Recurring shin splints (Read 562 times)

    After one very high-mileage week back in February, I've had a stiff recurring pain that pops up in my lower right leg. It ranks in intensity from moderate to high, but can, at its worst, prevent me from even running  a mile. I've been forced to take several stretches of time off, yet, when I return, the pain usually returns on the second day or so of running. On bad days, I get about a mile and then have to retreat (limping) to where I started from...


    I've had to shelve all summer racing plans, obviously, but I'm kinda wondering if there is any immediate treatment I can get for this, and what kind of recovery time I can expect. Stretching and doing warm-up runs does nothing - it really sucks. Thx for the help.

      A couple years ago I battled shin splints, a stress reaction in one of my shins. I wanted to blame everything except the fact I had started to do too much too soon. After a cursory glance at your log, a couple thoughts:


      That high mileage week in February was 50+ miles, then a 13.1 mile long run. So, 63 miles in 7 days and it's an outlier. None of your other weeks were that much mileage. At least not that I can see. I didn't go back that far. 


      Second, your 5k PR is 20:08 from January. Yet, your easy run paces are all 7:45 - 8/mile. The couple tempo/interval workouts are sub 7. I think your easy runs and tempos are too fast. I have a 5K tomorrow and i expect to be somewhere between 20:10 - 20:30 -so same ballpark as your PR. My easy runs are a LOT slower. My tempos and intervals aren't as fast as yours either. 


      There's also been some inconsistency. Run a lot, take several days off, run again. 


      All of the above will contribute to an overuse injury. Either a sudden increase in mileage or intensity, or running your easy runs too fast. It's a sign that your recovery and adaptation is not keeping up with the stress you're applying. Get that equation back in balance. Ice massage your shin. Rest and do some non-impact cardio like the elliptical or bike or pool running until you can run easy without pain. Start back up slowly. Slow down the easy runs. Stretch your calves religiously and invest in a foam roller. You might want to get to a sports doc and have it checked out too. Doesn't sound like a stress fracture but better to get a medical opinion if you can. 


      I was also never a big believer in compression sleeves until I tweaked a calf muscle a month ago. Now I love them. Since using the CEP sleeves after runs for recovery, my lower legs just feel better. Placebo effect or whatever, they help me. 


        I'm kinda wondering if there is any immediate treatment I can get for this, and what kind of recovery time I can expect.


        that depends of course on what you've got going on. 


        if you think it could be a stress fracture then it's not good for me to suggest ice/heat, ibuprofen, toe taps, soft surfaces etc etc. 


        good luck.  it's no fun I'm sure.  Sorry I can't really help ya. 

        In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion