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CBS1959 Posts: 129
3/6/13 9:47 A

Great - I am trying my new shoes today - This is my second week into the couch to 5K, so far so good - am signing up with my son and nieces to run a 5K in June - hopefully I will be ready. Only problem I have is arthritis in my knee, every once inawhile I will have a sharp pain - hoping just the movement will help keep that at bay!

SHAYNEM21 Posts: 35
2/11/13 8:29 A

hi the biggest hurdle is starting, couch to 5k is fantastic , i started mine 12 months ago, i am now able to run 10k, just take your time if you are slow it does not matter you are still quicker than the guy on the couch. take your time and build up then you will reep the rewards later. dont be hard on yourself just pick yourself up and try again.

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
2/9/13 2:53 P

You guys are great! More awesome advice from some experienced runners. Thank you for taking the time to help me out.

TURQUOISEBIKE – I appreciate you sharing your story with me. It was very motivating, encouraging, and helpful.

WENDYJP1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,265)
Posts: 4
2/9/13 10:35 A

I would agree with a lot of the comments about gradually getting into running. I had a lot of problems with shin splints in high school when I ran track, and it was mostly because I wasn't working into it gradually enough. This time around I have been using interval training (alternating walking and running) like the couch to 5k program, and it has made a big difference. I see it as a way of "tricking" my body into running in a way that doesn't put too much stress on my shins too fast. And like someone else mentioned, it's a great way to work toward a lot of small goals since you only start off with short spurts of running at the beginning.

Edited by: WENDYJP1 at: 2/9/2013 (10:35)
MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
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Posts: 9,764
2/9/13 12:02 A

Take one run/day at a time
Best wishes

JESSIJESS8058 Posts: 158
2/8/13 4:00 P

I always swore I couldn't run because of shin splints and blamed it on an "old field hockey injury". Then my bf and her sisters started doing triathalons and that gave me a kick in the butt to work out more. When I complained about not being able to run, they told me to get new shoes. It made sooo much of a difference! Not a single shin splint since!

Word of advice though.... the shoes from a specialty store will be pricey. Best bet is to buy them (think of it as paying extra for the personalized attention) but make note of the make and model and then order your next pair online. I still get fitted every year or so to get more updated shoes though.

TURQUOISEBIKE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 55
2/8/13 2:46 P

I was fairly heavy when I started jogging last year, and I'm jogging quite happily and fairly regularly now.

I started out when I was around 240 pounds, but I began jogging much more often and with rather more success and enjoyment around when I hit the 220 pound mark. (It may have been psychological - the difference between "feeling under 100 kg" and "over 100 kg".) When I started, I knew I was at a weight where most people would really advise me to walk, so I figured that I would have to be quite careful if I didn't want them to be proved right. So, I was cautious. I worked on my form, and I stayed on soft surfaces (the forest behind my house) until I had dropped 45 pounds and bought myself some good shoes. At any sign of shin pain (a problem downhill), I tried to adapt my form until I could make it go away (and achilles pain uphill, ditto). I also cycled, walked and aqua-jogged to give myself plenty of recovery from running, and I never ran further than I felt like. I knew losing form due to fatigue or overtraining would set me up perfectly for an injury. I avoided running with other people (until very recently) because I didn't want to be distracted from listening to my body and correcting my form to eliminate pain, or pressured into trying to keep up with a group. And I couldn't talk and jog at the same time, so going out with a group seemed a bit pointless anyway.

I'd say you should run on, but be very gentle to yourself and listen to your body. Avoid overstriding and heel-striking by keeping your stride rate high, your strides short, and your body ahead of your feet. You might find the concepts of Chi Running useful - the emphasis on engaging the core might take stress off your lower back, and the style also seems to help with shin splints (
whole-story-on-shin-splints/). I got the book around when I started running and absorbed some of the lessons at the time, and I'm getting to grips with some more of them now.

In a way, I saw being overweight when I started running as a bonus - since problems with form lead to immediate pain, they also lead to corrections immediately, and the corrections are easy to make on a blank slate. I'd rather have that experience than run pain-free for months despite terrible form, and then come down with a series of injuries as soon as I increased my mileage to prepare for an event like a marathon.

Hope that helps...

SWEETBITC64 SparkPoints: (68)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
2/8/13 1:52 P

I noticed when I were my bare feet or minimus shoes I have less problems than when I were my regular running shoes. I agree with the relaxing your feet too. I know when I am walking on the ice or steep areas I tend to tense up and that really brings on the pain.

2/8/13 4:40 A

I had shin pain when I first started running. I found that I was flexing my toes too much when I ran. I found that if I relaxed my foot and let it fall rather than trying to place it down nice and gently really helped. This also prevents heel pain

I do recommend the proper fitted shoe,; however, at the time I had some shoes from a big chain retail store.

QHAMOM Posts: 896
2/7/13 4:41 P

I get pain in my calves or shins when my running shoes get too worn, so new shoes can really help. A few months ago, I started wearing my older running shoes to work and saving my newer ones just for running.
Also, shin stretching - for some reason I have gotten a few Spark emails recently that mention stretching for shin splints only to show stretching for the back of the calf. That is not correct. sitting with the knee bent and toes pointed down so the top of the foot is on the floor and the front/shin is being stretched can help.
For strengthening the shin (specifically the anterior tibialis), you can use a resistance band tied in a loop around a table leg and then sit away from it with the other end around the forefoot, then lift the foot up and down, opposite motion of pressing a gas pedal.
Icing after running may also be beneficial. If the issue persists, finding a physical therapist who runs can help, even if just for a little advice rather than repeated visits.

M_MOE87 SparkPoints: (686)
Fitness Minutes: (499)
Posts: 19
2/7/13 12:16 P

I'd agree with what some other people said. Shoes! I had this same issue when I started running and I talked to one of my friends about it (who ran marathons) and she took me to get some new shoes! It made a big difference!

Also make sure you are stretching your shins and legs before hand....kind of hold your leg out and roll your ankle in a circle for a little bit. Just run short amounts of time...ease into it..otherwise you can hurt yourself more. Good luck! I love running!

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
2/7/13 11:50 A

So much great advice! I will definitely use all of this information to help with my running. I can't wait! I think my first order of business is getting fitted for proper shoes. Thanks again everyone.

IMELECTRIC SparkPoints: (14,798)
Fitness Minutes: (9,861)
Posts: 517
2/7/13 11:45 A

I found the best thing to do is walk. If you are able to walk a good 45 minutes then you are able to run. I like to do the above stretches after a run to avoid shin splints.

KLN1718 Posts: 1
2/7/13 11:16 A

I have been a runner for 25+ years, and several times I have had to start back up (after my four pregnancies, after surgeries, etc...), and feel like a beginning runner again! The best advice I ever got, that works really well for me is a training tip I got during my undergrad studies. It's called "Fartlik Training", after the man who created it, but it's really an easy circuit training tool. If you are running on the road, you walk the distance of one (or 2, up to you) telephone or light poles, then you lightly jog for the distance of one, then move to a faster jog (or run, as you build up) for the distance of one pole. This gives you short term goals, you know a break is coming soon, and it's fun to challenge yourself to jog more and walk less, as you get used to running! This can be done on a treadmill using 15 second intervals (gradually increase), or on a track using 1/4 lap intervals. Best of luck to you!! At 42, running is still the best exercise for me to lose weight, then maintain my weight in between surgeries and pregnancies:)

2/7/13 10:36 A

I had the same problem when getting back into running after being off for foot surgery. Some of my running friends were kind enough to listen to me whine and each of them offered advice. They all had their own take on it and I eventually I got it under control by trying different things until I got rid of the pain. This is what worked for me -

Shorten my stride - I stopped trying to keep up with the gang and set my own pace. I was surprised at how far I could run when I stopped pressuring myself to go further & faster.

Try different shoes - Cushioned/Stability/Minimalist/Barefoot - I tried them all and fell in love with Brooks Running PureFlow shoes - the first time I went for a run, I couldn't believe how good running felt. I commented to my friends that it felt like I was running on pillows. The shoes have a 4% heel to to decline and are great at absorbing the shock my feet and hips felt wearing any other shoe.

Bottom line - be patient, experiment a bit and don't give up. You CAN be an avid runner.

GR8FULLEE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (956)
Posts: 4
2/7/13 8:44 A

As an avid ex-runner (I love to run but me feet just cannot do it anymore), as they said below, start slowly, get a base of 30 minutes of FAST walking per day (4.2 miles per hour or more), then begin running one minute and walking four minutes...slowly increase run time by seconds and decrease walk time. Stop in the middle and stretch. Hal Higdon (he has a web site) has free tips for beginners and the many styles of stretch that can be done on the street. Shin splints are annoying but there are exercises you can do to alleviate the pain as well as ice cup your shins. Take a paper cup, fill it with water and freeze. When you are done walking/running peel half the paper from the cup and place directly on shins and massage with the ice. Try this for about 15 minutes total and increase the time so you don't get frost bite. Ibuprofen will help if they hurt at night. You said you have a bad back and that is a for sure sign of not enough stretching...try a bit of yoga to help get those hammies stretched. Finally shoes...that IS one of the most important things you can do to help. Go to a running shoe store, there are several around and the sales reps know how to see if you pronate, over-pronate, or are flat footed. The shoes are especially created for the type of foot you have. You may need orthotics as well, thankfully, there are OTC orthotics reasonably priced that will help in many ways. Running shoes are only designed to last for about 300 miles or 6 months. The rubber gets hard and loses the cushion so make sure it is not a pair of two year old on the shelf shoes, they do have an expiration date. Okay, good luck and I hope this helps. Running is an awesome way to alleviate stress, get good endorphin's and feel good.

Edited by: GR8FULLEE at: 2/7/2013 (12:18)
JONIJO2 Posts: 5
2/7/13 7:20 A

I found walking on my toes for a few seconds and then walking on my heels for a few seconds before I start helps alot!! Sometimes during my walk/run I will do a few if my calves are feeling thight. The book Run Your Butt Off is excellent !

2/7/13 7:02 A

Yes get new shoes and do stretches when you're finished but not before

BTVMADS Posts: 985
2/7/13 6:46 A

How long does it take for your shins to start hurting when you run? Do they keep hurting after you run? If your shins don't start hurting until you've been running for a while, and they ache after the run too, I think you're doing too much, too soon.

And regardless of whether a beginner feels pain, I ALWAYS suggest shortening the amount of time that you run at any given time when you're just starting out. Start out walking, building up a base of walking for 30+ minutes at a time. Then, start adding in bits of running at a ratio of 1 minute running, 2 minutes walking.

That's how I started, slowing increasing the amount of running until I was running a half-mile at a time. Because I went so so so gently, I NEVER got hurt, even though I didn't have fancy shoes. If you've never done a lot of running or walking, your body needs time to adjust to the physiological impacts of running. Even if you have the cardiovascular strength to run, your muscles, tendons, and joints may not necessarily have the strength, flexibility, or tenacity to handle a run.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,903
2/6/13 6:54 P


I'd recommend getting properly fitted for shoes, because bad or worn out shoes can give you all kinds of aches and pains. I'd also recommend building up a base of regular walking (at least a few times each week) before trying to transition to running.

Coach Jen

WANRAS SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (22,236)
Posts: 1,130
2/6/13 4:58 P

Shin splints can also be caused by not stretching properly prior to running. Make sure you do a good warm up and some stretches prior to jogging. On the treadmill, I heel strike. When I sprint (during the summer I run in front of 200 mph Funny Car - drag racing) I run on the balls of my feet. In the excitement of the moment - besides remembering to take a quick pee break - I try to get in some stretches. Good luck with your running.

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
2/6/13 4:24 P

Thank you everyone for taking the time to give me your advice and feedback. I sure appreciate it.

CLOWNPANTS – I think I am heel striking. Maybe I’ll have my son watch me run (he’s in track) and see what he thinks.

SPARK_COACH_JEN – I have a couple pairs if Nike’s I wear, but I've had them forever and I didn't get them at a specialty running/walking store. I do walk often, but not as often as I take Zumba classes.

JCWIAKALA – I might have to check out that book. I’m not able to get a trainer at this point in time, so this book should help.

CILER11 – I’m currently not working, so I’m barefoot a lot. If I go anywhere I’m either in flip flops or flats. I have tons of heels, but I don’t wear them because I have a bad lower back.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
2/6/13 4:06 P

Shin splints have a variety of causes; for me it was broken down, improperly fitting shoes.

Runner's World has a great video about what causes them, and how to prevent them:

CILER11 Posts: 265
2/6/13 4:04 P

I am heavier and am five weeks into a run/walk training plan (like couch to 5k). I would recommend getting properly fitted for shoes. Some stores will watch you run and give you advice on form also. Start slow and work your way up. Also what shoes are you wearing during the day at work? I tend to get really bad leg cramps if I wear heels so I have switched to flats.

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
2/6/13 3:35 P

I'm running at 5'6" and 225 lbs, so I know it's possible to run at a heavy weight. Genetics I'm sure plays a roll; I have strong legs. I read a lot about form in the book "The Complete Book of Running for Women" and I learned a lot about what I was doing wrong.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,903
2/6/13 3:26 P

Are you wearing shoes that you were fitted for at a specialty running/walking store? How long have you been walking regularly?

Coach Jen

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
2/6/13 3:09 P

You may need to build up your leg strength to avoid injury. Try short sprints until your legs feel okay with any distance. Work on strengthening your legs and then try it!

CLOWNPANTS SparkPoints: (1,355)
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Posts: 34
2/6/13 2:49 P

Form form form.

Are you heel striking?

Could also be the shoes, but my guess is as a beginner you aren't running efficiently. I woulf recommend finding a trainer.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (199,693)
Fitness Minutes: (195,115)
Posts: 15,862
2/6/13 2:39 P

I would say the most likely culprits are, in no particular order..

a) poor form
b) shoes
c) not enough of a cardio base
d) too heavy

INNERBEAUTY78 Posts: 217
2/6/13 2:25 P

Every single time I try to incorporate running into my walk, my shins start to hurt. Is it possible that I'm just not built to be a runner? I know shoes play a roll, but maybe I'm just too heavy to run at this point. Is that possible?

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