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Shin Splints – Common Causes & Prevention

Running, while being one of the healthiest human activities, is also pretty tough on the body. Both elite athletes and casual joggers can suffer from the same stress and fatigue-related injuries running can cause. Understanding the causes and treatments for these injuries is vital to keeping your shoes laced up.

One of the most notorious running-related injuries is medial tibial stress syndrome, or more commonly referred to as shin splints.

There are a number of places that shin splints can originate from, but the root issue in virtually every case is the over-use of muscles along the tibia (lower leg). When these muscles are forced to deal with significantly more stress than they are used to, the connective tissue is unable to effectively recover from the excess trauma.

While shin splints are rarely caused by one specific event, and are more commonly a “straw that breaks the camels back” situation, there are a few red flags to watch out for.

Most Common Causes

Too Much, Too Soon:

One of the most vulnerable and tricky times to maneuver for runners is the “starting back up” or “returning from injuries” phase. Running too far or at too high of an intensity when your muscles are still trying to build up strength is a fail-safe way to cause injuries, especially shin splints.

Old/Incorrect Running Shoes:

The type of shoes you are wearing dictates how your body responds to the effects of running. If your shoes are broken down or don’t have the structure or support that’s right for your style of running, your shins and ankle will compensate and take on more stress than they are used to. Getting an expert custom gait analysis can help put you in the correct shoe.

Prevention

Shoe Fitting:

One of the biggest benefits to getting fitted for quality running shoes is finding the right arch and ankle support. When feet make contact with the ground, most of the time people will pronate (roll their ankle inward) and the arch will flex and stretch. Fitting for shoes that match your arch and ankle mechanics will help avoid all of the shin and high ankle trauma that usually leads to shin splints. The image below outlines the shoe fitting process at GH Sports, which also includes orthotic recommendation.

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Strength/Recovery:

There are over 100 individual muscles, tendons, and bones in the human foot, and your foot’s health and strength is vital in preventing shin splints. There are plenty of easy and effective exercises (like doing barefoot calf raises and writing the alphabet with your foot by pointing and flexing your toes as if you are writing each letter in the air) that strengthen key stabilizing areas, allowing the muscles in your shin to handle the loads that it is naturally built for. Additionally, properly warming-up and cooling down helps ease muscles between states of high stress, and releases tension after exercise.

If you are currently sidelined by shin splint, the best recovery is to keep off of your feet as much as possible, and ease back into activity with patience.

For the most part, running injuries originate in the foot, and the rest of your body reacts to its signals. Shin splints follow this trend, and the biggest service you can do for yourself is strengthen and support your feet. Happy running.

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2018 May Day Bike Breakfast & Coloring Contest at GH Sports!

 

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Bike on by and join us at GH Sports for our 5th Annual May Day Bike Breakfast
on Tuesday, May 1st to kick off 2018 Bike Month in San Luis Obispo County!

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Coloring Contest for A $25 GH Gift Card:

 

– TO ENTER –

  1. Download (or pick up a hard copy at GH Sports!) and color the GH Bike Month image at right – yes, you can think beyond traditional crayons!
  2. Post your coloring masterpiece on the GH Sports Facebook Page -OR- drop it off at GH Sports in SLO any day during May 2018 – Bike Month!!
  3. GH Staff will choose and announce the winning entry on June 1, 2018 on facebook and in store!!

 

Bike Breakfast Location:

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GH Sports
3765 S. Higuera, Suite 100
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

Any questions?
Email us at service@ghsports.com or call at (805) 541-6019. No RSVP necessary.


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MTS – Leave it on the Course

Year after year, the March Triathlon Series (MTS) sets the standard for what a triathlon should be – fun, scenic, supportive, and energetic. But besides the award winning supporting cast of reasons to do MTS, the hallmark of the race is the course itself.

First off, it’s never fun to feel the clock ticking away on race morning as you struggle to find a parking spot, or stare hopelessly as you realize you had more space in the port-a-potty than you do in transition. The quiet camping area of the MTS setup is ideal for a smooth start; tons of parking, little to no traffic, huge open transition area, and almost everyone around you is part of the race in one way or another. From a racer’s perspective, there’s not much more you could ask for.

The swim starts off on a loading ramp at Lake Lopez. The ramp is steep, grooved, and cold, and your feet might start questioning your brain’s decision to sign up for a triathlon. The relatively cold water (59 degrees-ish) doesn’t help either, but just remember that all of these are things you can brag about besting later. Well marked and well chaperoned, it’s all downhill (kind of) from there.

The bike course hits you hard and fast. That hill that you drove down to get to the race is now staring back at your numb toes and runny nose with a grin on its face. But it’s short, and then you’re rewarded with a long stretch of gradual, winding downhill, perfect for recover-ers and watt-smashers alike. Depending on whether you signed up for the olympic or sprint distance, the turnaround means you have three or two hills left respectively. Olympic – be ready for high mountain (’nuff said), Sprint – get up that damn dam and you’re basically home free.

Personally, the run course is the cherry and sprinkles on the cake that is the MTS race. It is equally as challenging as it is interesting, and most people tell their comrades some variation of “that run was absolutely brutal” while smiling from ear to ear. The rolling, flat, paved, dirt, open, wooded trailroad makes the miles pass like nothing else.

Tons of free food, drinks, and music (and beer thanks to Firestone) embrace you at the finish, as well as countless hugs, high fives, and fist bumps. Whether you stick around for awards or go immediately into recovery mode, the MTS course will thank you for leaving it all out there.

Hope to see you out there!

-Kevin Jervis

Cal Poly Triathlete, GH Sports Employee

 

 


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1st Annual California Warrior Experience

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Are you a #CaliforniaWarrior? A #CaliforniaWarrior is someone who has passion for a cause, who inspires others, and someone who overcomes a challenge to accomplish something. The California Military Department wants to recognize individuals who find their inner warrior and help keep California at its best.

The inaugural Warrior Trail Run Adventure and Warrior Festival on Saturday, March 24th hosted at the Camp San Luis Obispo military base is complete with races for all abilities and ages, a history experience,  three 50 foot challenge obstacles, a California Native Plant Society guided hike up Cerro Romauldo, and a free festival with vendors.

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With one of a kind views and encouraging spectators, trail races include a 5K and 10K. Bring your kids along to join in the 1 mile little warriors loop. Shirts and medals included for all participants. After your race you can choose to challenge yourself with three military grade obstacle towers and rock walls, each offering unique challenges, but don’t worry they will provide free instruction.

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Once you have tested your inner warrior you can join the free community festival to enjoy food, music, vendors and gain insight on the California Military Department.

GH Sports proudly sponsors this event and will be hosting the packet pick up on Friday, March 23rd from 12-6 to help #CaliforniaWarriors prepare for the event. Store-wide discounts of 20%* will be offered for participants during packet pick up.

 

Packet Pick-Up Location:

GH Sports
3765 South Higuera #100
San Luis Obispo, CA. 93401
805-541-6019

service@ghsports.com

*Discount good on all full priced products

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GH Athlete: Triathlete Kevin Jervis

kj-grey-frontIn just 3 years training and competing as a triathlete, Kevin Jervis has managed to place 8th at Collegiate Nationals in 2017, become the first Back-to-Back Winner of the Cal Berkeley Triathlon for his 2016 and 2017 wins, and aims to win both the sprint and olympic distance National races in this year’s 2018 tri season. He is impressive.
We’re lucky to be able to support Kevin as a GH Athlete with our GH Apparel; he’s the perfect fit with the refreshing perspective he brings to competitive athletics. He is extremely competitive, training seriously for the payoff all while being humorous and lighthearted. He is a serious athlete who doesn’t take himself too seriously; thankful for the athletes he is able to train alongside and his family and friends who support him. He is inspirational.
We interviewed Kevin to give you a glimpse into his world of health and fitness.
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Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA

College: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Studies: Ag Engineering Major with a Minor in Environmental Studies
Follow him to the finish line: instagram.com/kevinjervis
Credits his growth over 3 years to being Annoyingly Competitive.
I grew up with two younger brothers, so for better or for worse I’m annoyingly competitive. It killed me to come up short in most of the sports I did growing up, so when I found out there was a sport built around “why be good at one when you can be average at three?” (the CP Tri motto my freshman year) I was all for it. I really didn’t start racing until about 3 years ago, and even though I had a strong swim and run background, it took a while for things to come together, and I learned pretty quickly that if I couldn’t become a strong cyclist I wasn’t ever going to race for first.
GH Men's Munich Shoot 447Earned title as “The First Back-to-Back Winner of the Cal Berkeley Triathlon
For a while I was a clueless underdog that just tried to go as hard as possible, so placing 8th at Collegiate Nationals last year was a huge personal success. This year, I also became the first back-to-back winner of the Cal Berkeley Triathlon which was special to me because it’s close to my hometown, so a bunch of my family and friends can come out and see that I’m actually pretty good at this strange sport I’m obsessed with.
Sets his goals realistically high
I’m hoping to win both the sprint and olympic distance nationals races this year, because now I’ve got the bug and it’d be awesome.
Knows how to have fun with it all
I like the individual aspect of triathlons, but there really isn’t any substitute for awesome training partners. Sometimes you get hit in the head with a Snickers Bar and ride into a road sign, and other times you’re either verbally berated or encouraged viciously enough to hit that extra gear. Suffering loves company.
Involves himself in his community
Over the past few years I’ve gotten much more involved in the Cal Poly Tri Team, and this year I’ve risen to be part of the officer core. It’s a slippery slope though, at first you’re just going on a few group bike rides, and next thing you know you’re eating 18 donuts sandwiched between a milkman and a pro hot dog eater (shout-out to Tour de Donut 2018). The men’s team is incredibly fast this year (fingers crossed for top 3 in the US) so the fact that I get to train and race with some of the top collegiate athletes everyday keeps me on my toes and is absolutely priceless.
KJ- Shot 2018-02-13 at 11.38.26 AMPreaches speed training and hill sprints
I will forever preach speed training and hill sprints. Endurance training makes doing endurance exercises easier, but I only feel myself actually getting faster when I start doing all-out intensity workouts. For swims, that’s 25- and 50-yard sprints, 100m and 200m track workouts or hill repeats, and either sprints on the bike trainer or more hill repeats. I’ll always drink a recovery shake (Hammer Recoverite, vanilla with milk) afterwards and that seems to do the trick.
Knows what gear he likes and why
The biggest thing about the GH apparel is that it’s invincible. I put GH gear through the wringer, especially the cycling bib+jersey, and they refuse to wear down, and somehow they still feel good. Even when I’m not on a college budget, it’s still going to be my go-to training gear.
Buying triathlon stuff usually means eating ramen for a while, so I have no doubt that without the quality gear and support from GH, I couldn’t compete at a high level in college. Many thanks
~Kevin Jervis


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A Munich Milestone – Continuing 30 Years of Tradition

It was spring of ’88 when our company (known as HIND Performance at that time) introduced the first-ever “loose fitting tight” to the fitness industry, calling it The Munich Tight.  It was one of its kind, an industry-changer, and it was manufactured in San Luis Obispo, CA where we design and manufacture our Munichs today.

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HIND Spring ’88 Catalogue

To continue the Munich tradition during its 30th Anniversary this year, our design team carefully-selected and tested a new light, soft, performance fabric; layered it atop our cutting table, hand-cut it, and proudly stitched and sewed it into The 30th Anniversary Munich Light Pant V2  (for men and women).

Customer Reviews:

“I like how soft these pants are the most. These pants have been extremely comfortable on my cold morning or evening runs and I didn’t have to worry about anything moving out of place while I ran. Each time I’ve visited your store I’ve truly appreciated all the help I’ve received. Everyone is so kind.” ~Cori Stanton

“The material of the product is so nicely made with good quality. I like the design of the product.” ~Sarah Z.

“Thanks again so much for the Munichs. I’ve done a couple runs in them so far; there’s been a couple days that it was cold enough. It actually snowed last week which is insane. I’m definitely a big fan of the new fabric. ”  ~Tobin

“I am always too warm to wear running pants even in the winter but I actually really enjoyed the fit and material. The fabric was stretchy enough that I didn’t even notice them on my knees which I figured would be very noticeable.” ~Garrett

 

The Details:

This newest addition to our Munich Pant Collection, this fitness pant is designed with a similar cut and fabric as our original Hind Munich. Sticking with traditions, we have taken our Munich Light Tight and upgraded the fabric to an even softer, slightly-thicker, velour fabric. The cut remains the same as all of our Munich Pants in this collection, featuring an athletic, tapered fit with 9″ ankle zippers for easy on/off, a drawstring for a precise fit, and side pockets. This second generation of our Munich Light Tight offers the same superior wicking and breathability with increased abrasion resistance and durability to go along with a plush velour feel.

  • Fabric: Blended with velour fabric, this pant is plush, smooth, and irresistible with 4-way stretch properties thanks to its 60% Nylon, 24% Polyester, 16% Lycra material.
  • Design:  Technical fabric that is cut and designed for cool to cold weather; pockets on both hips make it an ideal warm-up/cool-down pant.
  • Fit:   Form fitting enough to be functional while you workout, but loose enough to eliminate concerns of clinging.
  • Function: Functions well during colder runs to add the right amount of warmth and joint protection.
  • Made in USA: Designed and manufactured in San Luis Obispo, CA – where all GH Sportswear is made.

*Looking for an even thicker fabric that provides additional warmth? Check out the GH Munich Tight for men and GH Munich Tight for women.

 


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Our Fave Muffins (made with wheat germ – ssssshhhhh)

Thanks to the Connelly Family for sharing these muffins and their amazing recipe with our GH Staff!

As an avid athlete and food fanatic, I need as much daily fuel as I can get. Just like everyone, I crave those sugary, tasty treats that are easy to make and even better to eat. On the other hand, I value everything that my body is capable of and want to provide it with healthy food that will keep it running in tip top shape for many years to come. Why not have both? Delicious and healthy all wrapped up in one!   

For those of you seeking out a way to satisfy those pesky cravings, while maintaining a healthy diet, try out GH staff’s favorite Wheat Germ Muffins. Don’t squirm because it’s wheat germ, they’re tasty so don’t let that ingredient make you shifty. These delicious, yet nutrient packed muffins, are the perfect grab and go breakfast or snack. As winter season approaches, cuddling up with a blanket, muffin, and some tea couldn’t sound much better. So put on your apron, get out the wheat germ, and get baking.

 

Picture credit: Max D. Gray, Jill Corleone, DiabeTV

Ingredients for 12 muffins:

½ cup toasted wheat germ

1 cup whole wheat flower

½ cup unbleached white flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 & ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup organic sugar (Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar)

½ cup raisins

1 cup plain whole yogurt

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

RECIPE CAN EASILY BE DOUBLED

Steps:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients and raisins
  2. Mix yogurt, eggs, and oil and pour over dry ingredients
  3. Stir lightly and quickly to moisten – DO NOT beat
  4. Spoon into greased muffin tins
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 15 minutes
  6. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the muffin: if it comes out clean, the muffin is ready it is ready

Wheat Germ?

You may ask what is it about wheat germ that’s so beneficial for your health? Well, based off this Livestrong article, it is packed with essential nutrients, fiber, and protein, leading to heightened satiety and improving immune and muscular health (Corleone, 2017). Keep in mind that wheat germ is a highly dense and caloric food that should be eaten in moderation just like any other substance (Corleone, 2017); you do that and it’ll not only be great for your health, but also your taste buds.

I now encourage you to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Cheers to a winter season filled with plenty of laughs, love, and tons and tons of delicious muffins.

Emily Orwig

GH Team Member

About Emily:

Emily is a new member of GH Sports Team as of this Fall 2017. She is a fourth year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying Kinesiology, hoping to become either a Physical Therapist or a Physician’s Assistant. Throughout her life, Emily has been in constant motion, always looking to stay active with sports and exercise as well as within her community. She is looking forward to all of the amazing opportunities and experiences to come and is loving every day that she gets to spend in beautiful San Luis Obispo.

Corleone, J. (2017). The Benefits and Side Effects of Wheat Germ. Livestrong.com. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/508213-how-much-wheat-germ-per-day/