I thought I would post this on here as I imagine contributors to this section of the forum might be better able to help me.
I am midway through my training programme (3 months out of 6 months) aiming towards the race in the Yukon. Training distances has increased fairly gradually to the extent that I am now running 4-5 sessions a week with at least 1 of the runs exceeding 30 miles and another between 20 and 30. The remaining sessions comprises distances from 4 miles upwards and nearly all sessions include some elemnet of walking.
Over the last 2 weeks I have been suffering with incredible pain in my right shin muscle which is usually at the top of my shin - but last weekend was most prominent in the lower shin. I have been both icing and heating the muscle as well as deep massaging it. This alleviates the pain but when I do my next session the pain returns and my muscle goes incredibly hard. It takes about 30-45 mins for the pain to recede and then the rest of the session goes unaffected - until I finish and cool down and once again it tightens up a lot.
Any suggestions as to what the problem is and more importantly what to do about it. I do try to stretch this muscle prior to training - but it is a bugger of a muscle to stretch effectively. I did find that placing a hot cup of tea against it prior to one session did work well - so obviously it is important to warm the muscle prior to training (by whatever means)
Any comments/advice etc very gratefully recieved.


  • You are probably leading with your right leg, especially when tired and thus it is getting more impact. If you have been increasing the milage the way you have been it is easy for the body to fall into bad habits.

    I have similar issues with my left leg and hip.

    As far as massage, icing and heating the shin then there is probably not much more you can do.

    As far as prevention is concerned, really look at stretching out the whole of the leg everyday(not just shins and claves) and holding the streches for 30- 60 secs.

    Really focus on postuee when you are running and having an even gait- especially when tired.

  • LFW - may seem obvious but have you checked your shoes out? are they showing signs of overwear which may be the cause? maybe try running in some others and see what happens? just a thought
  • Thank you both for your advice/comments.
    I think my shoes are OK. Running in relatively new shoes (done I guess about 150 miles prior to problem) and they are shoes that I have used for quite some time - Nike Pegasus.
    I think I had better do a bit more stretching and keep up the massaging. My biggest concern is that this might be the prelude to Shin Splints - and I am buggered if I want that.
  • The distance is surely the problem. You must be destroying the structures of your muscles. Why is it necessary to run 30+ miles in one stint? Could you not split this into a 18 and 12, perhaps with the occasional 25+ miler. A lot I have read talks of limiting marathons to perhaps 2 a year and then they will be quality events.

    I don't want you to take this the wrong way but it does seem like quantity in place of quality.
  • I presume it's an ultra? In which case 30-mile training runs are pretty normal*, and not overly damaging. Or so I believe, not being daft enough myself. Yet.

    I vote for FB's shoes idea, by the way. Shin splinty stuff does seem often to be linked to footwear.

    * - normal being a relative term, obviously!
  • The race I am doing is 300 miles long and is definately a once a year race. I have to be prepared to do up to 65-70 miles in a 24 hour period. Last year I did the race in 7 and half days - this year I am aiming for 6 days (ave 50 miles/day). A lot of the training is done off road - in fact practically all the longer runs are off road - hills and forest trails. 18 miles and 12 miles isnt going to prepare me. The quality training is in the time on my feet preparing for 12 to 16 hour stints. But I take your point - and perhaps retirement after this race might not be a bad thing.
  • "300 miles long and is definitely a once a year race"!!!

    Once a lifetime I'd have thought!

    I still have the account of last year's race at work. Inspiring stuff.

    Mind you, it'll be some time before I forgive you for calling it "Yukon be serious!"


    Good luck, Martin!
  • lol - sorry chimp.
    I thought the title " Yukon not be serious" was a good one. I am trying to think up the title for part 2 - any suggestions?? - I suppose I had better finish the race first!!!
  • Good luck indeed. As you say its in the preparation, the recipe must suit the end dish and there is no way I can see me doing a 300 mile race. I am too attached to going fast. I have though completed my first marathon this year which for you is just a sprint.
  • Hey Martin - I have nothing to add except "Good Luck"! I wondered how your training was going. Hope all works out for you. Have fun.
  • Hi Jim
    Thank you for your kind wishes - training is generally going well apart from what I have said on this thread. I believe I am ahead of where I was this time last year - and hopefully unlike last year I wont have a 5 week injury break just before going out - so my fingers are firmly crossed. I havent been in to see the maturites lately - but when I get back tonight I will call in to see all the stars.
    Hi Stockie
    Congrats on your first Marathon - I fear that it wont be long before you delve into the darkside (ultras), they are addictive and I am certain you wouldnt be in this forum section if you didnt have half a mind for doing one.

    Just about to go out for a wobble - I am sat here for 15 mins with a hot cup of coffeee against my leg - do you think I could patent this idea??
  • why dont you wrap a platypus bladder around the shin thus giving you the appropriate heat treatment and coffee on tap whilst you are training in the cold- perfect idea

    Good luck in the yukon, I'll be watching with interest
  • <<meerkat enters with balm for Martin's poor leg>>
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