>General Running>Shin pains
Hi all. I am fairly new to running, but I really want to step it up a couple of gears this year. Last year I did a few 5k's, but in 2019 my goal is/was to attempt a half marathon. My problem is that as soon as I get into a regular running pattern (which for me is 2-3 miles on the treadmill, 2-3 times per week) I get really bad shin pains (splints?) on the inside of both shin, particularly my right leg. I've tried several different things to help prevent this. I believe I have high arcs - the water/paper test proved that quite conclusively! I have tried new running shoes (Brooks Launch), with Dr. Scholl insoles. I have tried icing my shins, stretching and rolling them as much as possible before and after running. I have also been wearing compression socks, which I thought were helping at first, but ultimately the same story. I'm really hoping someone on here might have a solution to this problem, as I really don't want to give up on running altogether, but I hate this pattern of running for a few weeks and then being forced to quit! I'm 40yrs old, 5'11, 180lb if that is of any importance.
I appreciate any advice you guys might have!
Don't ice for one. No value for recovery or limit to 5-10 min. I would recommend doing a big warm up to loosen up shins before hand. Walk 10 min first. I used to put my shins in hot tub before activity. Do some dorsiflexion exercise and calf stretching daily. Need more strength and flexibility no doubt. Toe taps regularily. You may not be ready for 2-3 miles or too fast. Take some walk breaks. Typically shin splints feel a bit better when you are 2-3 miles in. You also may need a stability shoe. Brooks Launch is pretty neutral unless that Dr Scholls insert is prett rigid.
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Thanks tchcuk. I’m going to try taking walk breaks, but it’s pretty frustrating! I’m always concerned that running on sore shins might just make the problem worse - how can I be sure that it’s *just* shin splints and not something more serious, and continuing to run will just exacerbate the problem? I’m always torn on whether to rest up or run through the pain.
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There's a pretty sizable number of discussions on shin splints here in Running 101. Here's one which might get you started with some ideas.
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Thanks milktruck. There’s some good reading there. Two questions. Firstly, is it possible that my treadmill is just terrible with absorbing shock and thus contributing to the shin pain? I seem to remember when I was running on a “better” treadmill, with shock absorption, I didn’t have so much trouble. Secondly - I’ve looked into KT tape and been skeptical- does it really work? Thanks again - I’m excited that I might not have to give up entirely!!
Shin splints are almost always an overuse injury aggravated by too much forefoot 'slap' or other impact load (lots of downhill running, shoe design,etc), overuse, calf tightness, etc.
As a relatively new runner, I'd suspect your cause agent is overuse.
First thing is to use icing and care with your gait to stop it from getting worse, then work on strengthening and stretching both the calf (eccentric heel raises) and anterior shin muscles.
Shoes, pace, frequency of running compared to newness to running, and running surface are the main factors that cause the majority of all SS incidents. You can do all you want to rehab them but unless you change the errors of your ways they will keep coming back.
Running 2-3 times a day one would say is not excessive but it appears it is for you at this point. There is nothing wrong with taking a week or two off from running and doing the lower leg strength and stretching work and walk and cross train during this time off. Then when getting back to running, warm up and heat that area before your runs to prevent that micro tearing. Don't underestimate calf flexibility. Allow your body to adapt to the pounding and running - it takes time.
No matter what treadmill you are on, the impact is WAY less than when on the road. Unlikely your issue is related to lack of shock absorption on your treadmill. For me, when I had shin splints, overuse and over pronation where a key cause. I managed them with strength flexibility work and for me, custom made orthotics were a Godsend and had an immediate effect, but that's just me.
Thank you all, some really good advice here. Do you have recommendations for running shoes for people in my situation? Should I be looking for something neutral or supportive? I think when I bought my Brooks Launch’s, they had good reviews and were a good price, but I didn’t properly research what kind of shoes would be best for me.
You may need stability?? Maybe not? What does your arch look like? Go to a running store and get fit and try on a bunch of shoes. Jog in store or outside. What feels right? What works for me and others may not feel right for you.
Yep, I should go to a store and get properly fitted. I was advised to do that long ago and neglected to! Thanks all.