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Today I just finished week 2 of the c25k program, and I will begin week 3 tomorrow.
As of today I am experiencing significant pain in my knees and shins. The knee pain mostly goes away 30 minutes after each run. But the shin pain remains 24/7 and gets significantly worse if I apply pressure with my fingers. It feels like how shinsplints are typically described, but that has got to be impossible after only 2 weeks.
Should I start throwing down Advil and assume this pain will go away as my legs acclimate to running?
Background information: 30 years old, 6'3'', 205lbs. I am no stranger to exercise, as I have lifted weights for some time now. I am absolutely a stranger to running, however.
Thanks in advance.
It could be shin splints. As a wild guess, you probably overpronate causing the shin pain and a little wear on the knees as well. If you haven't gotten fitted for shoes at a running store, do that and rest a while before continuing on. Don't try to push through the pain. Been there, done that. I'm still working on my issues but it's getting better. Be patient.
I suffered knee pain/shin splints at wk 3 of c25k also. I bought new running shoes and that, along with icing after runs, resolved the problem in a few days. I didn't take a break from the running.
However, the pain recurred after I finished the program. I was up to 3 miles but had to move to running on pavement after it snowed. I had been running on dirt paths. This time, the pain was so severe, I limped 24/7. I went to a PT who specialized in runners and he put me in orthotics after analyzing my gait. Also, stopped running and walking, iced and took anti-inflammatory. I took 2 weeks off. I just started running again a couple of weeks ago and have gone back to the beginning of c25k but am moving through it more quickly and listening to my body.
Good luck - don't overdo it or you'll suffer the consequences! We have a lifetime to run.
Graduated March 7, 2010
Sounds like shin splints to me. Make sure to stretch thorougly after a run, ice 2-3x a day, and take some NSAIDs for the inflammation.
The knee pain is also likely caused by your running. If you are over pronating so your foot rolls in, and/or your knee falls in our out it, the increased motion will impact these muscle imbalances.
First step is to your stride analyzed and the proper running shoes. Hit your local running shop.
If things do not get better, either talk to your doctor about some PT (to get movement assessment) or find a Personal Trainer with CES certification.
I would rest for a bit and be sure to visit a specialty running store and get fitted for a good pair of running shoes that match your running style. Try a stationary bike and standing on one foot to help strengthen your lower legs to prevent shin splints.
Running slower helps also.
12/18/2011 - 280 LBS
10/2/2012 - 248 LBS
Short term goal - 10/31/2012 - 241 LBS
Intermediate Goal - 230 LBS by 12/31/2012
Long term goal - 190 LBS - Sometime in the distant future.
Running: Complete Broad Street Run May 2013
Do you run on pavement? Sidewalks? If that's the case, you might want to do at least one of your runs on dirt paths, asphalt, or the treadmill for a while. I absolutely hate the treadmill, but you may be better off running on a "softer" surface until your muscles and ligaments adjust to running. Yes, you'll eventually have to run on the hard surfaces and that will hurt until you build up the strength in your legs. Just make sure you stretch properly (never before you're warmed up) and make sure to stretch both of your lower leg muscles (this link is great: http://www.halhigdon.com/15Ktraining/Stretch.htm).
A certain degree of soreness and discomfort are normal, straight up pain that causes you to limp up to 24 hours after exercise is not.
1st Annual 1st Run 5K (01/01/2010): 31:34
Beverly Reindeer Run 5K (12/05/2009): 31:52
Feaster Five 5K (11/26/2009): 34:53
C25K graduation run 11/11/2009
It's entirely possible to have shin splints after just a couple of weeks. Rather than look to NSAIDS (and certainly not "throwing down" the NSAIDS!), I'd focus on strengthening the shin muscles. I've had excellent success with toe-taps:
1) Sit with both feet pointing forward.
2) Tap toes, keeping your heels on the ground, 50 times.
3) Point toes to the left.
4) Repeat step 2.
5) Point toes to the right.
6) Repeat step 2.
This can be done one foot at a time in a standing position any time you find yourself with a free moment. Just be careful if you're behind someone in line; they might think you're rude and impatient.
Good luck with the program!
2012 Race Schedule
Providence Marathon (4:48:55)
Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)
Chicago Marathon (October 7)
You should expect some pain (I remember it well). After 48 hours of ice and NSAIDS it should pretty much go away. I would follow the exercise/icing and NSAID recommendations of others. The TM would be my recommend alternative surface. Dirt and grass are soft too but your ankles are constantly getting "torqued" because of those surfaces. That is not a bad thing but it might not be very good timing. If the pain is persistent after ice and 48-72 hours rest you should back off a bit. One previous poster wisely pointed out that you have your entire life to run. Do it at your pace and don't beat yourself up. This happens to everyone at some point.
It is more likely just inflammation/muscle irritation and possibly bursitis rather than shin splints. Your body is getting used to a new activity and you are putting a whole new set of stressors on it. You need to tweak a few things---first and foremost make sure you have GOOD running shoes. I tried on 30 pairs at the running store in my town before choosing mine...get fitted by someone with experience they know to look for overpronation, extra stability etc if you need. If you are running on a treadmill, watch your incline %. You should work somewhere between 0.5-1.5% for optimal grade. If you are running outdoors, limit how much you are on the pavement, and watch the hills at first. A treadmill may be a better place to start, as it flexes with your movement and is less impact for beginnning runners. Do not take anti-inflammatories before a run; your body may metabolize it quickly as you run and as you dehydrate at the same time, you may put yourself into liver failure. Ice is great. It is ok to repeat C25K weeks as your body adjusts to the new activity and stress. Do not overdo it as you can cause more damage/injury and pain and an even bigger setback. Add some cross training in there too; strengthen your core and upper body, add another cardio routine like elliptical, spinning, swimming a couple times a week. Good luck and keep at it! Soon your body will adjust and running should become enjoyable!
Hey all -
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Since posting, I bought a pair of REAL running shoes, "pushed through it" for a couple days, then took 3 days off( did some lifting and hiking instead )and sure enough, the shin pain went away. My knees, particularly my right knee, ached the entire time, though. I iced my knees and compressed them slightly with ace bandages during this time. This morning I decided to try to resume the program. It was a disaster.
The first 10-15 steps or so wasn't too bad. My knee hurt, but it was mild enough to ignore. Before too long, though, my right knee was screaming in pain. I made it about 150 meters before I was forced to give up. I am now sitting here with my right knee very swollen, still very painful.
It was a huge mistake waiting until age 30 to start running. I think I'm going to throw in the towel and stick to the activities I always have done. I can deadlift 405lbs and hike the grand canyon's bright angel trail to phantom ranch and back with a 40lb pack without a problem, but I can't even run down the block without absolutely destroying my knees. It seems I can put a lot of weight on them and walk long distances on them, but they can NOT take impact very well at all. Oh well. I'll see if I can transfer my mud run entry to someone else and plan a big hike instead. Thanks anyway, all.