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Help someone!

I have fallen victim to the dreaded shin splints-- again. I would consider myself a beginner runner. I have been running roughly 6 miles every day on and off for the past 2 years. But recently, I have formed a pretty solid streak. When I started two years ago I was running on some old shoes that offered me little support. I subsequently got stress fractures and shin splints. But when I got fitted for new shoes, all these problems subsided. However, I recently found myself suffering similar problems, so I went out and spent 250 US dollars on some new shoes and insoles. Unfortunately, these haven't solved the problem. I've tried everything known to man to try and solve the issue, but nothing seems to work. I stretch for more time than I am running, I roll my muscles before and after, I am careful not to increase my milage too quickly. Additionally I changed my style to run with a forwards-foot strike. I used to impact the ground more with my heels, and found myself getting injured as a result. I was hoping that someone out there would be able to spread some light on the subject. What am I doing wrong? I love running and really miss it, but it is simply too painful to run in my current condition. Are shin splints just a fact of life?

Yours sincerely, one ammeter runner called Matt

p.s. My shoes are Brooks Glycerin 19s.
 

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Hi Matt, first of all - I feel your pain. I can tell you that shin pain has been a very regular issue I've suffered from in my almost 10yrs of running.

My opinion is that it is really important to accept shin splints for what it is - an overuse injury.

You mention that you consider yourself a beginner runner but then say you have ran 6 miles per day. 6 miles per day is not unsubstantial. Over time I realised my shin issues came on when I tried to push weekly mileage over 50 a week. So 40-45 has become my personal "sweet spot" and I've come to accept that.

The other clue for me in your post is the "on and off " comment. Running is 100% about doing things as consistently as possible.

You also don't mention surfaces. Are you running mainly on the roads?

In summary I would recommend you rest up. I would be interested to know whether the pain is in the same spots as the stress fracture you mention? Your key focus is making sure this is not a recurrence of the old fracture.

Using ice and ibuprofen gel during the rest period is the best way to get shin pain to settle.

I would then say a shin strengthening protocol should be adopted before a gentle return to walking / jogging. I think it sounds like you've done all you can on shoes etc. so it would therefore be a case of careful load and surface management on your return.

Hope useful.
 
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