Help for newbie with gait/trainer advice please

Hi guys,


I would be grateful for some advice on injuries/gait/trainers.  This may be long winded and I apologise in advance!


Basically, I started running in March 2012 - outside road running.  For some reason, my friend roped me into doing the Great Manchester Run 10k which was in May 2012.  We were happily running along the roads outside, not really knowing what we were doing, not following a training plan. We thought we were bloody brilliant and tried to run further and faster each time.  I know you all know what is coming next - yup, I got shin splints, on my left shin. 


At the time, I didn't really know what the pain was, so carried on running like a loon thinking it would all be ok!  That was until the pain got so bad that I couldn't walk and the doctor told me I had shin splints and had a lengthy course of anti-inflammatories.


Unfortunately as I had sponsorship for the 10k, stupidly I ran with my leg strapped, doped up on codeine.  As I had never trained past a few km, 10k took a LOT out of me and afterwards I could barely walk.  I also had groin pain afterwards around my adductor/hip flexor area.


Anyway, I stopped running completely and rested for a couple of weeks.  I then decided to join a gym so I could cross-train and try to strengthen my muscles without the impact of running.  I did this for a few weeks, then tried to run on the treadmill again.


Basically now, I can do about 5 mins running and get terrible shin splint pain again!  I have strentched, warmed up, done the alphabet with my toes etc etc but it keeps recurring.


I decided to go to Up & Running in Manchester today to have a gait analysis to see what the hell is wrong with my foot, expecting to be told I have weird feet.  The gait analysis shows I have a neutral gait - I couldn't land straighter if I tried.


However, I researched my trainers which it seems are made for over-pronators.  So, after all this lengthy text, what I am asking is - if I have a neutral gait, would wearing shoes for over-pronators cause these shin splints or I am best just giving up running forever image image


The lady in the shop said to me that I should wear Brooks Ghost 5 trainers and when I tried them, it was like running on air!  My old trainers (for information) were Nike Lady Zoom Structure+ 15.  I guess what I am saying is that I don't really want to shell out another £100 if the trainers make no difference.


I am sorry for the length of this - but would appreciate any advice or assistance as I have found that I absolutely love running and my goal is a marathon before I am 40, but at the moment I can't get down the road!



  • From my own experience, the wrong shoes (whatever they may be) OR over training (especially on tarmac / concrete) give me shin splints.

    I dont think anyone will be able to give you anything definitive on this, but if it was me I would go with new trainers first.  Neutral shoes dont need to cost 100 quid anyway I am sure you can buy some for half of that. Look for reviews then buy them online. 

    Good luck

    PS: I had Brooks Ghost 4, loved them initially then hated them after a few weeks, just not comfortable. I have recently bought Adidas Glide 4 which I am really happy with or at least so far....


  • I'm a newbie to running, but i've done a load of research and apply why weight training knowledge to running too.

    I'm not saying I am right, everyone should follow what they think is right. But I've also seen the damage over exercising does to people. For example, a colleague at work adored running. He is in his early 40's and damaged his back a couple of years ago and needed an operation to put the disk back in its place. All the indicators were that he did it due to running too much, and especially because he did too much road running. The doctor advised him following the operation that he if wanted to continue being able to walk he should stop running. Plus, even though the operation got the disc back in place, work has to get him a specialist chair and a desk that rises mechanically so that when his back is bad he can choose to stand and use the computer.

    That's an extreme example I know, but it's why I am a strong believer in signalling, which is why I only do free weights and now that I have taken up running I use barefoot/minimalist running shoes. Our body runs differently when running completely bare footed, if you change to shoes that make it feel like you are running on air, how do you get the signals? The signals that something is wrong won't getting through because of the cushioned soles. So you don't notice anything is wrong till injury occurs. Whereas if you run barefooted then you run in a natural way that humans have been doing for thousands of years as opposed to the last few decades that running shoes have been around.

    Like you I didn't want to be conned when buying my new running shoes. So luckily I saw this BBC Panorama programme LINK and decided to go with getting barefoot running shoes. Even luckier, after watching Panorama, I found out about a discount company called (LINK) and when I signed up they had Vivobarefoot running shoes (LINK) at discount prices. Unfortunately the offers are random and only last a few days, so there is no way of knowing when they will get more stock from the manufactuer. You could always be cheecky and go to Up & Running to see which shoes you want and then go online to see if you can get them cheaper.

    I got mine vivobarefoot shoes for £25 and I’m happy with them so far. However, I will be looking to avoid doing too much road running and aim to run in the parks. I live in Manchester too (well Trafford but I am a Manc at heart) and so when I am ready I’m going to run at Sale Water Park, Wythenshawe Park, along the Bridge Water canal and the River Mersey so that I can mix up the terrain and avoid too much road running.

    Again, I was very lucky in being able to save money, but I advise watching the Panorama programme, it covers exactly what you are asking (though of course is up to you if you agree with their findings) If you don’t want to watch all of it, jump to 39.50 for the part about running barefooted.

    I hope you get back into running and can get to do a marathon. Have you thought about doing more on an exercise bike to keep your cardio training at the level you are aiming for? I think running is far superior to an exercise bike, but I suffer from back pain and don’t want to end up like my colleague so my exercise bike helps me with my aerobic & anaerobic fitness. In your case an exercise bike might help with recovering from shin

  • splints as you can lead with your right leg. Also, as you may have guessed by now I am frugal with my money, so I would suggest ditching the gym and use the money you save from that to buy some gym equipment. You can get some decent offers with the likes of Argos, I got my York exercise bike and rowing machine from them for half price. It’s just a case of being patient and waiting for the half price offer to come round. Gym equipment is the best of course, but it will do for me.

    I have probably put way more information than you wanted or were actually looking for. But I am really against all the bull that the sport company’s come out with. But that said, I don’t see my advice as the gospel, just what I think works for me based on the research I have done.

    Good luck!

  • Of course, if you watch the Panorama program, you may note the quote from the doctor behind the barefoot research, which, paraphrased, says essentially it doesn't matter what you run in, it's how you run that matters.

    If you pay any credence to the fact that humans have been running barefoot for thousands of years then you should note that most of the examples given of persistence hunting would have been performed by men - as all examples of the art nowadays are.  As a woman, therefore, you obviously aren't evolved for distance running!

    So, ignoring all that because basically you do want to run so who gives a toss about unprovable theories of evolution, how about starting again but realising that everything you did first time was wrong.  If you're going to run on roads, you will need something on your soles, even if it's a cut-out piece of car tyre.  If you decide to go barefoot or not you're going to have to train yourself to run properly, and that means starting slowly, at short distances, and training your leg muscles to cope with the motions.  It means basics like running on your fore- or mid-foot, and not causing bone-jarring impacts by dropping onto your heels.

    There's plenty more about running right.  There are classes in methods for doing it.  But the easiest I found was to go to an athletics club and join a sprint or middle distance group.  The coaches will put you straight and you can take that knowledge of 'how' to run into your distance running.


  • Yes, but Ratzer, who wants to run barefoot over dog shit and other forms of litter? Hence why I stressed not to take my advise of using barefoot shoes as THE answer.

    What makes you think that for 200,000 years (time period backed up by mitochndrial DNA) women have been sat in caves breast feeding and house cleaning? Thanks to XX and XY chromosomes we get one half of our DNA from our fathers and the other half from our mothers. This all means that in a nutsell men and women share abilities that are very similiar. It is just that in some genetic differences men have a slight advantage, just like black atheletes (generally) have a slight advantage over white atheles when it comes to running. Your view that women cannot do distance running is a bit Neanderthal.

  • image

    Go read the post this time.

    Then we'll start on your theories of genetic advantage and how they apply to the Finnish distance runners that dominated distance running from the 20's to the 70's, and still have more olympic medals at 5000 and 10000 than any other country...

    Don't believe everything you watch on mainstream media without questioning it and opening your mind slightly.

  • Typical troll derailing a thread.

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