A couple of you have complained about shin splints. I feel your pain, because I used to get them and they nearly cost me my career as a professional frisbee-er. Well, I quit for other reasons (didn’t do enough drugs), but anyway. I tried to run, it hurt like the dickens, I stopped running, I would try to run again, the pain would come back.
I already wore custom orthotics, but I didn’t wear proper running shoes and my orthotics were the stiff, hard plastic half-foot orthotics. They didn’t quite fit my feet right. But I didn’t want to get new ones. I tried to run for awhile, but I didn’t really like it and rarely went more than a mile, and rarely went regularly, so the shin splints seemed to disappear. I was afraid to start a habit though, because I remembered how badly it hurt.
Finally, before I went to study abroad in Rome, I went to my podiatrist and said, “I want to start running – I think I need to get those neoprene orthotics.” My podiatrist’s response, “Man, running is the best! You should totally start running. Let me go get those foam things for you to stick your feet in.” Runners, man.
The biggest problem with shin splints is that there isn’t a very good way to treat them. A lot of people get discouraged and quit, and some will run through the pain. (Just take enough time between runs.) This article from Runner’s World talks about shin splints as a “too much too soon” problem, but I’m guessing there is also something to be said for proper form. Going for a midfoot stride rather than a sharp heel strike will help with your form and reduce pressure on your feet/legs. I found the book Chi Running to be somewhat helpful (but would recommend library-ing it instead of buying.)
A few other ideas – don’t run on brick; make sure you are wearing proper shoes; and at least consider custom orthotics, especially if you also experience knee or hip pain when running or walking. Ice is good, rest is good, weight training and/or yoga can’t possibly hurt. I’m not a doctor, but when my PT friend gets back from her running injury clinic, I’ll definitely check in with her.