Will a hilly training route increase your chances of shin splints?

This is my first ever post and am sad to say it is about that most talked about subject of shin pain. I have been running for a little over a year now, completed two half marathons and a full. I have never had shin pain before but after recently moving house, I know find my self training on a rather undulating route and wondered whether this could be a cause? Just wondered if anyone knew of any link between lots of hilly runs and the chances of experiencing shin pain? 

I have had gait tested and am training in relatively new shoes with mileage of less than 100 miles, and have not increased my training mileage each week by over 10%. Any advice would be great.


  • I think running down hill is one of the big contributors as your foot is flexed down (plantar-flexed) resulting in more stress on the shin muscles/tibia. If the profile of your runs has changed suddenly from flat to hilly, that could be a likely cause.

    Ideally find a flatter route, and rebuild the downhill mileage slowly. Easier said than done in some locations!. Also, are you running on harder surfaces now compared to before
  • Thanks for your reply. I will certainly try a flatter route. the surface has actually got softer as I am now able to add in a bit of trails. I really need to do the hillwork as I am intending to run the rather hilly Giants Head Marathon in June and have no access to a gym so use hills for my strength work. So is there anything I can do when running downhill to reduce the risk of injury?

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