shin splints foot pain etc.

I developed shin splints after ignoring pains in my left calf whilst training for last year's FLM. I managed to complete the marathon without much trouble, but the pain kept getting worse so I eventually saw a physio. He told me that my trainers were not right for me at all (despite the fact I always get gait analysis - grrrr) and that I needed to build up my strength and flexibility to avoid injury in the future. After a few months off, I was pleased to find I had a place in FLM 2009 through the ballot... I decided to be very disciplined when getting back into it - making sure I had the right trainers, doing resistance training in the gym 3 times a week (core stability, upper body, back... and of course legs), alongside my 3 weekly runs, and a bit of yoga for my flexibility.

But despite all my best efforts I've been experiencing the same old pain - a dull ache down the inside of my left calf muscle when I run... But alongside this I am now getting pains in the arches of my feet, not just when I run. I now wear a stability shoe (Brooks Adrenaline) but wonder if perhaps I need orthotics. When I did my 15 miler on Saturday my feet felt really flat.

 I'm feeling a bit frustrated! But I know this is a common problem - has anyone had experience of something like this, or have you had any success with orthotics...? I'm about to book a session with my physio... but he's not very marathon friendly, and I'm pretty sure the first thing he will say to me is "rest for 4 weeks" which is obviously not something I want to do now...!



  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Err, maybe try a physio who is also a runner?  They are likely to be more keen on finding a way of managing your injury around training as long as that is the safe thing to do.

    Orthotics work for some but not others.  And they don't solve everything; although my orthotics have improved my foot position, my carp core stability is still letting me down.  But I'm now working on it.

  • Thanks... Well the latest on this is that my physio advised me to change my running style. Apparently all of the impact at the mo is going through my achilles, I'm not using my glutes properly, and the other muscles in my lower legs (I forget their names, the ones that run up the inside and outside from your ankles) are not strong enough. All of which means my feet are collapsing in - despite my stability shoes - hence the foot and shin pain. So no massive surprises there, which in a way was quite reassuring.

     The good news is that I haven't injured myself enough to warrant stopping my training - phew - and he didn't even think that I need orthotics, just some exercises to strengthen certain muscles. He also showed me some ways of improving my running technique...

    The bad news is I've been trying these techniques over the last week (16 mile run and 4 other runs between 4 and 8 miles each) and because the muscles I need aren't very strong at present I am finding it really hard. For example, last night I ran 4 miles... I felt like I was running flat out, and was panting as though I was running 8 minute miles (which for me is about as fast as it gets)... But when i got home my Garmin told me I had run an average of 9 minutes 40. Ouch.

     So the question is - am I being stupid to think I can change my running style this close to the marathon? Or am I just being too impatient with myself - after all, it has only been a week...???

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    I'd get more advice from the physio.  Changing your running style will affect your pace because of using muscles differently and it may be that you have to accept that either the marathon isn't going to happen this year, or that it is going to be slower and for fun.  It's what I'm having to do as I've missed too much training with a back injury.
  • Amellia, you might have flat feet.  Get your doctor to refer you to a podiatrist.  They will issue you with supports. 
    I have terrible shin splints and may have to defer to next year for LFM if they don't heal soon, but it was because I have flat feet....and one leg longer than the other but they both contributed.


  • Has anyone tried Dr Foot's sports insoles? I know last year in RW they advised to use them in a shin splints injury clinic.

    I've got shin splints again and was about to try some sorbothane pads but then thought about these.

    Joolska - I'll be with you as well. Any chance of a PB has gone right out the window for this FLM, just aim to get round and enjoy the day.

  • that sounds very similar to my problems.  i have a catalogue of ongoing problems and dont really know what is causing what to get worse.  i have a tight band on my left leg but was told by my physio that i have no arch and so to wear inserts especially after suffering pf 6 years ago.  im training for the bristol half in september and have just got to 2 1/2 miles and get awful pain in my calves (not cramp) and then down the inside muscle on the left leg.  this then turns into what feels like shin splints by the morning but after a few days i have no pain so then feel like running again.

     ive just been to a specialist running shop and replaced my trainers but its still the same.  they put me on the running gait thingy and said that i run perfectly on both feet and should have no need for inserts.

    to add to this i have a hairline crack in my coccyx (which i should have an op on but am trying to avoid)and arthritis creeping over the the top of pelvic bone area.  i so want to do the half in sept but am getting really despondant.  am off to a chiropractor to see if they can help  with any of it.   

  • Yeah I do have quite flat feet, and one leg longer than the other, and am not v flexible either, which doesn't help! Anyway, am getting used to the new style of running, quicker than I thought I would... Not sure if I'll beat my PB just yet - I'll see you all at the back...!

    Best of luck all...

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