toes anymore. This move helps create some endurance in your lower legs while stretching out the front of your legs.

Preventing shin splints - move your feet

5. Stretch and strengthen your calves. Calf raises (all three ways!), wall stretches, walking up a hill on your toes. Making your calves stronger will help support your tibia and prevent your shin splints from getting worse, or hopefully showing up at all!

6. Go low-impact. Work in one or two days of low-impact training per week. Cycle, elliptical, swim. Whatever it is, your shins will thank you from the break in impact.

Rowing - low impact for your shin splints

7. Check your shoes. Older shoes can have a huge impact on your shin pain. Try a new pair of sneakers on your next run. (see #8)

8. Get fitted. If you have flat feet, you may suffer from overpronation (your arch collapses inward when you step). Head to a running store and have them check your gait. They will film your stride and help you determine if you need a stability shoe or an insert. (I have both.)

9. Ibuprofen. Taking an anti-inflammatory can work wonders on your pain management. That being said, keep in mind that you are using a temporary solution to what can be a much more serious problem. Use it if you need it, but keep an eye on your pain when it wears off.

10. Be patient. The thing about runners is we like to run and when we are told we can’t run, we freak out. Shin splints take time to heal and you need to be patient. Your pain free shins will thank you.

Be patient when you have shin splints

11. See a doctor. If your pain becomes unbearable, even after you’ve tried just about everything, go see a doctor. They can help determine if you have stress fractures, or if something else is going on. This is your body, don’t mess around and don’t wait if the pain gets to be too much.

RQ: Have you ever suffered from shin splints? How do you cope with being told you can’t run, work out, etc?

15 No-Equipment Workouts

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but around here, it seems as though fall is on it’s way. The mornings have just the faintest chill in the air and the breezes just a hint of that tell-tale fall smell.

Though I adore fall, the dark, cold days that follow are not my cup of tea. As a result, I have been completing all my workouts outside in the sun soaking up the last of the long days. I know I will be stuck in the gym and treadmill bound soon enough.

In case you’re feeling like me, here are 15 no-equipment workouts you can take anywhere, outside in particular.

15 No-Equipment Workouts Two Move Gut Buster - Though this is only two moves, it will leave you a sweaty mess!

Two Move Gut Buster

3-3 Total Body Circuit - Three sets, three moves per set, one full body workout.

3-3 Total Body Circuit

Ten Minute Cardio - Nothing but plyos in this one!

Ten Minute Cardio

5 for 5 Plyos – Five moves, five reps, five rounds. Bring it.

5 for 5 Plyos

Tabata Run - Complete a tabata style run, then complete four moves before repeating.

Tabata Run

10 Minute Body Buster – Have 10 minutes? This workout is a sweat-fest!

10 Minute Body Buster

Tabata Abs – Feeling like your core needs some attention? feel the burn in 20 minutes.

Tabata Abs

20 Minute Boredom Fighter Workout – Lots of jumping between moves in this one.

20-Minute Boredom Figher Workout

Switch Around 1,000 - Almost nothing repeats, except the beats of sweat that will roll down your face.

Switch Around 1000

Altitude Adjuster - Simple moves, simple reps, and a quick sweat session.

Altitude Adjuster

Powerhouse - Get those legs toned and powerful!


Basic Card Workout – Grab a deck of cards and start flipping.

Basic Card Workout

Obsession Confession #2 – Five moves on repeat. Get ‘er done.

obsession confession 2

Hotel Room Workout - No equipment, and can be done in a small space? Win.

Hotel Room Workout

Mixed Bag Quick Circuit - Your arms, plyos, and abs are going to feel the burn here.

Mixed Bag Quick Circuit

My suggestion to you: Get outside and get moving while you still can in this beautiful weather!

RQ: Is fall heading to your neighborhood? What is your favorite workout to do outside?

Tall Tales Tuesday: A Slower Pace of Life

Eight days in Ireland and seven days in London make for some truly amazing memories and a hefty album of pictures. I can’t tell you every story, and play-by-plays are not my style. To tell you the truth, I am not really sure how I am going to share it all with you. What I do know is that it is going to take a few weeks to share the pure joy I felt on the Emerald Isle and the city where I studied abroad (London). Let’s begin.

Henry and his dandelion leaves

You should know something about Rob and I. When we travel, we do it at warp speed. We’re not ones to linger over meals or spend an afternoon idly sitting in a cafe. Our goal is to see absolutely everything we possibly can, lock in the mental pictures (and real ones), and then point ourselves towards the next thing.

Slowing down at the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland made this warp speed touring tough. Everywhere we turned, there were locals enjoying a quiet moment, investing themselves in their surroundings, immersing themselves in conversation, and just moving slower than Rob and I do.

Fishing in Galway

No one honked their horns and no one seemed to be in a rush to get anywhere.

Limerick walking

Maybe it is the castles, fortresses, and ruins interspersed in the countryside that make people slow down. Maybe it is Ireland’s rich and long history. Or perhaps it is just the age of the, what felt like majority, population.

Pints on the street in Galway

Whatever it is, it was peaceful, it was refreshing, it is something I admire. But it is not something I have learned to do. Though, I tried. I really did.

Trying to slow down at Cliffs of Moher

RQ: Do you move at warp speed or a slower pace either on vacation or in real life? 

The All Running Channel

For the past week, I feel like I have been on the all running channel all the time, and to tell you the truth, I’m kind of loving it. It’s been a while since I’ve been fully involved in running, and for now, it’s feeling pretty good. In a way, it’s feeling like home.

For starters, check out this article on 101 Greatest Running Tips. There is some really good advice in there!

With 12 kiddos on the cross country team, I am head coach of the biggest xc team the school has seen in quite some time! The team experienced their first ever Yasso 800′s this afternoon, and I had to contain my excitement over the boys’ team times. There is some serious potential there and I cannot wait until our first meet next week!

Yasso 800 times

Though half of the girls’ team is back-of-pack runners, there are some seriously dedicated ladies. It was pouring rain during their long run last week and thought they were about 10 minutes behind everyone else, these two were out there getting in their workout.

Hard core runners

To continue the all running channel, I am determined to gather the courage to attempt another marathon. I’ve played with training for one off and on the past year, but it’s seriously time to man up. Running with the cross country team to build my base, and having a successful 7-miler this past weekend, should help me get there. I’m not committing to a race just yet, but it’s definitely on the horizon.

7-miler complete

Last, but not least, the Reset Burn started today! Part of the program is an optional 5k run plan full of interval workouts, which I adore (and you should too). I’m planning to modify those run days for marathon distance training.

Reset Burn

I’m hoping to enjoy this run channel as long as I can (or as long as I don’t get bored).

RQ: Do you go through training phases? What all the time channel are you on right now?

Kitchen Sink Quiche

You know those times when you open your fridge and nothing seems to go together for a meal?

Or those times when you’re trying to clean out the fridge before going on a trip?

What about when the absolute last thing you feel like doing is cooking?

Enter the Kitchen Sink Quiche. Thusly named because you can put literally anything in it and it will work (Except the actual kitchen sink. Please don’t do that.).

Kitchen Sink Quiche

Chop all the things! Crack all the eggs! (Bonus if you get two sets of twins.) Pour it all into a ramekin and bake at 400F for about an hour.

Double sets of twins!

Eat your quiche straight out of the ramekin, or pull it out with a fork. Just look at this puppy. All those vegetables make for one filling meal.

Kitchen Sink Quiche

RQ: What is your go-to meal when the fridge’s contents seems disjointed, you’re trying to clean it out, or you don’t want to cook?

Why You Should Be Running Intervals

Don’t forget to sign up for the Reset Burn! Prices go up Wednesday!

The first Monday of the school year has come and gone and I have to say I am feeling hopeful about my 5 classes this year. So far, the kiddos have been fun, excited, and respectful. That being said, the jinx factor is real, so I will let you know how it’s all going in a few weeks.

Getting their learn on

For now, let’s chat about intervals and why you should be running them.

Intervals are short sprints with a set recovery time between each.

Running intervals are one of the best calorie-torching exercises you can do for your body. Since your body adapts to its imposed demands, if you’re doing steady state cardio 3 times a week, your body is going to become really efficient at those 30-45 minutes you’re spending on the cardio and become “bored”. Boredom = less calorie burning.

Now, add in some sprints for short periods of time and your body will be thrown for a loop. Instead of maintaing that easy pace, it now has to work harder to efficiently distribute oxygen. This, in turn, torches more calories.

Try this workout if you’d like to give intervals a shot. This workout can be applied to any type of cardio.

Increasing Seconds Interval Workout

The added bonus of running intervals? You can burn the same, or more, calories in about half the time as you would with steady state cardio. Win.

RQ: Are you an interval fan? What is your favorite interval workout?


Reset Burn!

While in Ireland and London, I didn’t workout at all. I let myself rest and indulge in all the delicious beer and different foods. This past week, with students back in their seats, I was too exhausted to hit the gym. That’s a total of 3 weeks for those of you counting.

Because of all of this, I am feeling a serious need to reset myself and get back into tough workouts and clean eating. Since some of you may be feeling this way as well, I am

Introducing the Reset Burn!

This workout plan is 4 weeks of full body conditioning to help you get back in the gym and start working towards your fitness goals again.

Reset Burn Logo 2

Why is this Burn perfect for a reset?

  • There is a max of 6 moves, more often less, in each workout, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by learning new moves.
  • Each workout takes about 30-45 minutes tops! This means you can get in and get out while you’re trying to get back into a gym routine.
  • There are minimal cheats with this Burn. You will be challenged to eat 90% clean for 4 weeks. (Usually I encourage 80/20.)
  • You will be encouraged to participate in the Daily Reset Challenges. These are small changes in your day to day that will lead to big changes later on.

Reasons why you should sign up:

  • To get back in shape after possibly over-indulging, lack of time, or just not putting in the same effort.
  • To improve your overall fitness through full body workouts.
  • If you have your sights set on completing a 5k in the next month or two.
  • If you need a change in, or some fresh air put into, your workouts.

Here is what you will get during the 4 week Burn:

  • 6 days a week of full body workouts
  • 5k Run Plan Add On. This is optional and includes 3 days of running each week
  • Nutrition suggestions/guidelines to help you eat mostly clean
  • Videos of all workouts and video links to individual moves
  • Membership into a private Facebook group for tips, motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me as well as other members of the Burn
  • Beginner modifications and Advanced progressions for every workout to make it more manageable and more challenging depending on what you need
  • A Sunday email of the upcoming week’s workouts (sent as a PDF)
  • Tracking sheet to monitor your progress
  • Six days a week of motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me (via Facebook)
  • Daily Bonus Workout Challenges
  • Daily Reset Challenges. These are small challenges (food, workout, and personal life related) to help you make small changes that will lead to big ones.
  • A daily photo challenge for inspiration and accountability
  • Access to your very own personal trainer (me!)

Items you will need:

  • timer/stopwatch
  • free weights
  • space to move, jump, twist, and lay down
  • mat, or soft place for floor moves
  • cardio machine, or a place to walk/run

The Reset Burn runs from August 18 – September 13, 2014. The price of this Burn is $40 (increased from $35 on Wednesday), Click here, or on the image  below, to sign up!

Reset Burn Logo 2

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email from me. The official welcome email, first week of workouts, and nutrition suggestions will be sent on Sunday, August 17.

Please email me with any questions or concerns you may have at wreckingroutine@gmail.com. If you are interested in online personal training, but this program doesn’t fit your needs, check my Training Services page for other options. I would love to work with you!

You can also read testimonials about training with Wrecking Routine here.

**I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, but am not a Registered Dietician. Please consult your physician before starting any new exercise routine or diet.**

RQ: Are you in?

Back, Exhausted, Worth It

With the Blarney Stone kissed,

Rob kissing the Blarney Stone

the cliffs visited,

Cliffs of Moher

the whiskey tasted,

Whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery

the castles stormed,

Castle Storming

and my sister married, Rob and I are throughly exhausted and happy after our two weeks in ireland and London.

On top of Blarney Castle

We arrived back in Denver at 1 am on Monday morning and my students arrive for their first day tomorrow. Please understand if your regularly scheduled blog program takes a few more days to get up and running!

Wow ‘Em Wedding Arms Workout

My sister, Jackie, is getting married today!

Tom and Jackie

While we are off celebrating, I wanted to share this arm workout with you all. If you have a wedding coming up, a sleeveless dress situation happening, or just want to tone your arms, then this workout is for you!

Wow 'Em Wedding Arms Workouts

Whenever I put an arm workout together, I like to incorporate at least one pull and one push move. That way, no muscle group is getting too overworked and my clients get a more well-rounded burn.

Through every move, remember to keep your core nice and tight. I know I sound like a broken record to my clients with the amount of times I say that, but keeping a strong core through the entire move works your body in so many positive ways.

Here is a video to the workout if you need it. This is my first workout video shared on the blog, so be gentle. Also, I apologize that the camera cut off the push ups. I will get it down eventually!

RQ: Did you chase “wedding arms” before your big day? What is your favorite arm workout?

4 More Ways to Eat Healthy (Guest Post)

I’ve been following JC’s blog for quite some time. She takes beautiful food photographs and posts some serious delicious recipes. Head over to give her some blog love after reading her healthy eating tips!

Hello all! I’m JC and I blog over at Sweet Love and Ginger. My blog is mainly geared toward food, but I like to pepper in my personal adventures, experiences, some fitness and clean eating stuff, as well as whatever I feel like. That’s what blogs are for after all right?

A couple weeks ago Brooke brought us a post that outlined the basis of her diet plan and I thought it might be fun to add to that list just a bit with my own tips. These are the things that I like to keep in mind for myself in addition to the ones that Brooke already talked about.

1. Eat whole foods. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, pescatarian paleo, etc. just eat whole real food. Prepared foods are loaded with salts, sugars, preservatives, and all kinds of other stuff that gunks up our bodies. Taking even just a few minutes to prep your meals goes a long way in terms of health benefits.

2. Drink a lot of water. Your body needs it, and to the brain, the signal for I’m thirsty is the same as I’m hungry, so keeping hydrated can also make you feel more satisfied. I won’t even go into the gynormous list of other reasons water is good for you since we are focusing on food here, but it is and you should drink more of it.

Eat Pretty

3. Eat pretty. I’m not saying add flowers to your plate, but having a lot of different colors on your plate means you are eating a wide variety of things. Variety means that you are supplying your body with a lot of different nutrients, and no one can argue the health benefits in that.

4. Be prepared. That trip to the doctor’s office is never quick and easy. I always keep a granola bar, dried fruit or nuts, and a bottle of water on hand so I don’t end up at the drive through or the vending machine. In fact it’s the only reason I even carry a purse, because aside from my wallet there’s never anything else in there but old receipts.

These are super basic ideas that can help anyone to be more mindful about their diets and lifestyles. If you’re interested in more diet or food talk stop by and have a look around my site. I’d love to have you!

JC is running a giveaway on her site right now. She is giving away one copy of Pinch of Yum’s Everyday Health. Make sure you stop by JC’s site to enter!