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3202 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 3:19 PM by lenzlaw
MiscMe Amateur 12 posts since
Apr 11, 2014
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 11, 2014 10:48 AM

Muscles tightening while running?

This happens to me every time I try to start running ... the muscles just outside my shin (front, outer muscle of lower leg) get REALLY tight when I start running, or even if I start walking too fast.  It's SO bad that sometimes I have to just stop because I can't even walk.  Does this happen to anyone else?


In the past I've worked through it by taking a lot of Ibuprofin before I head out, and then in a few weeks my legs have adjusted and I can run fine. 


I've seen a sports therapist about it, and asked at my local running shoe store - no one else seems to have ever heard of this.



  • justamaniac Legend 240 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 12, 2014 8:19 AM (in response to MiscMe)
    Muscles tightening while running?

    I've also experience muscle tightness.  In my case I've aleviated it everytime by getting blood flowing and basically "waking up" my muscles/tendons/ligaments.

    - sometimes I'll take a hot shower before I run,

    - I'll do some very mild stretching, nothing radical, just enough to get blood flowing.

    - I'll use a foam roller

    - I'll do a series of foot movements - whatever - just to get my calves, shins, ankles loosened up.


    And it all works out and I have a great run.... 


    With regards to your other post re High Heart Rate:  You might want to check with your doc to make sure that there isn't something else going on. But assuming that there isn't, it may be that you just need to work further on your conditioning, and if all is ok, you should see your avg HR go down after a bit. But 140bpm seems kind of high for walking (I'm not a doc, so these are just my thoughts....)  High HR is usually indicative of high exertion. If you back off your pace, does your HR also back down?  I wouldn't expect a HR above 125bpm... Be careful.



  • ezdave Rookie 1 posts since
    Apr 26, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 13, 2014 8:02 PM (in response to MiscMe)
    Muscles tightening while running?

        Hi, this is my first post.

    I was a runner 15 years ago and stopped running due to illness.

    I'm 62 now and began the Couch to 5k yesterday.Whew!

    I hope I can make it this time!


        I had the same problem you mentioned about the muscle outside of your shin getting tight.

    Mine would get so painfull and "swollen" I had to stop running within minutes.

        I can't recall it's name but the muscles job is to lift your toes for your next step....

    If you run uphill (not hill work, just slightly uphill) or an incline on the treadmill could aggrevate it.


        Mine was healed with a massage called Active Release Technique (ART).

    You can strengthen this muscle by putting your toes under a desk or something heavy and trying to lift it with your toes for one or two seconds at a time.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck!


  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 15, 2014 3:19 PM (in response to MiscMe)
    Muscles tightening while running?

    What you describe would typically be considered shin splints.  And a good, dynamic warm up would help.  You also may be running at too intense a pace at the start of your workout.  My experience with shin splints resulted from running too fast, things like intervals or races.  And after some time at the faster speed they would go away.  Then of course, I would try to run faster, etc.  I learned to run on the verge but not beyond, which still let me get faster over time.  You could also have compartment syndrome (you really don't want to) but your description of being fine after a few weeks argues against that.


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