Anyone suffer from Slappy Feet

I have been running 2 or 3 times a week, 5K. Not especially quick but doing it. I have begun walking 5Ks in between running days. I have found that since starting the walking on non running days that when I run, my feet are slapping the ground (an audible sound) and that my shins get really sore, so much that I am forced to walk - and the shins remain sore during the walking, then try to run again - more pain so I walk - more pain too.

Though when I come home and shower I have no pain when walking around. I have suffered from shin splints in the past and they would stay sore even when walking around in everyday life, so I am thinking this is not shin splints. I am surmising that the (big) increase in my walking has changed my running gait to a heel strike and putting pressure on my calf/shin muscles.

Any ideas or similar experiences welcome folks. It has rained today for the first time in 18 days - woooow!

Thanks in advance and happy running 8-)


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8 Replies

  • Yeah I had foot slap and shin splint on the same leg. It is a strength issue I think. I had physio which concentrated on strengthening the calves. Too much running on weak calves is bad news.

    After a lot of physio at home, no running, I got over it. strengthening the body is a good idea, using your own bodyweight, no need for gym machines 🙂

    The foot slap probably happens as you tire

  • Thanks MissWobble. I wasn't overdoing the running - but adding in extra walking - maybe that lead to imbalance of muscles?

  • I walk all time but it didn't prevent the shin splint. Walking is good news for runners and is a good cross training exercise.

  • Could be, yes, your walks are teaching you to lengthen your stride - probably you're starting to feel fitter and more confident because of the running :) I suggest that you try shortening your stride when running AND walking, lean slightly forward (but keep your back straight, don't slouch over from your hips) so you keep your feet below your hips as you step. Take quick, light little steps and really try and relax your legs all the way down (especially at the ankles), but keep to the speed you have been going at (or slower) if you can. Lift up your heels behind you rather than your knees in front of you. The idea is to stop yourself from striding your feet out ahead of your body, causing the heel to hit the ground too far in advance of the rest of your feet.

  • It's difficult to say for sure whether walking on rest days has led to the adoption of a heel strike when running, but if you end up with aching shins when running, it may be worth easing off on the walking, opting to swim or cycle on rest days, for example.

    In addition to strengthening your calves, seek to increase the strength of your anterior tibialis, since it controls the flexing of the foot upwards towards the shin. The easiest way to strengthen it is to simply sit in a chair and repeatedly lift your toes upwards towards the shin and place them back down. After a few repetitions, you should begin to feel your shin beginning to work.

    Alternatively, if you possess a resistance band, simply tie the ends of it to a fixed surface and place the loop around your foot, performing dorsiflexion (pulling the toes towards the shin) against the resistance provided by the band.

    Additionally, if you don't already do so, ensure that foot exercises (such as towel scrunches) are also performed, to maintain strength and endurance throughout the arch and toes, since they often go neglected when it comes to strength conditioning.

  • Thanks folks for all your answers and suggestions, I am having a few rest days form long walks and runs and will see how I am when I next run.

  • I know this is quite late on in the thread, but I wonder if you might benefit from Podiatric manipulation? I had feet that stuck outwards, which meant I wasn't standing flat on the ground. My wife nagged me for years to go to the Chropodist who does the manipulation, and I went at the week I started C25K figuring it's best to get my feet sorted. I could not believe such a simple treatment would have such a big effect. I was in and out in 20 minutes, during which he put a vibrating pad on my foot to relax the muscles, then manipulated it to reset the bone. Completely painless, and when I got up I was standing flat on the ground, and when I run now my feet are pointing straight ahead instead of sticking out. He also cures people with flat feet as well (one of our friends took their son who had flat feet, and after it he had proper arches, and his shoe size went down a whole size!)

    I don't know if this is relevant to "slappy feet", but you might find it helpful. I can't recommend the treatment highly enough.

  • Hmm certainly worked for you Iain. Mine seems to have gone away, though if I have a long walk a day before a run, it can be back again, but only for one run! Strange or what.

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