Couch to 5K
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Is this shin splints?

Hello, first poster and very new runner.

I am a middle aged, overweight woman who has never run in her life till now. Inspired by my grown up kids who all exercise, and seeing plenty of women that look like me complete a 10k in central London a couple of weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I have completed week 2 and am really enjoying the experience (not so much the running itself - which is hard - but the sense of achievement) but on my 5th run I felt some aching and tenderness in my left inner shin which lasted a day. I went to a specialist running shop and bought new shoes in case that was the problem and did run 6 yesterday. Legs were fine when running but the rest of the day both shins were sore. They feel ok this morning, just a bit of residual stiffness. I don't know whether this is an injury/potential injury that I should rest, or just general muscle stiffness from new exercise that it is safe to ignore. I have pretty flat feet if that is relevant. I really don't want to stop running and lose my momentum, particularly as I am already feeling the benefit. Any advice?

5 Replies

I had this for the first few weeks of running as my body adjusted to the exercise shock! It can quickly turn to shin splints so be very careful and stretch a lot after each run. I found that putting a cool pack on my shins for about 30 mins post run helped no end and i now have no pain at all in my shins....just my calf's!


Muscle being sore for a day is the norm for me.

Land soft / find some softer ground to run on - which I believe makes it harder to run but will ease those muscles into being worked.

As with all pain if it endures / gets worse have it checked out.

Oh and go slow. Advise I still need to put into practise myself.

Good luck



I assume you have the right shoes for your flat feet from your gait analysis. What shoes did you get as a matter of interest?

Good for you for getting started with C25k. It's a fab programme and will bring you better health and weight loss too, if you're careful what you eat of course. Yes, seeing all those different shapes and ages of women running in races and events is very positive and it makes you think you can have some of it too. It's fun, and I found when I started at 56 that folks were very friendly. I'm sure you will too, so big up to you for making a start

Sorry that you hurt already but that is normal if you're new to exercise. You can expect to feel it as your body is not used to it and its protesting. Always take your rest day! The ice thing is a good one, and will really help. Keep an ice pack in the fridge the whole time. I make them up from those silicone muffin moulds and rub one all up the front of my leg. It lasts about 8 - 10 minutes. Keep it moving as you don't want freeze burn!

Try going slower. Maybe you're going too quick. Slow is good for C25k and there is absolutely no imperative to do anything else but finish the session.

A shin splint feels like you have broken your leg as you get searing pain, lots of inflammation and you can't bear to put your foot to the floor. I hope you've not got that but you need to take care to make sure you don't. Softer trail runs is also good advice

If it persists then you will have to stop running and seek advice from your GP who will recommend anti-inflammatories but they do take a while to work. You have to keep up with the icing as well.

Take care and fingers crossed it's not shin splints at this early stage


Well done for starting, and how fab that you are feeling the benefits already :) In terms of your new shoes, did you choose them yourself or did the specialist running shop advise you, look at your feet, do gait analysis etc? If they helped you, it's likely to be that your legs are just getting used to this running lark, I would have thought. If not, it might be that your shoes aren't right for you. I hope the discomfort goes away and that you can work your way through the programme - good luck with it!


Thanks for all the support. The shop did analyse my gait and recommended shoes so I should be ok there. I've ordered some insoles to see if they help at all with the flat feet thing - the shop staff were sceptical but I thought it was worth a go. Started week 3 this morning and all went well. Some lower leg ache and mild tenderness but nothing much. Iced shin muscles after the run and feel pretty good. I will press on and am grateful for the reassurance. Thanks guys.


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