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  • Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

    Hey all,

    I tried to avoid posting this since I know there are other threads. I've followed most suggestions in previous threads and I'm still having problems with these symptoms related to my running.

    Originally I was working on my 2-mile time running with no incline on a treadmill for 30 mins. I got to about 6.7mph for 30 mins and thats the first time I was afflicted with what I've determined to be shin splints. After doing some research on here and through google I decided to do low impact cardio for 2 weeks, did cold/hot treatments and purchased a neoprene wrapper for my calfs.

    So after 2 weeks on the elliptical my legs were back to normal, or so they appeared, I started at 5.0 MPH with a 2% incline to simulate running outdoors, and over the next couple of weeks I've worked my way back upto 6 MPH. But I can only run for 22 minutes and my legs are absolutely killing me again.

    I do have moderately flat feet and tend to overpronate so I purchased a Nike running shoe that is designed for those conditions: Nike DART 8. These apparently haven't helped since Im back with aching legs.

    I really need to work on my running for the PFT but this seems to be a major road block. I don't ship until January so I still have some time, but I know the times I need to run are going to take time to build up to. Should I take a few more weeks off high impact cardio or can anyone offer any additional suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

    Originally posted by Vanthyr
    Hey all,

    I tried to avoid posting this since I know there are other threads. I've followed most suggestions in previous threads and I'm still having problems with these symptoms related to my running.

    Originally I was working on my 2-mile time running with no incline on a treadmill for 30 mins. I got to about 6.7mph for 30 mins and thats the first time I was afflicted with what I've determined to be shin splints. After doing some research on here and through google I decided to do low impact cardio for 2 weeks, did cold/hot treatments and purchased a neoprene wrapper for my calfs.

    So after 2 weeks on the elliptical my legs were back to normal, or so they appeared, I started at 5.0 MPH with a 2% incline to simulate running outdoors, and over the next couple of weeks I've worked my way back upto 6 MPH. But I can only run for 22 minutes and my legs are absolutely killing me again.

    I do have moderately flat feet and tend to overpronate so I purchased a Nike running shoe that is designed for those conditions: Nike DART 8. These apparently haven't helped since Im back with aching legs.

    I really need to work on my running for the PFT but this seems to be a major road block. I don't ship until January so I still have some time, but I know the times I need to run are going to take time to build up to. Should I take a few more weeks off high impact cardio or can anyone offer any additional suggestions?
    I think the first thing you need to do before anymore running is to figure out why you are getting shin splints? If you keep running on them while there hurting you could get fractures and im guessing that would take a long time to heal. When i first started running I got shin splints pretty **** bad to where I could barely walk. I was told to try different shoes,I purchased a good pair and that didnt help at all. So then I started buying books and I finally found the answer that nobody mentioned before. My stride was to long and my heal was hitting the ground first and creating a hard impact on my shins. When your running make sure you land on your mid foot and maybe try shortening your stride. I am no expert,not even close but this is what worked for me. Your situation might be different. Hope this helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

      I use to have a problem with shin splints as well. Good luck.

      Try adding bodysquats 3x20, body jumps 3x12, draw a line and hop back and forth on it 3x20 (with each leg, this is not easy). Do calf extensions. Work your way up in weight. Do sets of "explosive power" andalso long drawn out sets. (I started with a 45 pounds, did that 4x25. I'm up to about 175 doing 5x25, slow and controlled) You're calves will get sore if done properly. They should get sore. Do this 2-3 times a week.

      Crank it up to 10% incline at a slow pace and do that 10 minutes, add 5 minutes every week. Stretch before and after. More calf extensions. I wouldn't worry about long distances or speed if shin splints are a factor. Build up to it.

      The ellipitical did nothing for me to ease the pain of shin splints. It wasn't until I started really making it a point to lift with my legs (not just power, but endurance) that shins splints became irrelevant for me.

      Good luck, everyone varies thats why there are so many different responses. Keep trying until you find something.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

        Running is almost like playing golf in that there are so many variables that can screw up your game. When I first started running seriously I got shin splints within the first month. What I found was that I was not properly stretching/warming up prior to running and my form was off. After working on my form and proper stretching, I can run for hours (literally) with no ill effects and I continue to get stronger.

        Here are a few tips on posture and warming up:

        If you lean forward when you run, you are asking for pain. If you lean back, you'll get more pain. Keep your legs and hips under your torso when you run. Here's a pretty decent article on running form:

        http://runnersworld.com/article/0,71...8210-0,00.html

        I get teased a lot at work for stretching so much before and after running, but it is effective and keeps me from injury. Here is an article on shin splint causes, specific areas of injury, and ways to prevent them: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/196.shtml

        One of my favorite exercises is to stand on my toes on a step with my heels hanging off the edge (hold onto a wall or railing so you don't fall on your face). Let your body weight stretch out your calves, then raise yourself up to stand on your toes. Do this in sets of 12-15. Keeping your calf muscles loose is one of the keys to preventing shin splints, so make sure you stretch them even on days when you aren't running.

        Also, I won't knock running on a treadmill since I do use one when the weather gets uncomfortably cold, but I would recommend running outside as much as possible. Your p.t. tests will all be outdoors, and running outside is much different than running on a treadmill. You will get the true "push off" from your legs when you run outside. You might find that this helps with some of your running problems.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

          Hey guys I really appreciate all the input. Today I went into Roadrunner sports and had them fit me for a new shoe and also had them custom fit an insole for me. One thing I haven't been doing is much stretching. Ill try to make sure to warm up going forward.

          I really wish I lived in an environment more conducive to outdoor running. Phoenix AZ during the summer is a miserable running experience. But I do need to get outdoors more. While I realize I shouldn't really focus on distance, are there any good tools I can utilize to see how far I've run? Where I live there are no school tracks etc to use, so it would just be in the neighborhood.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

            Originally posted by Vanthyr
            Hey guys I really appreciate all the input. Today I went into Roadrunner sports and had them fit me for a new shoe and also had them custom fit an insole for me. One thing I haven't been doing is much stretching. Ill try to make sure to warm up going forward.

            I really wish I lived in an environment more conducive to outdoor running. Phoenix AZ during the summer is a miserable running experience. But I do need to get outdoors more. While I realize I shouldn't really focus on distance, are there any good tools I can utilize to see how far I've run? Where I live there are no school tracks etc to use, so it would just be in the neighborhood.
            Have you tried running ice cubes along your shins? I get shin splints from time to time and running ice cubes along my shins for 10 minutes every day helps get rid of them. Usually only takes a week. Where in Phoenix do you live? I live in northern Phoenix at about I-17 and Pinnacle Peak.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

              Originally posted by SGT Juggernaut
              Have you tried running ice cubes along your shins? I get shin splints from time to time and running ice cubes along my shins for 10 minutes every day helps get rid of them. Usually only takes a week. Where in Phoenix do you live? I live in northern Phoenix at about I-17 and Pinnacle Peak.
              I'm in the far SE Valley. San Tan Valley/ QC area. I haven't tried that...but I'm going to right now LOL. Where do you run at ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                Originally posted by Vanthyr
                I'm in the far SE Valley. San Tan Valley/ QC area. I haven't tried that...but I'm going to right now LOL. Where do you run at ?
                Alot of times i just take 19th ave out as far as I need to. The summer months **** ***. Even when well hydrated going beyond 5 miles is pretty dangerous. The fall is just around the corner though. In late September early October it will cool down enough to start putting in the long distance runs. PF Changs full marathon is in February.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                  Originally posted by Vanthyr
                  I really wish I lived in an environment more conducive to outdoor running. Phoenix AZ during the summer is a miserable running experience. But I do need to get outdoors more. While I realize I shouldn't really focus on distance, are there any good tools I can utilize to see how far I've run? Where I live there are no school tracks etc to use, so it would just be in the neighborhood.
                  There are some good apps available for smart phones that will track your distance, speed, etc. You can find some web-based tools too by Googling "run tracker". My wife likes to jump in the car and trace her routes lol. One way or another, you should be able to find something that works for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                    Originally posted by Vanthyr
                    Today I went into Roadrunner sports and had them fit me for a new shoe and also had them custom fit an insole for me.
                    This ^^^ will do more for you than any advice you'll get when it comes to shin splints.

                    For pain, soaking in cold water immediately after and taking an anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) is your best bet to reduce the pain you might feel later and shorten recovery times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                      Originally posted by notyetdead
                      This ^^^ will do more for you than any advice you'll get when it comes to shin splints.

                      For pain, soaking in cold water immediately after and taking an anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) is your best bet to reduce the pain you might feel later and shorten recovery times.
                      Ran for them in the first time today. I'm gonna have to take some time to break my feet into the extra support, I'm working muscles im not use to, so my leg is more sore than it was LOL. But I know those shoes will be a great investment.

                      Did my first outdoor run in a very long time today. 106 Degrees, 2.3 miles, 27 minutes. The first mile was done in 10:07...heat exhaustion and dehydration set in at that point. Not too bad IMO, Gonna take it easy with some low impact cardio to give my legs some time to heal and I'll use the above stats to benchmark improvement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                        Seems a lot of people have things posted as far as a fitness journal, for encouragement and ideas. I'll just build off this post to avoid cluttering things up.

                        Today after an intense arm work out I got

                        22 Push-Ups
                        47 Sit-ups.

                        Did some low intensity cardio on an elliptical while my shin splints heal then I'll get back to running. I think I could probably bust out more push-ups if hadn't worked my arms today.

                        What do other people do to maintain a good gym schedule but still allow themselves enough energy and endurance to work on PU/SU?

                        Also, I'm 5'9" and 204 Lbs. (although according to the scale at meps im 10 lbs heavier...I've confirmed 204 on 3 different scales though) I'm doing good watching what I'm eating...no fried foods, fast food, no soda's etc and I goto the gym 4-6 times a week, but It took me a month to go from 206 to 204. I passed taped just barely when I enlisted, not sure what I can do to aid my weight loss. Any suggestions?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                          Originally posted by Vanthyr
                          Hey guys I really appreciate all the input. Today I went into Roadrunner sports and had them fit me for a new shoe and also had them custom fit an insole for me. One thing I haven't been doing is much stretching. Ill try to make sure to warm up going forward.

                          I really wish I lived in an environment more conducive to outdoor running. Phoenix AZ during the summer is a miserable running experience. But I do need to get outdoors more. While I realize I shouldn't really focus on distance, are there any good tools I can utilize to see how far I've run? Where I live there are no school tracks etc to use, so it would just be in the neighborhood.

                          Do you have an ipod or iphone? I picked up the Nike + ipod and I love it. It's a little sensor that you put on your shoe (they try to get you to buy special Nike shoes that have a place to put the sensor but don't get suckered into that if you have shoes you like), and then it will count your time, distance, and mile pace. I take a zip lock, put the sensor in there, and then snake it under the laces and it works just fine.

                          Just something to try if you need another way to check distance and whatnot.

                          http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/

                          If you don't have an ipod or iphone, then disregard everything I just said

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                            I unfortunately only have the iPod shuffle, so that sensor wont work for me. I found an online program called gmap pedometer though. Works pretty good, if you know where you start and stop. It uses google maps and allows you to plot your course and itll calculate the distance, calories burned, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Shin Splints/ Calf soreness

                              Stretching is what cured my leg pain problems. I started out like you and just started running. That didnt last long. Pretty soon, the pain was so bad I could barely walk (whether from my shin pain, or my knee) even though only 1 leg was giving me trouble. I ended up going to a sports medicine doctor who ended up working the knots out of the muscle under my shin bone. I technically didnt have "shin splints" as there were no fractures in the bone. That took several weeks to get rid of going a couple times a week. In the meantime, he showed me all the stretches I was supposed to be doing. IT band, ham string, quad, calf and the muscle under the calf. I have it down to a science now and stay relatively pain free unless I BS my warmup or throw sprints in somewhere. Great advice on form though. DO NOT land on your heels. Its counter productive. Theres a much greater impact on your legs and all that energy has to go somewhere. Also, you are actually putting opposite force against yourself for a split second as your leg lands in front of you. Find a grassy area and run around barefoot. The way you run with no shoes (heel hardly touches the ground at all) is similar to the way you should run with shoes.
                              Ive gone from not being able to run across the street to running at military standards. Everyone is different, so find what works for you.

                              Comment

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