Tough One

Ok guys Im bringing this to the forum bc well Im not real up to date on my reading. My problem is that Im trying to design a workout plan for my gf. Shes a hurdler who is plagued with chronic shin splints. All the sports med staff at school cant figure out why she keeps getting them. Her shins are strong, so they think its in the way she runs. So heres the problem the trainer only wants her to run once a week. Is it possible to make speed gains with only doing true track speed work once a week. This is what I have her doing so far:
Mon: heavy squats, “titanics”, RDL, Bulgarian split squats
Tues: Intervals on cardio machine, elliptical or bike(tempo) 30s harder 90easy
Wed off
Thurs: dynamic box squats, “titanics”, RDL, Bulgarian squats
Fri:Tempo 10x100m(on grass) 45s rest

Weve just begun our program. My goal is to build her strength up and increase her acceleration and if time begin topspeed work. Im using a 3-1-3 for lifting after a 2 week build up phase. Time is limited. Any ideas on how to set this up so that she can still make gains with track work once a week? A side note…there is a lot of posterior chain work in the program bc I feel thats where she really lacks strength. She bounds between hurdles and almost seems spongy.

What sort of therapy is being done for her shins? How long have they been inflamed? What does her trainer consider as speedwork? She is “bounding” between hurdles as in she is doing bounding as part of practise? If she is in her competition season already, then once per week, plus weekend competition is plenty of work.

Seems to me that you have got to get the shin problem solved before she will be able to make any long-term gains. Everything else until then is just a stop-gap.

I used to really struggle with shin splints but found that when I strengthened the muscle that dorsiflexes the foot, they completely cleared up. YMMV.

One good tool for this is called a DARD. A quick google search turned up:

Not sure if this is the best place to get it, but you can see what it looks like.

Good luck!

i had tons of problems with shin splints and my coach determined it was due to flaws in my running. when i was sprinting i tended to “bound” as well, b/c my ankle wasn’t cocked properly when my foot contacted the track. concentrating on keeping the toes up cured all of my problems, along with tibia curls

For basic shin-splints dorsi-flexion strength and flexibility is very important - though painful also.
The exercise tool that Xr8 showed is one approach - or a dorsi-fllexion movement with tubing or therabands can do a similar job.

Another cause of shin splints might be the fact that she’s hurdling. I never had a problem with shin splints as a sprinter, but this past season when I started hurdling I had shin splints constantly. Ways you might keep shin splints from worsening/reoccuring might be doing all your running on grass or other soft surface.

Also, if she’s only allowed to do one running session a week, why make it tempo? In my experience, longer slower runs aggravate my shins much more than runs of shorter duration with high intensity. Consider replacing the tempo with an acceleration session based around 20 and 30m runs on grass, as this will aid you in your goal of gaining more acceleration while keeping actual running time to a minimum.

Any input from others on a new program based like this…

Mon: Accleration Dev, (20m and 30m short sprints)
Tues: Tempo on stationary bike or Off if lacking in time
Wednesday: heavy squats, “titanics”, RDL, Bulgarian split squats
Thursday: Intervals on cardio machine, elliptical or bike(tempo) 30s harder 90easy
Friday: dynamic box squats, “titanics”, RDL, Bulgarian squats

What does everyone think?