Shin Splints

I’ve been doing some short distance running(2 miles) and sprinting 3 times a week recently.

Practically immediataly I developed shin splints which are extremely painful. Specifically the pain is in the inside edge of my calves right along the edge of the bone. Ice and motrin help, but that isn’t stopping them from re-occuring. I’m doing weighted toe raises, running on flat surface with brand new sneakers and making very sure to run correctly yet they still persist.

Any sprinters in the crowd that care to offer some advice?

Could be a couple of things. Go to a running specialty store and get a knowlegable staff member to do a gait analysis. Brand new shoes don’t do jack if they aren’t the right design for the way that your foot reacts with the ground. Terms to listen for are over-pronation and supination. Also, sprinting and distance running are two very different animals. True sprinters will rarely do more than half a mile for a warm-up, and that at a very slow jog. Finally, did you jump in at two miles right off? If you have your heart set on doing that sort of distance, you need to start small and build your way up. Later.

I had the same problem earlier this summer when I was training again to get in shape for soccer. Like you said, they are very painful. What has happened is you probably went all out the first 2 or 3 weeks without building up. This has caused some trauma to your shins. The best advise I can give you to get rid of them is do what you are doing ice, motrin and lots of stretching and warming up before you run. The best way to get rid of them is to rest your legs by not doing any running, especially sprinting, until you don’t have any more pain. It is not a serious injury, it just feels like it because they hurt so bad. Hope this helps.

I had the same problem myself last year. I blew out a hamstring and had to take some time off training. In my sport I do a lot of sprint work, but also a lot of change of direction stuff. Once the hamstring had healed, I tried jumping right back into my same training protocol, and ended up developing the same symptoms as yourself (I had never experienced shin splints myself, and usually considered those who complained about them to be pussies. But, boy, did they ever hurt). What I would suggest is to build up slowly. If you haven’t done much sprinting or running previously, cut down your total workload at first, and give yourself more of a rest between training sessions. Work yourself up slowly. I also found that getting a good warmup before each workout, and making sure that I stretched my calves out daily helped immensely. Don’t try to mask the pain and with ibuprofen, and continue running, or the problem will only get worse (trust me). Finally, if you are running on a hard surface, like a track or pavement, try switching to running on grass for a while, as running on a cushioned surface will help.

cut down on your volume for a little bit, until your shins heal up, if that is possbile.
ice the painful areas right after you run and later on in the day if possible.
Exercise tibialis anterior, by doing the oppsite of toe raises (stand with edge of heals on stairs, toes in front, so you are bringing the toes towards the shins).
Stretch your calves.
See someone adept in biomechanics who may be able to determine if you have an unusual running style which leads to shin splints, ie. overpronation, flattened arch, etc.

Sean…exactly how long are you resting for. You cant get rid of chin splints unless they are allowed enough time to fully heal. This may mean a few weeks with lots of ice. If your only Taking minor breaks and then training again they will never go away. Also I know you already said your running with good form but how good is it? Another question is what kind of running surface are you training on??? The harder the surface the more pressure on the shins. Make sure your warming up really well too and streching them out before the sprints too. Hope that helps a bit…T_vixen Jenn

I was explaining to Tim Patterson a while back
why I was doing tibialis
raises – because I hoped it would correct
this same problem you are having – and he
informed me that that had nothing to do with
it, the problem was my shoes. He was right.

I’d suggest trying other shoes. True, it is
expensive, and you can’t tell (I can’t anyway)
when in the store, but at least from my
experience and Tim’s advice, that can be the
cause of the problem, even if it seems that
your running shoes are good ones.

If you can get ART for the lower leg. Also keep your sprint volume down to 1 or 2 times max per week. If your a novice runner with a higher bodyweight, start jogging a quarter mile alternating with walking for a quarter. You really have to build up to running. I’m 5’ 7" at 190 with 14% bodyfat. I’ve had the same problems. I can tolerate one sprint workout per week. It literally takes 3-4 days to recover. I wouldn’t run until I’m recovered.
Also watch your pace. Most people start out to fast. you probably should start at about a ten minute mile, which is a very slow jog. Just get the distance in. I prefer cycling to stay in cardio shape. I use Troy Jacobson’s spinervals videos. This keeps my resting pulse in the high 40’s low 50’s with retaining about 90 % of my max strength. At one time I competed at powerlifting, now it’s to stay in shape. I can high incline 250, squat 275 for 20, and dead high 400’s with minimal strength taining. If I lift, I limit myself to one spinning session a week. If I spin or ride hard, I might only hit the weights once or twice a week. Just eat right and nap when you can. hope this helps.

If you plan on running at all, get fitted for orthotics. It’s essential.