Heya, I'm new to this site but I'm having some difficulties with my running routine and was wondering if anyone had any advice. Let me start by saying I used to run quite actively in college (sometimes up to 5 miles a day up to 4 or 5 days a week) but I fell out of it over time and It's been years since I've been actively running... until recently. I started back running about a month ago committing to eventually get back into my old routine. The first two weeks were absolute hell and weeks 3-4 were tough but bareable but it's finally starting to feel like it used to again. I'm a big fan of ellipticals and when I started back up I made a goal to run at least 5 days a week and slowly increase the intensity as I felt capable, but I also run outside 1-2 of those days per week. During the first month running outside was MUCH harder than the elliptical (I knew it would be) due to both lack of muscle in my legs and cardiovascular endurance but I was able to push through. After a month I've lost about 23lbs and I keep intensifying the routine but where I'm having trouble is on my outdoor runs I now find my ability to run for a certain duration without having to catch my breath has dramatically increased but Im getting shin splints (both anterior and posterior) to the point where a once 40 minute run with little or no pain is having to be cut down to a 20 min run with mild to moderate pain afterwords. The worst part is the worry suffering an injury that would cause me to have to stop running for a long period of time. I know I should simply "rest up" but I would really like to keep striving for new goals and reaching them, the only thing I can think to do (on my "2" days of running outside) is to either run for 15-20 min outside and finish up on the elliptical, or maybe take a week off from outside running and just use the elliptical. If anyone has any advice I'd really appreciate it, thanks.
I should also mention that when I run outdoors I run on basically the road (hard surface).
How to say this? Elliptical is not running, no way, no how. It's cardio but there's no impact. You also have to jack up the effort to be equivalent to outdoor running. Shin splints is an overuse injury (like most running injuries) and probably due to too much, too fast, too soon. You're only running 1-2 days a week which is not enough to try to increase distance or intensity except at a very slow rate. So slow down and decrease distance, assuming you can run less and slower without pain. The other thing to check is your stride. Make sure you are not overstriding - planting your foot ahead of your body. That can also contribute to various leg problems.
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