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Shin splints

asked about 2 years ago | Report

I've been having terrible shin splints (now it includes calf pain) for three weeks. I've just been running threw them - ice, compression socks, foam roll, etc. I ran tonight and could barely walk afterwards. So...I think this might be time for me to take a break... But how long should I stop running? Shouldn't I expect some discomfort... I don't want to lose where I'm at in my training but I don't want to continue to be in pain...

16 answers

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  • I have had this problem before and as you will read its always running to fast or to far. Try and take 2 to 4 weeks off from running but add in cross traing as not to loose your fitness. Last year when this happened to me i just concentrated on biking and swimming and slowly brought back my running. I felt like i didn't miss a beat come race day. The foam roller is a great way to help recover from this injury. Perhaps look into heart rate training to help keep yourself in check speed wise. Hope this helps! ;-)

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • Have you tried some stretches before and after you run. The best ones I found that work are to lift your heels from the ground a few times before you run and then after.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • if you are having this kind of trouble and can't even walk post run then I'd either see a chiropractor, get a good massage for your legs and/or podiatrist. Your shoes, stride, gait, etc. is causing this so why beat yourself up? The chiro should definitely have experience with runners--if not, don't even bother to see them. same goes for the massage therapist and podiatrist. They've helped me through flat feet, problems with my hammies, perifiormis, knees, you name it. good luck!

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • My experience: ignore shin pain (compartment syndrome) and eventually you will need to stop running for a good while (4-6 weeks was my experience after stress fracture).
    Eventually I beat compartment syndrome by switching to running on hilly trails. It changed my gait sufficiently to see me through a good boston qualifying marathon time. Forefoot striking was the key (was more of a mid-foot striker) and the hilly trails forced me to change my style and was easy on my legs. Better for the head, too. Although "your mileage may vary",continuing the same training pattern and expecting different results is not reasonable. Find a way to change things up.
    Muscle pain is good--enjoy that. Connective tissue pain, not so much. Good luck!

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • How many miles are on your shoes. I have been known to start when my shoes are on there last leg.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • Jan
    Jan Sendmail

    I agree with Kirk & Blake. Listen to your body and build up your weekly mileage more slowly. Unless you have lots of running in your history that isn't on DM, it looks like you have an official case of TMTS - Too Much Too Soon. Backing off and building back more gradually will beat it!!

    Also, it looks as though your long runs are almost 50% of your weekly mileage. If you're running 3x per week, your long run should be more like 25%-33%.

    Best of luck feeling better!!

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • definitely listen to your body, however if you are only running 3ish times a week, i personally don't think 3 miles at a time is too much, or the occasional longer runs for that matter. look at your shoes, & make sure they are not too old & broken down. also, what has always worked for me when i have any shin issues is: walk on heels maybe 40-50 yards, walk a bit normally to rest, & do this a few times before & after running, & even on days when you don't run. i have zero data on why, but my issues always disappear within a few days to maybe 10 days?
    calves? you seem to do a lot of your running on trails? if so, this is great. but be careful of overstretching during uphill running, & watch downhill speed. also, make sure that you are sufficiently hydrated. i used to have calf "cramping" all the time. i looked at everything, & the only thing i changed was adding loads of gatorade type replacement drinks between the loads of coffee in the morning & the beer or wine in the evening. now, no more calf cramping.
    AND AS I ALWAYS RECOMMEND: take EVERYTHING here with a grain of salt. everyone is simply trying to help. however we are all different & we will all react differently to the same "stuff". so, take what you think will work for YOU, and don't change anything too dramatically. MODERATION. best of luck!

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • Definitely listen to your body. Some of my experience with calf and shin pain has been helped by stretching, usually several times per day, not just before/after runs.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • I got nasty shin splints in Dec when I upped my training for my half. I had to cut my training way way down. I did not run but once in the 3 weeks leading up to my half and finished but in severe pain. I took next month off after half, ran one 5k, then 3 more weeks off. I ran last week and finally first time since Dec I was pain free when running. Hope that helps. Oh and also get your Gait checked, your shoes checked, and insoles if you do not already have them.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • I've been through shin splints a couple of times and this last time I tried running through the pain and ended up with a bad stress fracture. Take a couple of weeks off and if you are still in pain after that, better to see a sports doc or a chiro who specializes in runners. I've been told to do some dynamic warm-up stretches before runs and static stretches afterwards. You'll just need to find the routine that works for you. In the meantime, make sure you are wearing the right shoes. Like others have mentioned, go to a running specialty store and have them make recommendations for you. Good luck, I hope you're doing better soon.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • I have a problem with one answer

    "Also, it looks as though your long runs are almost 50% of your weekly mileage. If you're running 3x per week, your long run should be more like 25%-33%."

    If I run 3 times per week, then it's impossible, by definition, for my "long" run to be 25-33% of my mileage for the week.

    Let's do an experiment.

    Long run 25% of mileage. Other runs ( 2 of them ) 20% each. That's like 65% of my weekly mileage, WHERE IS THE OTHER 35%

    If I run only 3 times per week, then BY DEFINITION, my long run needs to be greater than 33%. If it's 33%, then it's an average run.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • Jan
    Jan Sendmail

    Oops, I'm used to running 4x/wk so should've been more like 33%-40ish% for 3 runs/wk.
    Wow. Warranted an experiment!

    answered about 2 years ago |edited about 2 years ago |Report

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  • I had shin problems this past winter, and I took about 2 weeks off to just cross train. I swam, stationary biked, and used an elliptical. On the bike and elliptical, my aim was to keep my heart rate around 140, which is my 'easy run' training heart rate. I biked/ellipticalled for the same amount of time I would on a normal run and it kept me pretty fit. When I started running again I split time between running and the cross training..but I kept my running on grass and soft surfaces for a couple of weeks before I was back to normal.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • Its all about proper form. Try not to heel strike. Very important to land on the forefoot. Keeping your stride short and quick. About 180 steps/min. Lift your legs with your core. Landing under your hips. Lean with the ankles. Running is a passive motion. Had the same problem then I switched to a forefoot style of running. Might want to checkout. www.newtonrunning.com. Excellent info and tutorials on forefoot running.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • L
    L Sendmail

    If you can barely walk I'd recommend taking a few weeks off. Remember to stretch though.

    My physiotherapist has me stretching my foot out back and forth and curling my toes after a run, and doing bridges and planks to build core strength taking pressure off my legs when I run. My advice is definitely based on my experiences with minor shin splints, so take it with a grain of salt.

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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  • My shin splints completely disappeared after switching to minimalist shoes. In my old 'normal' shoes, i used get them after 6-7 miles of running. With minimalist shoes, I haven't experienced SSs a single time - its been about 5 months and my mileage is above 20 now. I use the Vibram Five Fingers

    answered about 2 years ago |Report

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