Shins and things

Hi. I hope you can help me. Have hit first 'problem' with my grand plan, and would like advice.

I started training last week, following the plan which aims to get up to running 30 mins in 8 weeks. First 3 sessions (week 1) were tough, but OK, with improvements showing each time.

Today, though, I started week 2 of the plan (run 2 mins, walk 1) and had a few problems. Basically the muscles on the front (outside) of my legs seemed to tense up really badly, to a point where I had to stop running and walk the whole route (I had only managed 2 lots of 2 minutes running).

I have a few questions which I hope you can help with.

1.Is this shin splints? I have read up on them on RW, and from what I can tell, it seems unlikely. However, if not, what is it, and what can I do. I don't stretch before running, but did go for a walk/jog before I started. Is it time to buy some shoes. I am running in Adidas shoes, which were called 'running' shoes in the Argos Additions catalogue, but I imagine are not very specialised. Should I invest now or are these ok?

2.Should I have run through this? At the time I stopped running, I couldn't do any more if I wanted, but later, after walking it off, I felt like I could/should run again, but didn't know whether it was advisable, so I didn't.

3.Is my long-term plan realistic? I aim to be able to do my first 5k on 9 July (Cranfield), and then gradually increase with a long-term goal of running the FLM next year. Am I setting my sights to high? I'm worried if I have to repeat weeks in my schedule, I won't be ready for the 5k in July, and - even if I don't bottle out of it - it will be a kick-in-the-teeth morale-wise to have to walk it.

Any advice/encouragement appreciated. Thanks. I'm really enjoying the running; getting out (even in the rain) is doing me good, and I am noticing a difference in my aerobic capacity already (not so puffed as my first day after only a week) but my poor old muscles need a hand.

BTW I'm 32 and pretty much average weight, but failing in fitness.

Thanks again.


  • hiya, and welcome to the madhouse

    yep, could well be shinsplints
    yu need proper shoes from a proper running shop

    or you wont be running for much longer
    that should help in the first instane, but theres lots of helpful advive if you click on best of health and injury to the left of the screen
    a 5k in July sounds do-able to me

  • Sounds like shin problems to me.

    You do need to get some running shoes. go to a specialised running shop and take the shoes that you are using with you, they won't mind, honest! It will help them to determine your gait and get you kitted out with a pair that will give you the support that you need.

    It's really important to stretch out before and after your run. Have a look on this site for some good stretches. Also you need to warm down and not just stop at the end. you should also warm up slowly , but I think you said you are already doing that.

    I would not try to run through this, as i think you will only aggrivate the problem and end up with a bad injury and being competly unable to run. Good shoes will help as it's the impact that is most likely the problem. your legs have not had a chance to get strong yet. I had exactly the same problem, even with running shoes. I got round it by using a treadmill as this gave me more cushioning. runnig about 3 times a week is plenty. Rest your shins up for a bit.

    No you are not setting your hopes too high. Go for it, but build up slowly. You can do it! When you run make sure you can chat comfortably. If not you are going too fast. Again when i started i thought that running meant absolutely bombing along! I thought anything less meant i was cheating!!! As a result the first year i tried I gave up! Running slowly is the best way to get strong without injury.

    Good luck and well done. Getting out the door is a brilliant achievement. let us know how you get on. :0)

  • Hi. Thanks for the responses.

    Have been out today and bought some shoes (Adidias Calibrate) from Sweatshop in Milton Keynes. Am pleased with them although no usage as yet.

    How do I know when to start again. I know it's difficult for you all to say as each situation is different, but some guidance would be great.

    I put ice on my shins on Tuesday night, and they were a lot better Weds morning. Still a bit sore and tight first thing in mornings, and when I walk up or down hills, but during the day not too bad (and my job means I'm on my feet most of the day).

    When do you think it's safe to get going again. I'm keen to get back to it as I want to be able to do the 5k in July, but obviously don't want to make things worse.

    And (yes there's more) could someone point me in the direction of definitive a stretching guide. Not just how to do them, but what I should be doing and when. I thought I should be doing nothing before running as the muscles are 'cold', but am having doubts now.

    Any help appreciated. Thanks for your time.
  • Hi!

    sounds like you have the same problem as many of us beginners!

    have a quick look at this link to one of my forums in the beginners section "couch spud to 10k athlete in 12 weeks".

    Ladyofkent gave me a great posting in there about stretching.

    I also was running on no good trainers for my first week and replaced them as soon as the pain started - since then it has been a lot better!!

    Good luck - its worth it in the end.

  • Thanks for the link Marc. You seem to be in a similar situation to me, but progressing better, which is great! I will keep my eye on your progress for inspiration.

    Could you be a bit more specific with me about how you personally go about your stetching. Ladyofkent agrees with the stretch-after-not-before philosophy, but do you do absolutely nothing before a run, or warm up a bit, then stretch a bit, then run?

    I think I'm going to get back on the road on Saturday, and see how I go. Even if I end up walking, it will help break in new shoes, and keep me from losing impetus. I too am looking forward to run days, which I never thought I would say. Even my favourite old excuse (the weather) doesn't stop me now, as 2 of my 3 runs before legs gave way were in the rain.

    Thankyou all again for your time. Still hoping to make 5k in July.
  • I am beginner too, so by no means know what I am talking about yet! but I have been doing a fair bit of research. This is what seems to be working for me...

    Because the last time I tried to get into a training regime about a year ago - I had to stop totally because of the pain from the lower parts of both legs in the front of the shin - it started to get gradually worse with each run but I ignored it until I could liturally no longer run!! I am determind not to make the same mistakes so have been researching as much as I can and getting excellent advice from people on here.

    New trainers come out top on everyones list of advice.

    I am trying not to run on the pavements as many people say concrete will knacker your legs after a short while. so trying to run on grass, dirt tracks, or even just tarmac roads or paths seems to be the way to go. Besides, parks etc are far more interesting places to run than roads if you are lucky enough to be a couple minutes away from one.

    Stretching is a funny one - some people swear by it - some people tell it makes no difference for injury prevention - so I am as confused as you really. At the moment I stretch for about 10 minutes before I go out - concerntrating on my lower legs - I do find it helps atleast to get the rest of my body "ready to run" if you know what I mean - gets me in the right frame of mind.

    After I finish my run I stretch my legs some more again for about 10 minutes as I recover - this is far less a chore for me as I find it does ease any soreness as I do this. Also I have been adviced to finish with a little jog to warm down after each run. Just a minute or two seems to help.

    So far so good for me at least - my legs are still hurting but not during the run only right after. Some nights are bad, others no problem - its strange.

    Well, good luck mate - above all take it easy - I am sure you will notice a big difference in your new shoes!!.



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