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1398 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2014 11:11 PM by Chuck1945
Frozenfury777 Rookie 2 posts since
Jan 21, 2014
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 27, 2014 12:44 PM

New runner, started C25K and suffering lots of shin/ankle pain, maybe bad technique?

I'm new to this whole running thing and it hasn't gone all that well for me, so I'm seeking some advice. 

 

Since some of my friends started C25k, I've tried joining them and have restarted the program several times, but keep having too much pain after about week 2. My shins end up hurting a lot as well as my ankles, and I couldn't really figure out what I was doing wrong since everyone I knew kept telling me that running should be easy and not painful like I was encountering. I'm not too terribly overweight (215 lbs at 6'2") so it isn't a weight issue like one of my other friends was having at 300 lbs, at least as far as I can tell.

 

I don't really have any running experience in the past. I played some little league baseball when i was a kid, and then a little bit of intramural basketball in high school. The activity i did the longest was some martial arts all the way up from 4th grade through freshman year of college. But I never really did any sports where you learn how to run effectively/correctly, so it is possible that I just might have never learned how to do it right.

 

I went to a local running shoe store to see if I was using the wrong type of shoes. The person who helped me there told me that I had a very noticeable overpronation when I walked, so he recommended me corrective shoes with support on the inside. Here's the link for them - Brooks Men's Adrelaine GTS 14 Runing Shoes. The shoes appeared to help some, but I was still running into similar pain as before (let's say an 8/10 when before it was a 10/10) in the same areas, so maybe I need a different pair of shoes.

 

I decided to see if I could figure out if I was doing things incorrectly with my running technique, so I recorded myself in slow motion on a treadmill. Here's the video footage for two different ones, one from the side and the other from the front. The front includes me walking for a short span before getting to the running-

 

Side View (0:59s mark)

Front View

 

From what I could tell in the videos, I've been landing on the outer edges of my feet before rolling the foot inwards (even more noticeable than my overpronation while walking), which I'm assuming puts excess strain on my legs and is possibly a source of why i'm running into as much pain as I do when running. 

 

What are some exercises or other things I can do to correct my technique so that I don't run into so much pain?  I'm probably going to try to see a trainer that one of my friends recommended when she kept having pain issues while running in the next few weeks, but I'm trying to gather as much information as I can from anywhere at this point in hopes of finding anything.

  • shipo Legend 459 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013

    While my comments may or may not be relevant to you and your situation, I will offer them anyway.

     

    As a general rule, new runners suffering from the pains which you're experience are frequently (almost always?) due to TFFFS (Too Fast, too Far, too Frequently, too Soon).  New runners often have little ability to gauge how fast they're running, and are frequently guilty of running way too fast for their given level of the development of their infrastructure.  The fact is, while many folks have reasonably well developed muscular and cardio-vascular systems, the physical structures which support the body and absorb the impacts (bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons) are woefully underdeveloped, and it is those very systems which take time to develop.

     

    My advice would be to slow way-way down and keep things very slow until A) you've recovered to the point where you're not suffering pain, and B) until you're able to run say six miles at a crack.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,400 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    1.) One of the fallacies of running store evaluations: they watch you walk and assume that's how you run. FALSE!!

     

    2.) Pronation is normal.  That is, your foot naturally rolls forward and inward.  How much determines whether you're overpronating or not.  Take a look at this video for an example of overpronation.  This is a world-class runner who held the marathon world record a couple years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW87NsiGuI

     

    3.) I assume the videos are not full speed.  You certainly are not overpronating (or even close to it) in the videos. If anything you may have too much control in those shoes. Nonetheless, they are good shoes and will more than do the job for you. 

     

    4.) It appears, from the front view, that you are landing with your foot in front of your body, leg straight and knee almost locked.  This may be some of the cause of your pains.  Learn to keep your knee somewhat flexed, take somewhat shorter strides and bring your feet under your body when they land.  Your knee should "lead" your ankle slightly when your foot lands.





    Len

  • Haselsmasher Legend 514 posts since
    May 25, 2009

    shipo and lenzlaw have tons of experience and I agree with all they've said.  I'll offer a few thoughts.

     

    *  One thing that struck me:  Notice, literally, the field of view of the videos.  It's from your shins down.  What is going on in your ankles and feet is not only dictated by muscles in those areas, but by muscles higher up as well.  I'm talking core and hips.  The body is a system and to assess what is going on we can't take a narrow view - literally or figuratively.  I know people talk about cross-training but I can vouch for the wonders it can do.  I've struggled for years to get through some injuries.  Right now I'm running a couple of times a week virtually pain free - but I'm also doing spin class 3 days a week or so.  Mix things up.  If you sit a lot during the day try to find a way to stand up.  Work on balance and hip strength. 

    *  Len's last point is really important, IMHO.  Maybe you do a video from the side but show the whole body.  It's hard to tell what is going on unless one can see the foot landing relative to the hips.  If you run with your feet landing "under" you, at first, it will feel like you're landing with your feet behind you.

    *  I wouldn't worry about the landing on the outside of your foot part - unless you start develop some localized pain.  I'd focus first on landing under you (the short strides thing will enable that to happen) and just let your feet land as they want to.

    *  Bend your knees.  Barefoot Ken Bob (I'm not trying to push barefoot here) says "Bend your knees.........then bend them some more."  What helps me is to think of my entire leg as a spring.  You know how sometimes you jump onto something hard and your brain puts extra effort into bending the leg to absorb the impact?  I notice this most when I climb onto my kitchen counter to change a light bulb and then have to jump off onto the hardwood floor.  I'm always in stocking feet - and it at least seems like I can lessen the impact on my feet by really bending my legs to absorb the shock.  I will often, literally, think of that image periodically when I'm running and I imagine my *leg* taking the impact of landing, not just my foot.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,400 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    I was hoping the view in the videos would include the entire lower body but ... I commented on what I could see.

     

    On the issue of "landing on the outer edges of my feet", take a look at the videos here: http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html  These are from one of the classic studies that helped start the popularity of barefoot running.  They are stated to show a good forefoot strike.  Notice the similarity to your landing on the outside edge of your foot, then rolling forward and across the ball and toes of the foot.  This action helps to spread the impact of landing across the entire bottom of your foot.





    Len

  • Haselsmasher Legend 514 posts since
    May 25, 2009

    My $.02:  I would not mess with barefoot or minimalist running at this point.  You're trying to get your feet under you (literally and figuratively) and messing with barefoot and minimalist right now, IMHO, is too much to take in.

     

    I think the single most important thing to focus on at this point is shortening your stride.  A number of things will likely (hopefully) happen as a result of doing this.  You'll probably get more of a knee bend.  "Run tall and lean from the ankles" is what many will say.

     

    Give that a try.  And what would be even better is, if you can do a video, do it outside.  I think the treadmill changes the dynamics enough it may not be a good indicator of what is going on.  (Unless, of course, you ONLY run on the treadmill and plan on doing the majority of your running that way.)

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • shipo Legend 459 posts since
    Aug 9, 2013

    I agree with Haselsmasher, no messing with the barefoot/minimalist thing right now.  From my perspective, you are way overthinking the whole stride thing.  Slow down, slow way-way down and your stride (if it even has issues) will typically take care of itself as you get stronger and more adept at running.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,400 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    The link to the barefoot site was intended ONLY to show the footplant, and that yours is OK.   It was not intended to imply you should try barefoot.  Like Jim said, running with a shorter stride will help.





    Len

  • Chuck1945 Amateur 22 posts since
    Nov 15, 2013

    I haven't looked at your videos and I am not experienced enough to comment on stride length however I do have two observations/comments.

     

    1) The  muscles trying to keep your lower leg, knee and ankle aligned as your foot lands and pronates lack sufficient strength, hence the shin splints.

     

    2) Shipo's initial comment about to much too fast is probably the reason you are having issues (the same thing happened to me a few years ago when I started running more). Back off, slow down whatever it takes to slowly build the base for more running.

     

    (for the record, I am 6'3", 210, in my 69th year and training for my first half marathon)

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