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2822 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 25, 2013 8:06 PM by lenzlaw
Roadless Rookie 3 posts since
Jan 1, 2013
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 12, 2013 8:43 PM

Advice please

I am trying to do the c25k or a modified version.

I was extremely active in High School, but family, etc happened and now I am no where near where I want to be.

(Please does respond with "you should see your doctor" I don't have insurance and can't afford one - I would like advice, thoughts, commiseration, etc)


Here is my problem:


Every other morning I go for a walk.  I know that I am not ready to just start c25k straight out because I've been so inactive and now heavy.  I have a 3 mile walking loop that I'm trying to complete.


I had shin splints as a teen, they were never treated, but weren't a real issue then.  Now, they are.  After walking about 500-700 paces, my right leg starts.  The pain is similar to burning and runs up my calf just behind my outer ankle, then spreads to the front of my ankle and shin.  I try to get to the first bench before stopping.  At that point, I stretch again.  Interestingly, what helps to relieve the pain the most is to point my toe while I have my foot on the bench.  Then I start walking again - repeat as necessary.  I go as far as I can and then a little before going to my car with both ankles on fire. 


It isn't getting any better, it is starting sooner.  I used to be able to make it to the 2000 pace mark (1 mile) before having to stop to stretch.


I have started icing and using a rod after I get back home, which feels good, but...


I'm not pushing at all.  I had been trying to get in a little joggin here and there, but my ankles said H--- no! So I haven't tried again.

I do flexing exercises at home.

I have noticed that I am having to stop my walking sooner and sooner.

I even took a week off to let them relax, but that didn't help.


I am wondering if there is more than just shin splints here?  My hope is that this is mostly just inactivity for my legs and they are complaining because of that.  I've done a lot of checking about shin splints, and my pain isn't quite the same.  I have been told I over pronate, too, but not badly.


Should I just keep pushing through and they will strengthen?


Oh, one thing I did notice as I was walking yesterday - I feel like I never leave my heels, as though my toes and the ball aren't being used.  So I started focusing on rolling my foot from heel to toe and it did seem to delay the onset of the pain for a bit- does that ring a bell with anyoen?

Thanks in advance.

  • carotello Amateur 21 posts since
    Jun 3, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 13, 2013 10:43 AM (in response to Roadless)
    Advice please



    I used to have shin splints when jogging, and it stopped me from continuing with my running program. I was overweight and incredibly out of shape and it was very painful and demoralizing.


    I actually did go to the doctor, and he explained to me that shin splints really will not go away on their own if you are overweight and if they are cronic which sounds like yours are. They are also not a single thing, but a combination of issues that cause the pain. You could even have tiny fractures and you won't really know unless you get X-rays.


    I don't think in your case pushing through will actually help.

    I understand you can't see a doctor, so probably the best thing you can do is

    a) rest and ice until they stop completely, and

    b) lose some weight if you are too heavy.


    I know it's a connundrum (it was for me), to be too heavy to exercise, but to need exercise to lose weight. What worked for me was a low carb diet, which allowed me to lose a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, which then allowed me to continue with a healthier, slower weight loss while being able to exercise.


    If you are using your heels a lot, it definitely sounds like there is a lot of impact going up your leg on each foot stride. Do you notice this when walking without shoes as well? The shoes I was wearing were overly padded, and instead of lessening the impact, they prevented me from using my entire foot in a healthy way, and forced my heels to hit hard, which ended up hurting me. I actually ended up solving the problem by wearing much lighter shoes, but only after losing some weight.


    I'd first try to walk barefoot as naturally as you can, and figure out if you are still never leaving your heels (I doubt it). Then reasses your choice of footwear for when you walk for exercise.


    For low impact exercise Pilates is great. You can get a Pilates mat routine dvd, and do the exercises at home. They are an incredible workout with very low impact. It might be a good choice for you if walking/jogging is not a comfortable option.


    I hope this helps...I am not an expert, but I have struggled with weight and exercise for a while and for the first time now I feel I am having a break through with my jogging program.


    Good luck and feel better soon!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 13, 2013 8:54 PM (in response to Roadless)
    Advice please

    I wonder - did you start off walking shorter distances and build up to 3 miles over several weeks?  It might be better to back off for a while and give your ankles and legs some time to catch up.  You definitely should land on your heels when walking but then normal pronation should have you rolling forward onto the ball and pushing off with your toes..  Some people that I've seen "power-walking" seem to stiffen their lower legs and feet and don't seem to land naturally.  Your shoes may also have some influence.  Make sure you are walking in good, supportive shoes that let your feet flex normally as you walk.


  • DanielNen Rookie 4 posts since
    Jun 14, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 14, 2013 9:50 AM (in response to Roadless)
    Advice please

    Shin splints are ususally caused by thight calf muscles. Have you tried a calf massages to release the tension in your calves. Here is a vide that can help you


    Hey, we are !

    We create personal running programs to help you rock at the marathon.


  • AndyGuevara Rookie 3 posts since
    Apr 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 19, 2013 6:21 PM (in response to Roadless)
    Advice please

    Look up compartment syndrome and see if that matches what you feel. I went through that earlier this year. Basically, when you exercise your muscle expands. The fascia, a skin surrounding the muscle packages, is not very stretchy and what you may be feeling is the muscle straining to expand beyond the limits of the fascia. It burns like muscle isn't getting any oxygen.


    The only thing to do is to allow your body to adapt. It's very frustrating because you know you can do better. Patience does work, just walk more slowly than you have been, give yourself days off in between walks to recover, and continue your stretching. Give yourself a few weeks to see results because the fascia doesn't have very good blood supply, so changes come slowly.


    Good luck.

  • lshum00 Rookie 3 posts since
    Nov 22, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 20, 2013 7:02 AM (in response to Roadless)
    Advice please

    I experienced shin splints as I ramped up for my first marathon.  This is my advice based upon my experience:


    You need to strengthen your anterior tibialis muscle which runs along the front of your shin.  It is imbalanced with the strength in your calf.  It will not get stronger on its own.  I do not agree that you just have to slow down or be patient.  Actively address the issue.



    Exercises to do at home:


    Pick up socks with your toes.

    Pull a wash cloth across the floor using your toes to scrunch and pull.

    Tie a short rope around the end of a dumbbell 2,3 or 5#.  Tie a small loop in one end to hook over your toes.  Cross your right leg over your left knee or sit on a high bench.  Loop weight over your foot.  Start wi foot in a neutral position then pull toes towards you then return to neutral (not pointed) position.  Repeat for 10-15 pulls.  With same leg, start at neutral position and point toes (essentially slowly lowering weight towards ground). Return to neutral.  Repeat 10-15 times.  Repeat on other leg. 


    Do those exercises 3 times a week, even right before running.


    Warm-up the AT muscle by tapping your toes before each run.  Stand with feet together and angle toes outward.  Tap up and down 10 times each leg.  Point toes forward and tap 10 times each foot.  Point toes inward and tap 10 times each foot.


    Within 1 week of beginning this regimen I felt relief.  Within three weeks, the pain was gone.  I am not a skinny runner girl. Nor do I put on dozens of miles each week.  Each time I ramp up mileage from 15 miles per week to 20-25 miles, I institute these practices more religiously and find relief.  I don't stop running.


    I hope you find relief and success!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jun 25, 2013 8:06 PM (in response to Roadless)
    Re: Advice please

    Best thing I can tell you is to post in The Med Tent.


    Meanwhile.  I doubt your tendons have shortened.  You say "the trail".  Is it an actual trail - ruts, roots and rocks??  Did you turn your ankle at some point and not think twice about it?  I'm always skeptical of staements like "I'm really in pretty good shape" even though you haven't been exercising regularly.  If you haven't been walking regularly, you're not in shape for walking.  Ditto running, weight lifting, etc.  I'm in decent running shape because I run regularly, but I'm not particularly in good walking shape.  If I wanted to do a lot of hiking, say, I would start to walk carrying a pack to get in better shape for it.  Some of the conditioning from running would carry over but it's not the same.


    Anyway, try The Med Tent.


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