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Hi guys I just started couch to 5k and I'm stuck on day two after bad shin splints. I've been walking the route for several weeks now and just started the jogging part (silly toddler just started letting me shower during the day, thus new to running.) My shins are bothering me just walking around the house, especially walking on stairs while carrying my 25 pound toddler.
Ok my real question, my goal is to head to a running shop to get my feet new running shoes, but should I invest in calf compression sleeves to help my shins heal? I figured the sales people at the shop will love to sell me anything, but you guys will give me a honest answer.
Yes yes yes. I swear by my compression sleeves. I use to get terrible splints. I could hardly walk much less run. I got one from amazon to see if I could stand it and quickly bought the mate. I think I spent about 40 on the pair. I have the Zensah brand and I love them. Hope that helps :D
I'm not sure if it is the same problem as yours, but when I tried previously to take up running a year and a half ago, I thought I was taking it easy, but after just a few times over a week or two, I ended up with shin splints and a sore heel / ankle. I had been using the typical Nike running shoes with raised heels. A doctor sent me for X-rays to see if I had a stress fracture in my ankle. I didn't. However... I tried to rest my legs for a long time and do nothing with impact at all, but it didn't seem to heal the shint splints. A year later, I mentioned all this to my new cross country ski coach, who told me that she had seen more injuries improve or go away when people used natural running. So... I went to a good running shoe store, got some fairly minimal running shoes with a bit of cushioning, but almost no heel rise (some Saucony shoes), I also bought a book called "Natural Running" and tried to adopt the natural running style of small strides and landing on the midfoot or forefoot instead of doing heel strike running, and I also started this time with the Couch to 5k app (which you're already doing).. I worked my way through Couch to 5k and a couple months after that, the 5k to 10k app. My shin splints never bothered me at all throughout either program and I just successfully completed my first 5k race yesterday.
This is the first that I've heard of compression sleeves providing releif for shin splints... Rockerbetty: I'm thrilled that it worked for you, but I'm skeptical that you had shin splints... For what it's worth, there is a lot of argument regarding the actual virtues (or lack thereof) of compression sleeves, but in the end, if it works for you for something, then it must be good for you.
Regarding your shin splints: Just because your shins hurt doesn't mean that you have shin splints. The quick test is press the area of your shin and if you find a specific spot of definitive pain, you may have a stress fracture. Google it to get more specific information.
If you do in fact have shin splits, there are ways to aleviate your discomfort. Google it and you will get all kinds of things to try. I'd include a link here, but there are so many that it's difficult to just pick one.
I had the same problem when I started C25K. Two days in had me sidelined with shin splints. I took some time off to let them heal only to get them again after starting up again. Shoes were definitely my problem. I had just grabbed some cute Nike running shoes and headed out the door thinking that would be fine. I'm sure it is for most people. Turns out I am an over-pronator. I went into Fleet Feet (small running store) and they analyzed my running style and got me fitted in running shoes just for me: Mizuno Wave Alchemy. Serious stabilty running shoes. I've been running for a year and a half now (I'm one my 2nd pair) and haven't had shin splints since. I would definitely recommend a trip into a small running shop that will help analyze you running style and get you in shoes that will prevent you from further pain. Good luck to you!
I agree with IIvv and Irish Sheila. While there are a number of things this could be, your shoes may be a good place to start. Have someone evaluate your stride, do some research and then make a trip to a store and get some guidance. I have a wide foot, very high arches and under-pronate (neutral shoe). For me, many of the Saucony models work well with a Sofsole insert, but another person with the same foot traits may like something different. I also rotate between three pairs of the same model shoe. As an over-enthusiastic, over determined new runner (as I was), make sure you're not over-striding and landing on your heels, as this is like "putting on the brakes" in your stride. It will cause more shock through your body. Use short strides, your foot underneath your hips supporting your weight. Regarding the compression sleeves, I have used them many times for my longer runs and after to help prevent soreness. There is a lot of discussion about these, but I can't say I've ever hear of using them for shin splints. But, if it works for you, that's what's important. Running is supposed to be fun and not hurt! Best wishes
I'd say you are heel striking. Look at the wear pattern on your shoes. If you are eroding the heel material *any*, you are landing on your heels which puts on the brakes on every stride and sends shock waves up your legs. Ouch. You want a mid foot strike (land balls of feet, not the toes) under your hips. Try this. Remove your shoes and run on grass for a few yards. Notice how your feet naturally land under your hips. Also, I've found that shoes with a large drop (heel to toe) promote a heel strike. You probably want something more around a 6 to 10 degree drop. Any running store can help you find the right shoes. Good luck.
Let's answer your original question first. Compression sleeves may or may not help. I know people who swear by them, and others who say they don't make a difference. Some of those I know who use them wear them for recovery after the run, but not during the run. In my opinion, they will provide some muscle support, but minimal really. They also provide some assistance with circulation, again minimal.
Other things that may help have been alluded to in some of the other posts. Paying a little attention to your stride can make a difference, primarily planting your foot under your body rather than ahead. Don't worry too much about heel/midfoot/forefoot striking. Research has shown that injury incidence has little to do with the type of footstrike. And you probably don't know which is which or which you're doing anyway. Just work on bringing your footstrike under your body/hips. (Hard to do walking though.) Also, go slow. Just because you're "running" doesn't mean you should be sprinting. Too fast for your conditioning will contribute to the problem.
Most running injuries are "overuse" injuries, shin splints included. So you're asking more of those muscles than they are ready to give. Old, worn-out shoes can contribute. So can "overstriding" - landing with your foot well ahead of your body. Running too fast can do it too - that's when mine would show up. Muscle strengthening exercises can help (http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/0161.htm, I use #1). Heelstrike is definitely a "straw dog", particularly considering that 70% or more of elite runners heelstrike.
I had the same problems with shin splints or just general cramping in the shin area. Doing a few sets of the "Downward Dog" (Yoga) before I run each time did the trick for me!! Happy running!