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Shin splints

Hi - does anyone else suffer from shin splints? I tried running a couple of years ago using the Couch to 5K programme and had to give up after a couple of weeks as I was in so much pain. I put it down to running in old trainers on concrete surface and decided to ditch running for a while.

In November I started going to the gym and my favourite piece of equipment by far is the treadmill - I stick an audiobook on my ipod and get myself in the zone and I can walk at moderately fast speeds (usually 6km p/hour) for as long as I have time for. Given the softer surface of the treadmill and the fact that I bought new running trainers in November specifically for going to the gym and using the treadmill, I thought it might be time to start running again. What happens? After just 1 1/2 sessions of the Couch to 5K (12 minutes total running at intervals) I'm in debilitating pain, so much so that I had to give up even walking on the treadmill for a while as it hurt too much. I'm now back to my brisk walks but I'm still keen to run - I'm not a great fan of the crosstrainer but it burns so many calories compared to walking that I feel like I should really use it - however I'd much rather run.

So - any suggestions?? Do I just try 1 minute running in a whole session or something to start off with and build it up even slower than the Couch to 5K programmer does? I just feel like this programme is designed for couch potatoes so the expectations shouldn't be unrealistic (particularly given that I'm already exercising) yet I can't seem to manage it. Are some people just more prone to shin splints than others? Or is it something to do with my weight putting too much stress on my joints? Having said that, when I was trying a couple of years ago, I was over 4 stone lighter so it shouldn't be that. Any ideas at all? I just want to run and really don't think it should be this difficult!! :confused:
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What surface are you running on?

Try getting some good running shoes and running on dirt surfaces. Also look at your form. try overly rolling your feat as you run to minimize the impact. Your calves will be sore at first, but eventually you can keep it up.

If your running flat footed on concrete, your bound to be hurting pretty quickly.

Secondly, shin splints are one of those things that tends to plague you for pretty much ever... but there are things you can do to minimize the likelyhood of a flair-up!

Good luck!


A little of everything!
Why the pressing need to run? If your aim is weight loss / fat burning, your heart rate while exercising should be the focus. Some people just aren't built for running! Your 'walking' pace is pretty fast, I know- I walk fast at 4.5mph. How about continuing with your walking pace, but increase the incline on the treadmill. THis will increase the 'effort' you have to make while taking the pressure off your lags. Also- are you exercising your legs (i.e. on the treadmill) every day? Most personal trainers recommend one day on, one day off for different muscle groups to allow tired muscle to repair- even marathon runners do this?
I got shin splints last year while attempting the C25K as well, and on a trainers advice, I dumped the jogging and increased my speed/distance to get (what he felt) was the same benefits.
If running is still in your heart- then I suggest doing the C25K programme at a slower pace (2wks at wk1, etc. etc.?)


Silver Member
You poor thing, i got shin splints from running too. i went to the store 'he runs she runs' and they filmed me jogging on a treadmill to see how my feet/ankles run and i had to have corrective insoles (only about £12) and it's been GREAT since!

it's important to rest until you're TOTALLY healed, and then when you start again start really slowly. just walking at first and slowly build up your running. and don't run at a gradient at all until you're back and fit.

i hope that helps :)


Full Member
I used to get loads too (word to the unwise - they never stopped me from exercising).

Things that seemed to bring on a turnabout;
Running shoes from a non-chain store that doesn't have quotas to fill
Rubbing my calf muscles after warming down
Protein - within half an hour of working out, 1/2 a boiled chicken breast diced or 3 seafood sticks is enough (this isn't a bingeing excuse)
Warm down and streach PROPERLY - everyone is a sinner with this, I don't trust you warm down properly every time you run ;)
Aspirin cream - takes down the swelling and heals faster
Take up a flexibility-based cross training activity, mine is yoga
Shower STRAIGHT away after streaching - no coffee till after!

and... keep at it - its happening because you are changing the demands on your body. If you keep at it your body will adapt.
Don't believe your Dr doing the whole "don't run for a year" jazz - it won't benefit you to abandon running completely every time you are waiting for a shin splint to heal. Expect some aches and pains as your life changes - the more muscular I became, the less it happens, now it doesn't happen at all and I'm just about to take on a 16 miler soon as I logoff :).

If the pain starts to occur at a joint (e.g. back of the knee, ankles, top of foot) or gets progressively more painful as you exercise (give it a few minutes - your body has some natural painkillers that might kick inif its not serious) then STOP STOP STOP and go see a doctor as it might be an indicator you actually do need some rest.

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