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Discussion Starter #1
So after years of doing pretty much bugger all, I am finally getting active. I'm circuit training twice a week, which was nightmarish to begin with but is now lots of fun (I have a good class and am getting much better), swimming at the weekends and would now like to start running.

I bought some really good trainers, and the shop looked at how I run when I bought them. Apparently I have a very neutral gait, so that shouldn't be the issue.

I am on an incredibly sensible "baby steps"-paced running programme for complete beginners, which started at a 1min run in the middle of an 11min walk. Thing is, even with this snail pace training, I am still getting dreadful shin splints that hurt for ages after I finish and I am only running maybe 5mins in 1min intervals whilst out walking for 15mins! Surely this isn't right?

I have very flat, wide feet, which I know is not ideal. Someone told me I should look at getting some orthotics custom made, but that's very expensive. Has anyone had any? Were they worth the money?

Other people just keep shaking their head and telling me some people just aren't made to run. I am so full of PMA, I could well secretly be Ian Wright, so this is not what I want to hear right now. Surely there must be a way past this!!

Do any more experienced runners have any advice for me?

Thanks! :)
 

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Hi Lynsey

I'm definitely not an experienced runner, but I'm also a beginner with very wide (and pretty flat) feet. To start with, I also found that my shins were very sore, and I read up a bit and did lots and lots of calf stretches. If you Google for shin splints and stretches or exercises you'll find lots of recommended ones. At the worst point, I also took a 5 day rest break to give them a chance to recover a bit.

Another thing that made a big difference was stopping running on tarmac. I started out running twice a week on the treadmill and once on pavements and it was always after the outdoor run that my shins hurt the most. I now run on grass or mud paths as much as possible when I'm outside and that's helped.

Gradually, over the 10 weeks since I started, as my calf muscles have got less tight, my legs stronger and with the softer terrain, my shins have reached the point where they don't hurt any more, except very slightly each time I increase my training (and I'm training for about 35 mins, with 3/4 of that being running).

Everyone always says, too, that you should ice your shins after a run, which sounds like good advice, but I'm afraid I haven't followed it. What I have done is taken ibuprofen - for its anti inflammatory properties rather than the painkilling ones.

I have no idea which of these things have helped - probably a combination of all of them.

I really sympathise as sore shins are no fun at all :(

Anna
 

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Hrmm... all I can suggest, never having suffered from shin splints, is to try doing some easy strength exercises, this way your muscles will obviously get stronger and you will be able to handle running more. I'm sure if you google it, you'll find some heel-lifts (as in standing on your toes) or squats or something... I had a slight hip issue a few weeks ago, but some strenght training at the gym did me a world of good and now they're a distant memory. So long as there's a will, there's a way, so don't let people get you down by saying you can't do it!
 

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Oh yes, and ignore all those people who say you're just not made to run.

If ever there was someone not made to run, it's me. After all, I've said that myself all my life until now :d True, I'm not a natural runner and I'm definitely never going to be the ideal build for a long distance runner - I'm built more shire horse than thoroughbred (and a very overweight shire horse right now too), but that doesn't mean I can't run, and the same goes for anyone. As long as you've got the requisite body parts, you can run :p
 

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Hi there,

I've had shin-splints loads of times in the past. Its usually when I take a break from running then get back into it and overtrain. I've tried loads of different ways to get rid of them. Something I find helpful is doing the exercise where you extend both your feet so that you are pointing your toes, then move them back fully the other way. Keep on doing this over and over again.

I do these when I am laying down watching telly or if my feet are up on my foot stool.

One of the reasons I like this exercise is that you can do them every night when you are sat down not doing anything else.

I've also heard that trying to pick up marbles with your toes helps. Never tried it though.

I think the general idea is to either stretch your calf muscles (through stretching) or to strengthen up the musles on the front of your legs (which is what this exercise does I think)

Pete
 

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Singularity said:
I've also heard that trying to pick up marbles with your toes helps. Never tried it though.

Ahhh yes, I definitely remember that one in a video on RW website... and they're the experts of course :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone! I have been doing a lot of research on the net today and the same ideas come up time and again - softer terrain, ice afterwards, ibruprofen, pointing toes away and towards me.

Went out tonight to a playing field near where I live and definitely felt the benefit of running on softer ground compared to road running, so thank you so much for that tip! :)

Got back, stretched for ages and did lots of the pointing away and toward me with my toes stuff, then sat a bag of peas on each shin for 15mins. And I'm feeling good! Hooray and thank you everyone! I'm sure this all seems like common sense to the experienced people, but to me this has been revelatory.

Thank you!
 

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Lynsey said:
Thanks everyone! I have been doing a lot of research on the net today and the same ideas come up time and again - softer terrain, ice afterwards, ibruprofen, pointing toes away and towards me.

Went out tonight to a playing field near where I live and definitely felt the benefit of running on softer ground compared to road running, so thank you so much for that tip! :)

Got back, stretched for ages and did lots of the pointing away and toward me with my toes stuff, then sat a bag of peas on each shin for 15mins. And I'm feeling good! Hooray and thank you everyone! I'm sure this all seems like common sense to the experienced people, but to me this has been revelatory.

Thank you!
Thats cool that your sorted you do need to run on some harder ground again though but when you do start in small increments to avoid further probs

good luck
Take care

cheriton
 
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