Shin splints for beginners

I am a new runner who started running in December 2014, after signing up for the Bupa London 10k, which takes place two weeks tomorrow.

About a month ago, I started getting a bit of bruising pain on impact whilst running. I am familiar with shin splints - I had it as a teenager when I was growing and play a lot of netball. It disappeared whilst running. Around that time, I was running every other day, with a longer run on the weekend (between 5-10k @9-9.30min/mile), but a couple of weekends in a row, I did two long runs. The pain was then quite sore in both shins (left worse) after a 5k two weeks ago, and stayed generally whilst walking about for several days. On the advice of a physio friend and several websites, I took two weeks off running and cycled at the gym to keep up my cardio. 

Yesterday I walked 12 miles on a visit to Paris with no pain, but have tired my legs and tightened/strained my calves walking in normal shoes. Today, I did two miles (wearing strapping and a support on my left shin - right is absolutely fine) and had a couple of really faint twinges in the left. When I took the support off/released the compression, it was a bit painful for a few minutes but quickly went. I then walked a friends dog and had a few twinges towards the end of the walk.

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to do my last long run before my big run in two weeks. It's a 5 mile race on road, but I'm concerned that I"m going to make the injury worse. I think I know the answer, but I'm just looking for some support. I have a tiny amount of tenderness around the mid and upper shin area - but it's so small. 

Worried about getting a stress fracture, or even already having one, before my big race. I've done too much and come too far to not make it now. But equally would like to run tomorrow and feel I need to do the milage. But not if it jeopardises my race in two weeks...



  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    If you are going to make the injury worse then don't do the 5 mile race.

    Save yourself for the 10k.
  • I've had shin splints fairly persistently since about a month after I re-started running (after having given up running a few years ago due to.....shin splints!). I've done loads of reading on the subject and had physio advice. Tried resting for 5 weeks, stretching (twice a day for 15 mins each), bought new gait-assessed trainers......nothing worked.

    Then two weeks ago I started icing my shins for 20 mins after each run and icing them again two or three times more each day. This has almost completely fixed my shin splint problem. I literally used frozen veg directly on my shins but have now invested in some cold therapy shin wraps. The results are the same but the shin wraps do allow more freedom than the bags of veg (as you strap them onto your legs). I never thought anything would make my shin splints go away. GOOD LUCK!

  • KattCKattC ✭✭✭

    I'm a newbie as well and my calves and shins started to hurt like crazy.  I brought some skin shin guards and they have worked a treat.  Now I need to get my body to run more than 5 minutes at a time without having to stop for a walk image


    Going to try the bag of veg as well

  • Hi guys! Just wanted to say thanks to you al for your advice! A combination of Rocktape, a support strap and ice seems to have (NOT literally, haha) cracked it! No pain at all during my 10k yesterday and I finished in 55:23. Delighted image


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