I am not sure what to do. I am totally new at this, I'm not in
terribly good shape, a bit overweight, etc. I have been running/walking
for a few months now, and have gotten myself up to 60 seconds of
running/2 minutes of walking. When I first started, I got shin splints,
so I rested for a week, did countless toe taps, and they went away.
Then I took a few weeks off from running (illness) and when I started
up again the shin splints returned. I've read the shin splints thread,
along with lots of other info, and I pretty much know what I need to do
(rest, ice, ace bandage, toe taps, etc.)
I have good shoes (was
fitted for proper running shoes when I started), and I run slowly, and
only 3 times a week. I can't really "cut back" on my running without
The problem is, I want to run a 5K in early
April. I'm following the C25K plan (or was going to until this). If I
have to wait for my shins to heal completely, I"m worried I'll never be
ready for the 5K.
I'm also a little confused by the advice to
ice my shins to ease the pain. Is this just for after running? Or will
that reduce the pain in general/overall (heal it faster)? Can I run
through the shin splints? If not, how much time will it take for them
to heal? I was already worried I won't be ready to run the 5K, but this
setback makes me think I shouldn't plan on a race just yet.
Ugh. Any advice?
You are getting these after only a couple of minutes??? That is not normal even if you were running barefoot.
If you have medical insurance I implore you to see a foot doctor as soon as you can becuase it sounds like you have a foot disorder that could maybe corrected with othotics like shoe inserts. What kind of shoes did you buy exactly?
Why are you so set on running the 5K? Did you used to run, or you just wanting to get in shape and lose some weight? You would lose just as much weight biking or swimming. Do you have a gym membership?
I have never had shin splints that bad, but I googled a couple of other chats about this, and this is what others have said:
You have to not only stretch but you have to focus on 2 key areas to avoid these killers.
1. You have to stretch your calves..........i would walk around a 400 yard track on the tip of my toes......
2. you have to also stretch your shins, (this you can do either when standing or sitting) with the heels of your foot resting on the ground lift up the whole front part of your foot (heels must remains on the ground). Dedicate about 7-10 minutes to these two muscles prior to your run and you will definitely see a huge difference. Also, Taking "Ester C" pills (Calcium ascorbate with Vitamin C) helped alot! After i made these changes i could not for the life of me cause myself to get the shin splint no matter how hard or fast i ran. This is an issue that MUST be taken care of, especially if one wants to survive the NJSP academy. As we all know running is a huge part of the academy training and this is the number one eliminator of candidates from the academy (since shin splints will lead to stress fractures).
My second thought was nutrition deficiency. Have you had a blood workup recently to rule out vitamin or electrolyte imbalance?
What kind of diet are you on? if you are starving yourself for a time you may have really low calcium levels that can give you leg cramps. This happens very often to anorexic girls that stop eating and get mineral or electrolyte imbalances.
Shin splints are common for beginners, but your case sounds odd. How far can you walk without tiring? Are you able to easily walk several miles? If not, you might want to work up to being able to easily walk for 30 minutes before you try running. Walking and running are similar exercises. However, running is a vigerous exercise, while walking is only moderate. If you are out of shape, one needs to gently ease into running. Start with a more moderate exercise like walking, then work up to running.
If you are able to walk for 30 minutes, you might want to take the shoes back to the store. Tell them what's going on and see if you can exchange them for a different pair. When I first started running, I had "fitted" shoes from a running store, but kept getting injuries. I was forced to quit C25k just 3 weeks in. After recovering and getting a different pair of shoes, I was able to complete C25k with no problems at all.
Some people have few foot problems and can get away with running in almost any shoe, while others can't.
Do you have inserts in your shoes? If so, they may be over-correcting your foot problem and you may need a different type of shoe. For example, if you are an over-pronator with inserts (like super feet), motion control shoes may be over compensating for your foot (same for under-pronators). Correct inserts can change the type of running shoe you need. For example, I use a neutral shoe with inserts instead of a motion control shoe.
I hope you are able to correct the problem. Even if you don't finish C25k before April, still do your 5k. Many people end up walking part of their first 5k anyway. You will still be able to run some of the race, if not all of it.
congrats on trying the c25k again
I am one of those people that are prone to shin splints. I get them easily and they seem to last forever. I can not run on a treadmill at all, even 5 minutes will cause shin splints to return. When I first started the c25k, the pain was present a lot of the time. For the first few minutes they would really hurt & then I wouldn't feel them again till after my run. This lasted for nearly 3 months. If I listened to everyone else, I would have given up running but I wasn't going to let this make me stop because I really love running - I have been at it for 18 months now & my longest run was 13.2 miles, all with no shin pain.
The best advice I got was from coolrunning, here's the link http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/196.shtml
I would take ibuprofen after a run to help with the swelling and then use 2 bags of frozen peas (they work better than ice packs because you can form them to your leg) for 10 minutes at a time to sections of my shins. You should only use cold therapy for 10-20 minutes and then take the ice packs off. Do this as many times during the day that you can & of course shortly after you run.
make sure that what you are feeling is shin pain & not stress fractures. you can read more about this at http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/
Melanie - mom to 3, WW member since April 2005, runner since July 2006. I lost 40 lbs and have been a Lifetime Member since 2007.