Exercise! - Shin Splints
04-08-2011, 11:30 AM
A few years ago, I got about halfway through C25K, and then a bunch of stuff in my life erupted and I gave up. I tried again last year and developed shin splints around week 3. My doctor gave me a bunch of stretches to do and told me to try again when I was a little lighter so that the imact on my legs wouldn't be as great.
Welll, I'm down 30 pounds, so I decided to try again. Unfortunately, I got about half a block on the second jogging portion of the first day when I felt that familiar twinge in my shin. So I guess my question is, will I ever run again? Any tips for banishing this pesky problem?
Are you still doing the stretches your doctor gave you? I learned some in high school but my understanding was that they were more for prevention than treatment. If you're not still doing them I would definitely start again and do them consistently.
04-08-2011, 12:10 PM
Ditto on the stretching/strengthening exercises. Also, if you haven't done it already, get yourself down to a running store and get fitted for proper shoes. It is well worth it. When I first started running, I too developed shin splints around week 3 of C25K..but I was wearing a pair of shoes not suitable for running. Once I purchased proper shoes that were suitable for my gait, feet, etc, I didn't have a problem with shin splints.
Since I was so heavy, I also tweaked the program to give my legs additional rest--instead of running every other day, I would take 2 days off running in between each run. I think the extra rest helped as well.
What sort of surface are you running on? If it's pavement/concrete, this might be a factor as well, although it sometimes can't be helped.
Don't give up hope--it IS possible to run at a heavier weight, but you might need to make some adjustments (like extra rest days, shorter run intervals, etc).
Oh, and it might be that C25K progresses a bit faster than your legs can handle--give your shins some rest and then maybe stay at week 2 for awhile to build up their endurance?
04-08-2011, 12:12 PM
They suck. Once you have them, as I understand, they never truly go away. I've had them off and on for 25+ years (first had them when I was a high school athlete who did a lot of running). I coached field hockey for years too and had lots of girls suffer with them. A lot of it depends on how your feet are aligned (pronate v. supinate) and how you walk/run. Unfortunately I over pronate.
First, if they are mildly painful, stretch very well before walking/running and ice shins afterward (bags of frozen peas work great over the shin). Advil can help too. The main stretch I do is a standing shin stretch - split feet like a lunge with one foot forward and lean hands against a fence or a wall. Put back heel to the ground -- here is the key -- press your shin toward the ground. The shin is tough to stretch -make sure you're not doing a calf stretch. If you do it right, you'll feel it. I also do lots of heel drop stretches (standing on a step or curb and dropping one heel at a time for 30 sec or so - repeat 4-5 times) to stretch the calf muscle.
When shin splints become more severe, the only thing you can really do is not run for a couple weeks and let them heal a bit.
Here's some more info (http://www.schenectadyregionalorthopedics.com/advisor_articles/shinsplints.htm)
Good luck healing them - they are so painful!
04-08-2011, 12:24 PM
Ditto on the shoe thing. That was my experience as well. The right shoes make a huge difference. But one more thing to add to this is running form.
Try to focus on drawing in your abdominals and pivoting your tail bone down as you walk, at first, and then run. Doing this will rotat your knees, and shins and feet, slightly more forward, putting less strain on your shins. It takes a little time and concentration to make this your permanent running form, but it may help.
From Runners' World:
Your hips are your center of gravity, so they're key to good running posture. The proper position of your torso while running helps to ensure your hips will also be in the ideal position. With your torso and back comfortably upright and straight, your hips naturally fall into proper alignment--pointing you straight ahead. If you allow your torso to hunch over or lean too far forward during a run, your pelvis will tilt forward as well, which can put pressure on your lower back and throw the rest of your lower body out of alignment. When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.
04-09-2011, 10:10 PM
Stretching really helps me. One thing I do a couple times a week is write the alphabet in the air with my toes while sitting. Sounds weird but it gives those shin muscles a little workout. I haven't made it through week 1 of C25K yet but I get shin splints just walking if I don't keep up with the stretching.
04-10-2011, 01:29 PM
I have a chronic shin splint issue, and I keep them from bothering me by doing foot circles - 10 each way, on each foot, and then a point and flex series each night while watching TV. It works like a charm in keeping my shins pain free!