Shin pains - any ideas: I've just started Week... - Couch to 5K

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Shin pains - any ideas


I've just started Week 3, and for the last run of last week and today I've had some pains in the muscles by my shins. Any ideas?

15 Replies

It sounds like new runner ache. When you first start running you get shin and knee pain, which is not surprising really. Stick with the C25k programme, running each podcast 3 times and having a rest day in between runs, and doing the 5 mins warm up and cool down and you should be fine. When my shins ache I do a few butt kicks, which is supposed to help circulation. It seems to work. Let us know how you get on


Hi there

Try not to heel strike so much, try land a bit more on your midfoot, that should help with the shin splints. I know you're told in the podcast to heel strike but it totally isn't the natural way to land.

Hope this helps



What is the type and intensity of the pain? If it's a dull ache that goes after a rest day then I would say it is just the muscles being strengthened. If it's more than that then I think Rach is right, look at your gait and/or shoes. What shoes do you have? Did you go to a running shop to get them and did they check your gait?


Try stretching after a run. It helps realign muscles and avoid injury.


I am using transitional shoes towards barefoot running that help me mid-foot strike. No shin pain at all!


My shins ached after my first run so much, I wondered whether I would get to do my second run or not. I did it anyway, and *iced* my shins after it. Never had any more shin pain again. I know some runners/dancers will kneel in cold/iced water afterwards to cool the shins.


Ouch, I know these can hurt. Unfortunately you will gain a few aches and pains along the way. I adopt the mantra 'Aches are Acceptable, Pain Prohibits', but do remember to rest those aches and pains. lannoda Truffe is also spot on, stretching after a run makes a massive difference. Plenty of stretches online show you what to do, but you really need to do these whilst your muscles are still warm. I therefore finish my run, and start my walk home, stopping part way when I have my breath back for 5 minutes of stretching. Remember only to stretch enough to 'feel' it, but not too hurt, overdo it and you can make things worse (done that myself!).

Take it easy, you may be mentally ready for C25K, your body needs to catch up :-)

Good luck, keep running, and keep blogging.

Hi! I had the same. It continued getting worse, but I just went on with the programme, running with the pain. It is sometimes difficult for a beginner to distinguish wich pain is "normal" and wich pain is your body telling you it is not yet ready to step up.

I reached week six, but then the pain was really unberable, at the point that I could not complete my runs and I felt constantly like someone had kick me on the shins.

I spoke with a running coach at my local sports club and also with a fysiotherapeut. The pain I was having was not normal. My tibia bone was in stress and if I would continue forcing it it could mean a serious injury.

I took a few days rest until the pain was completly gone. During the rest I iced the painful points and wore compression socks. It took a few days, but the pain went away. When I had no more pain, I resumed my runs, but not at week six. I restarted week five, being careful to keep my stride light, land on mid foot, not overstride and relax the pelvic area. It seems to have helped! No more pain, and I learned my lesson.

This is not a competition. It is not necessary to finish the programme in nine weeks. Every body is different and reacts different. Some pain is normal, but the saying "no pain no gain" is a dangerous myth. If you listen to your body and your body tells you it needs more time, give it the time and the loving it deserves. You, and your body will reach the 5 kms in 30 minutes. Maybe not in 9 weeks, but you will get there together!

misswobbleGraduate in reply to nanico

Laura does say in the podcasts not to over-stride. Your feet should land under your hips, is what she says. She was saying it again in Steppings Stones, which I ran yesterday, so it was fresh in my mind. Good luck with your running. I hope the pain is only either new runner ache or shoe related, and is sorted asap so you can get on with enjoying running.


I have had these on the odd occasion, and I found the simple actions of stopping running and walking for a while, or taking smaller strides helped. Also, make sure you do complete your warm-up walk first and your warm-down walk at the end; and it is very important to do your post-run stretches.


I had this when I started off ruuning. Eventually went for one physio session and was shown how to massage along the shin bone and warned to do warm up stretches


Get some decent cushioned running shoes. I had the same problems when I started but foolishly held out until week 5 before paying out for some new running shoes. The difference was unbelievable by week 7 I had no problems at all and began to realty enjoy running.

JHarveyLGraduate in reply to Colin-H

See above that shorter steps help, but I checked the heels on my shoes and they're definitely not cushioned enough, so new shoes next :)

Don't worry, you will be all right! I would advise you to:

1- Have some rest for a couple of days or maybe a week or two.

2- Replace your shoes if you have been running in your shoes for over 3 months.

3- Run on soft surfaces.

4- Don't run when it hurts! Pay attention to how your shins feel and when you can sense pain stop running and go home. Eventually your shins will get stronger and you will be able to run as long as you would like. When your shins need rest, try another activity like biking or swimming. That way you can still stay in shape while not hurting your shins.

5- Lose Weight.

6- Do feet Exercises.

7- Start every run with a shin splint exercise.

8- Stretch your calf muscles! Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

9- make yourself a hot bath with a little bit of Epsom salt in it, afterwards ice for 20 mins.

I hope these tips will help you ease your pain.

Check this link for more info:

JHarveyLGraduate in reply to D_Brooks

Thanks for such a detailed reply. I'm not sure my issue is so extreme to need all this yet. Shortening my stride yesterday made a huge difference and I think I need better shoes. Will definitely have a look at the stretching and shin splint exercises tho',.

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