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LUV2RUN65 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/27/10 11:17 P and runningwarehouse both have excellent guides on how to figure out what type of shoe you need and lots of descriptions and reviews or specific shoes at different price points.

AUTONOMI Posts: 78
10/26/10 6:10 P

Thanks for those tips sp_coach_nancy, that shoe dog thing was really helpful!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
10/26/10 5:23 P


Shin splints are one of the most common ailments a new runner will experience. However, there are many causes, shoes being one of them.

I do suggest new runners get fitted at a running specialty store, but if that is not an option, I do recommend the Shoe Dog at Road Runner Sport (see link below). It is a guide that will allow you to determine the best shoe for you.

I will also add that not allowing for a proper warm-up and running too fast and too frequently are also common causes as well as not stretching the calf muscles after running.

Running on a very hard surface, such as concrete, can be another cause. And lastly, overstriding can lead to this issue. When one overstrides, the lead leg lands too far in front of your center of gravity so that your shins receive the biggest impact when your foot strikes the ground.

So what do you do?

Get fitted for shoes, even if that means using the Shoe Dog at Road Runner Sports.

If you do not have a solid walking program, I recommend that you start there first. Walking briskly 4-5 days a week for a few months helps your body to adapt to aerobic activity as well as helping you build consistency needed to run.

I also recommend doing the following not feel the need to do all these exercises every day.

Alphabet stretch

Sit in a chair with your leg extended in front of you. Trace the alphabet in cursive with your toes trying not to break the rhythm. Do this on each leg 3-5 times, 2-3 times a day.

Marble Pick-ups

Put marbles on the floor and pick them up with your toes and place in a cup. Do this 1-2 times daily with each foot.

Towel Scrunch

Place a towel flat on a wood/tile floor. Sit in a chair and then use your toes to scrunch the towel in a heap. Do once on each foot daily.

Sock drape

Fill a tube sock with gravel or coins (that you find on your walk/runs....LOL), seal with rubber band. Sit down and drape the sock with the coins or gravel equally distributed over your foot....then lift your foot toward the ceiling. Do this 10 times each foot several times a day.

You do not have to do all these exercises, I just gave several options, but you will want to do these to help strengthen the lower leg.

Lastly, when you do start running, follow your plan but it is OK to repeat a week or two. Do NOT feel the need to run every day. If you can locate a softer surface to run on, that may help and shorten your stride. Also icing your shins after your training.

If you find the pain persists or you cannot bear weight on your legs, than you will want to see your doc.


Edited by: SP_COACH_NANCY at: 10/26/2010 (17:25)
LAINGMOM Posts: 472
10/26/10 4:34 P

Go to a big sporting goods store in your area if there isnt a place that specializes in running. Ask for the department manager and try on lots of different brands and styles (running, walking, crosstraining) until you find that one that makes your feet say AHH. you need to replace your workout shoes every 6 months and you may need to replace them at 2 to 3 months if you are obese.

HRYAN4740 SparkPoints: (8,523)
Fitness Minutes: (15,850)
Posts: 62
10/26/10 4:33 P

Sprinters generally land on their toes to keep up momentum/build speed, but distance runners usually heel strike or land mid foot. I like to land mid foot because if I made my stride any longer my shins would start to hurt. I did read an article in Runners World (I think) recently about heel strike not being as bad as had been previously thought, but I can't seem to find it now that I want it.

10/26/10 4:29 P

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I think I remember reading something about that foot in paint thing before.

And you're NOT supposed to hit the ground with your heel first? I know that I do. I didn't know you were supposed to land on your toes. That seems awkward to me.

HRYAN4740 SparkPoints: (8,523)
Fitness Minutes: (15,850)
Posts: 62
10/26/10 4:12 P

I actually used this guide from Zappos to find my shoes. I had seriously awful shin splints, and although they're not gone, they've gotten a lot better.

10/26/10 4:08 P

first learn figure out which part of the foot your striking the ground with first during your stride. if your hitting the ground with your heel first that could be the source of your pain. if you can adjust your stride to hit the front of your foot first you may not need to worry about expensive running shoes.

10/26/10 4:07 P

It could be your shoes or it could be something medical. Have you had a physical lately and talked to your doc about your pain? You might consider doing that sooner rather than later.

Ok, on the shoe thing - you might search online, but I read about this one method (may or not be reliable). You ink/paint the bottom of your foot, the whole thing including toes, arch, instep, heel. Completely cover your foot in ink/paint. Step down on a piece of paper, one for each foot. If you see the majority of your paint is toward the outside of your foot, you might be a pronator. IF it's toward your instep/arch, you may be a supinator. If you have just a regular footprint, you're probably a neutral runner and don't need a special kind of shoe, just a neutral platform.

Again, I read this in an article and it may not be reliable. You might want to ask SP_COACH_NANCY for more direction - she's a certified running coach. Coach Jen is also an experienced runner.

10/26/10 3:41 P

I've always wanted to be a runner. Always, always, always dreamed of crossing the finish line of a 5k, or a 10k, or even a half-marathon. I am in poor shape and would love to start a program like the C25K, however, whenever I try I get horrible pain in my legs. I'm guessing it's from the wrong shoes, but how do I go about finding the "right" shoe, without having to spend a ton of money? I live in a small town, and the closest store that will do any kind of running assessment is a three hours drive for me. (Kind of far when I'm a stay at home mom with two small kids and a husband that works crazy hours.)

Is there any way to figure out what the right kind of shoe is for you without going to a store?

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