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RK1177 SparkPoints: (14,775)
Fitness Minutes: (1,404)
Posts: 529
4/11/13 11:29 A

wow..I know Im late to this discussion, but I have to tell you that I have your exact problem! Okay, maybe not exact...but the same. It does come down to the shoes and the surface you run on. I have a very strong anterior tibialis (dance, gymnastics, etc...) but I have posterior tibialis tendonitis. When I am out of shape, heavier, etc... the front shin muscle gathers fluid fast and my tendonitis acts up and makes it VERY difficult to even pick my feet up to walk! It takes time to build up conditioning and strength to overcome this!

I also have weird feet. narrow heels, super high arches and my feet roll in and out. I NEED shoes with super cushioning and heel stabilizers. I usually wear trail running shoes (even if Im just grocery shopping!) because they keep my heel from moving around to much which seems to keep my foot stable enough. This helps tremendously to keep down my leg pain! hope that helps! good luck

CATHERINETP SparkPoints: (1,360)
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Posts: 10
4/11/13 4:06 A

We are a similar weight and I am also starting c25k and finding week 2 very hard indeed! However, one of the trainers in my gym pointed out how much more quickly I am recovering now!

I have got as far as week 3 on c25k before and was very uncomfortable - this time, as I'm playing the longer game of a half-marathon in October, I had a professional gait analysis and bought the right shoes for my running style etc. I have also invested in some compression garments, as the jiggling caused by jogging causes unnecessary discomfort.

The only thing I'll suggest is to keep your jog speeds very low to start with, and build them gradually.

Good luck with the running!

3/29/13 1:31 P

Hi Winter--

A little anatomy and physiology lesson; the medical reality of what people call 'shin splints' is the action of peeling away of the anterior tibialis muscle from the tibia (lower leg bone) which causes micro-fractures along the front of the tibia. the fractures are the source of the extreme pain. Listen to your pain, and stop. This is a serious problem for you that will not 'go away' with a simple modification of your form or your shoe or your stretching, although all these things are very important for you.The advice Coach Nancy has given is the same type of medical advice that you would get from a medical doctor that specializes in Sports Medicine. (which is why I totally LOVE sparkpeople) (I am a surgical nurse that works for a Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon.) We see 'shin splints' problems every day. i would strongly advise that you see an Orthopaedic Surgeon for evaluation and xrays to see exactly what is going on with your legs. Healing will take time, and will not come if you continue to push the injury. warm up, stretching and supporting the anterior part of your calves is vital for you.
Praying that you heal well and fully, meet all your goals and run without pain.

Edited by: BIGISLANDWOW at: 3/29/2013 (13:34)
WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
3/29/13 2:49 A

Coach Nancy, many thanks indeed for your very detailed and helpful reply.

I don't make a habit of running twice in a day. Like yourself, I have done it on occasion but it is certainly not something I would do regularly. I just couldn't resist the other day because the weather here in the UK has been so dire these past few weeks, a tiny glimpse of sunshine and I just couldn't bear to stay indoors!

On a more serious note, I do appreciate your thoughts and totally agree that cross training is definitely something even experienced runners should keep as part of the exercise routine.

As I said, I'm not a new runner but I would not want any injuries to put paid to my taking part in the 5K race I've signed up for, so as you said: "everything in moderation".

HTHREE333 Posts: 14
3/28/13 11:40 A

I started running last Feb. Started very slow (still am slow) and could only run every 3rd day. It is just too taxing on my body. I am now training for a 10k and then a half marathon in Sept. I am up to 6 miles and I am still over 200 lbs. So you can do it. Just start with a run/walk first. It took me 9 months to be able to run a 5k without stopping. Shoes were a big thing for me too. So make sure you get fitted. Good luck. You can do it.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
3/28/13 10:20 A


Great question and you are right, "we are all an experiment of one" so while a new runner may not be able to run daily, a seasoned runner with time on her legs can. HOWEVER, the biggest factor is the rate of one's recovery--but what many people fail to understand is that the body makes the adaptation to ANY sport--be it running or weight lifting--not at the time we are doing the actual exercise, but when we are in recovery mode. If we do not allow enough recovery between runs or workouts the body can begin to break down and this is when injuries can happen.

In my 7 years of running I have only run twice in one day 5 times (4 of them were for relays) and the other was to see if I could do it. I would never advise anyone to run twice a day...walking is fine, but running, no can do. Remember most running injuries do not happen overnight, but over a long period of time--weeks and months. This is why it is so important to keep track of your resting heart rate (an elevated resting heart rate-taken first thing in the morning before any movement is done), sleep issues (insomnia or having issues staying asleep), change in appetite, moodiness, etc--to rule out overtraining problems.

My take cross training for runners can allow them to still be active and still allows them to retain a level of fitness, but does not cause the same wear and tear on the body that running does. Everything in moderation.

Coach Nancy

CILER11 Posts: 265
3/28/13 9:15 A

I have found that good shoes really help with shin/foot pain. We have a store in town that will watch you run and tell you the best shoes for your foot fall. Also there is a huge difference running on concrete vs running on a treadmill. I did a 5k this past weekend and my shins hurt that day and the day after, but when I do this length on a treadmill I have no pain.

WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
3/28/13 2:19 A

Coach Nancy,

As you said that running every day is not recommended, are you referring solely to a beginner or would that apply to someone who is a regular runner?

I have been running on and off for many years, but have in recent months been taking it more seriously, training for my first 5K this coming June.

I have slowly been increasing my runs and am now running around 5-6 miles each time, in just over an hour.

I actually ran twice yesterday - 40 minutes in the morning, and 1 hour 10 minutes in the afternoon. I know that sounds crazy, but I just really felt like it!

My main question is that since I am used to running and the impact it causes on my body, would your statement about not running every day be applicable to someone like me?

Of course I realise and understand that everybody is different in terms of how much they can handle, but just a general "rule of thumb" as a guide would be much appreciated.
Many thanks!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
3/27/13 11:02 P

Running form will evolve over time--don't be too concerned about heel striking either...70% of all runners (even some elites) will do some heel striking at some point during a run. The most efficient form of running is keeping your stride short and your leg-turnover high...this will lead to less of a risk for heel striking, but is not the sole or primary purpose for running injuries. What is? Overuse and not allowing enough time for recovery between your runs--this is why you should not run every day.


Coach Nancy

3/27/13 10:56 P

Wow, thanks for all the great information! So the concensus seems to be that proper shoes and form are paramount to pain-free jogging/running....I will need to get fitted then!

I do a lot of walking and have very strong calf muscles, so I would figure I'd be ready to start a SLOW jog, which is what I have started out with, by the way ;) So I'm guessing my form is all wrong...anyhow, this is really valuable info..thanks guys!!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,457
3/27/13 9:01 P

The impact of running can be hard on the body, and it can take a while for the leg muscles and tendons to adjust to that impact.

A few suggestions:
1. Build up a solid base of walking before trying to run - you should be able to walk 3 miles comfortably for at least 2-3 months before tackling running.
2. Keep your running pace down. Less speed = less impact. And at this stage, it is more important to get used to motion of running, than worrying about your speed.
3. Don't be afraid to repeat a week of C25K if you feel you need to (I know I did). This is not a sign of failure, but rather it is smart in giving your body the extra time to adapt to the impact of running.
4. Check your form. Aim at a mid or forefoot strike, where the natural flexibility of the ankle absorbs the impact, rather than heel strike, where the jarring impact has nowhere else to go but straight up your shin bone.
5. Consider a different pair of shoes. Some shoes (depending on your foot shape and style) just seem to give problems, others just suit you much better.


JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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3/27/13 8:52 P

Hey there hon. I do think it is not very healthy to run while overweight. It will cause more stress on your skeletal frame, feet, and especially your knees. I think that once you have lost more weight, you will notice a dramatic difference. I was just recently at 225lbs, and never would have dreamed of running because I couldn't do it without extreme shin, foot, and knee pain unless I was below 170lbs in the past. Just try waiting until you are lighter, and see how well you do, it would be better than injuring yourself, causing you to not be able to accomplish it at all in the future.

Edited by: JESSAELINN at: 3/27/2013 (23:36)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
3/27/13 8:42 P


The foot goes through two motions when running--plantar-flexion (toes down) and dorsi-flexion toes up. It is the second action--the dorsi-flexion that puts the stress on the anterior tibialis-- one of the muscles in the lower leg that promotes this action. Because many people do not use this muscle often, it is not uncommon to develop shin splints. But know that shin splints is just a general term for any discomfort, bone or muscle in the lower leg.

A few things to suggest is to get fitted for shoes at your local running specialty store if you have not done so and to slow your pace way down--you do not need to run as fast as you can. Running speed will come with practice, but go much slower than you feel you can. Also adding a slight incline to your treadmill--say 1/2-1% may help take some pressure off the shins. Also shortening your stride so that the lead leg does not land in front of your center of gravity, but instead you land just below your hips so that the pelvis takes the biggest impact. Also make sure you are strengthening the muscles supporting the ankle--a very simple exercise is just standing on one foot (like a flamingo) may not be able to hold it for long, but do so several times throughout the day and that will help add some stability to your ankle.

Below are some exercises you can do to help strengthen the anterior tibalis.

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.


Coach Nancy

Edited by: SP_COACH_NANCY at: 3/27/2013 (20:45)
BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
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Posts: 3,415
3/27/13 7:56 P

A physician is the most qualified person to assess pain from running. There are many problems from running that are too complex!

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
3/27/13 7:43 P

I'd suggest reading the article on here regarding running form. I think it's by Spark Coach Nancy. Something may jump out at you as something you're doing when you run that promotes injury (but it may also be the case you're doing something with your gait that you would not be able to detect yourself).

Second, as the previous poster said, there may be an issue with your shoes. Current thinking and research seems to be coming around to the position that over-stabilization of the foot and an over-cushioned, over-elevated heel (both of which are found in many/most running shoes you will find) do more to cause injury than to prevent it. It's conceivable you may see a lot of improvement just by switching to a neutral or lightweight shoe. (Conversely if you are already using that kind of shoe it's possible you may actually need support you're not getting.)

If you can find an actual running store near you (not a mall outlet), people there can probably help you with both issues.

Finally -- a lot of trouble with things like shin splints and plantar fasciitis has weakness in the foot and calves as its root cause. In the long run, strengthening those muscles may help you more than anything else.

SOOBIES SparkPoints: (993)
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Posts: 51
3/27/13 7:22 P

Do you know whether you are fore foot, mid foot or heel striking? Also are you doing any other exercises that could be contributing to the shin splints? For many people it is an issue with their natural form (not everyone is a natural runner and a clinic could definitely benefit you to learn better form) or it's the shoes. I've worn my share of shoes (endurance junkie) and the wrong shoe can screw me up super fast, too much control, too much cushion, almost always gives me issues, I do better in a more minimal shoe. Also too much speed, or mileage added too quickly could cause them as well. Do you get the same issue when walking or just jogging?

Edited by: SOOBIES at: 3/27/2013 (19:23)
ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (200,087)
Fitness Minutes: (195,485)
Posts: 15,865
3/27/13 7:21 P

Look to 2 main things:

- proper shoes
- running with proper form

3/27/13 7:07 P

I wanna try the Couch-2-5k plan!

I tried it a few years ago and every second was grueling due to shin splints and ankle pain, but I DID manage to finish the second week, I just couldn't go beyond that and quickly gave up.

Now here I am, wanting to try it again. I've been TRYYYYYING to do a walk/jog outside here and there but after just a seconds I am DYING. I get this weird numb-but-extremely-painful burning sensation in my shins and ankles.

A couple days ago I tried jogging just for 60 seconds on the treadmill w/ no incline and I had the same shin/ankle pain but also got fairly light headed.

I stretch my shins regularly and walk a lot and work out on the elliptical w/ good resistance....and I drink tons of water and eat the proper pre-workout foods. Sooooo what else can be done?? I'm rather discouraged and don't know if I'll ever be able to jog. :/

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